NARRAGANSETT — The Prout baseball team’s victory over Narragansett on Friday gave the South County neighbors identical records heading into a rematch in Tuesday’s season finale.
Given the similarities, it was no surprise that their series ended in a split.
After Prout prevailed 11-3 on Friday, the Mariners roared back for a 7-2 win on Tuesday.
“It was a good win for us,” Narragansett coach Brad Van Fechtmann said. “Had to have that bounce back.”
The result got the Mariners to the .500 mark at 9-9, while Prout finished 8-10. Both teams will be in the Division II playoffs.
The Mariners had won six of their previous nine games when the Crusaders tripped them up on Friday at Sprague Field. Ryan Barrett was staked to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and went six strong for the win. Derek Gesmondi finished it off.
The Crusaders went up 3-0 in the fourth inning. After Narragansett got back within one, the Crusaders exploded for six runs in the top of the fifth. Drew Nowell’s two-run single was the big blow.
Barrett quieted some bats that had been heating up for the Mariners.
“Two of them are on my summer ball team. I know that they can really swing the bat,” Barrett said. “I was just trying to mix locations and mix in off-speed. When you’re pitching with a lead like that, you just try to throw strikes and trust your defense.”
Following a similar script, Narragansett returned the favor in Tuesday’s game. The Mariners scored early, before Prout worked back to a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth, the Mariners answered right back with two runs. They added three more in the seventh. Andrew DiBiasio pitched a scoreless seventh to close out the win in relief of Zayden Kent, who delivered another strong start in a breakout freshman campaign.
DiBiasio paced the offensive attack with a home run. It was an opposite field bomb that went a long way at Prout’s fence-less field.
“It would have been into the tennis courts at our field,” Van Fechtmann said. “It might have gone 400 feet. He just crushed it. It’s probably the furthest opposite field hit I’ve seen from a high school kid.”
Zander Kent went 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.
It was a good bounce back for the Mariners, who will now head into the playoffs on a high note.
“We definitely like our chances against anybody,” Van Fechtmann said. “It’s going to be a tough road, but that’s what playoff baseball is all about. I have all the faith in the world in these guys. If they play their best, they’re capable of beating anybody.”
Tuesday’s game was another dip in a season full of ups and downs for the Crusaders. But they’re hoping to make a little noise in the playoffs.
“I think the big thing is just mental preparation,” Barrett said. “That’s something we’ve been trying to dial in.”
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