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Despite the solid pitching from Matt Grenier, Matt Hopper and Ernie Wright, the Wizards lost their home opener in extra innings, 4-3, to North Smithfield.
The trio of pitchers walked three batters (one intentional walk) and did not give up an earned run in the 9-inning affair. Of 130 pitches thrown, they threw 89 strikes.
After allowing three unearned runs on three errors in the first three innings, Matt Grenier was replaced by fellow Senior Matt Hopper entered the game in middle relief and allowed just two hits in 3 2/3 innings of work.
Junior Ernie Wright followed Hopper by allowing just one unearned run on one hit in 2 1/3 innings.
Down 3-0 after three innings, the Wizards scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when Matt Grenier lined a two-out, two-run single to right-center to score pinch-runners, Hermes Villar-Acosta and Alex Pedus.
While Matt Hopper retired 9 of 10 batters, West Warwick tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Pacer Carpenter walked. Brogan Guilmette, then, blooped a single down the right field line to move pinch-runner Cobly Knott to second base. With two-outs, Grenier lined a single to left-center to tie the game at 3-3.
In extra innings, the Wizards seven walks, but could not push across the winning run, leaving seven runners stranded over the last three innings of the game.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, WWHS had their best chance to win the game with two outs. With runners (Guilmette and Wright) on with two outs, the Northmen elected to intentionally walk Matt Grenier (3/4, 3 rbi's), putting the winning run 90 feet away. The move, however, paid off as reliever Eric Ethier induced a pop-up to short right to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth inning, North Smithfield rallied with two outs. Adam Blakemore reached on an error, moved to second on a wild pitch. After two walks, Blakemore scored on Eric Ethier's infield hit.
In addition to Grenier's three hits, the Wizards received offensive support from Brogan Guilmette (2/3, 2 walks), Tom Doran (1/4), Nick Pecchia (1/4) and Matt Hopper (three walks).
After having to wait one full week because of the inclement weather in Rhode Island last week, West Warwick finally started their 2016 season with a 6-2 loss to Ponaganset High School.
Although the Wizards had four solid scrimmages against Cranston West, East Greenwich, Hendricken and Tiverton prior to last week, the Orange and Black not only had two league games postponed last week, but also had their Injury Fund game cancelled.
As a result, the Wizards started off slowly against the Chieftans (2-0), who defeated Tolman, 3-2, in their opener.
In the bottom of the first inning, senior lefty Tom Doran gave up two opportunistic runs to Ponaganset on one infield hit, one bloop hit and a two-out, two-run double by Tyler Flynn.
In the top of the second inning, the Wizards cut the lead to 2-1 when Chris Gaipo (walk) scored after two walks (Tom Doran and Matt Hopper) and a hit batsmen to Brogan Guillmette.
As Doran settled into the game, WWHS tied the game, 2-2, when Chris Gaipo tripled to right field, but junior Charlie Tashjian was thrown out at the plate on a perfect relay. Gaipo, however, scored on a bloop single by Pacer Carpenter.
The Wizards, however, stranded ten runners on base and were not able to cross the pentagon again.
Tom Doran pitched well for the Wizards, striking out four batters and allowing just two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched. From the second inning on, the lefty was nearly unhittable by retiring 9 of 11 batters that he faced.
Offensively, the Orange and Black received hit from Matt Grenier (3/4, one double), Chris Gaipo (2/3, one double, two runs scored and one walk), Tom Doran (1/2, one walk), Andrew D'Ambrosca (1/3), Charlie Tashjian (1/4) and Pacer Carpenter (1/4, one rbi).
After finishing a magical run in the 2015 playoffs, the Wizards look to "re-load" and take another step in 2016.
In 2015, after losing their opening playoff game in eight innings (1-0) to Tolman High School, the Wizards battled their way through the loser's bracket to advance to the 2015 Regional Championship. The Wizards, who had to play 6 games in 7 days, defeated Smithfield (8-6), Narragansett (7-6), Warwick Vets (1-0) and Tolman (4-3) before losing to the Tigers of Tolman in the Regional Final.
Despite losing several starters from last year's team, including Evan Barrera (Becker College), Ray Zincone (UMass-Boston) and Tyler Boisclair (Framingham University), the Wizards return three of their top pitchers from last year in Senior Tri-Captains Tom Doran, Matt Grenier and Matt Hopper.
West Warwick Wizards Varsity
Seniors: Pacer Carpenter, Tom Doran, Matt Grenier, Matt Hopper & Hermes Villar-Acosta
Juniors: Travis Caddick, Chris Gaipo, Brogan Guillmette, Charlie Tashjian & Ernie Wright
Sophomores: Robert Bird, Andrew D'Ambrosca, Nick Pecchia & Justin Rutter
Freshmen: Jason Duffy, Colby Knott, Kyle Kortick & Alex Pedus
West Warwick PIC Athletics
12 Year Olds (6): Marc Cesana, Ethan Chasse, Lane Davide, Liam Gravier, Michael Grenier & Quinn Kortick
11 Year Olds (4): Reece Davide, Brendan Griffin, Ivan Matteson & Jesse Principe
9 Year Old (1): Tyler Garofalo
Hampton Inn Yankees
12 Year Olds (4): Davion Alves, Calvin Battersby, Justin Perez & Alex Titelis
11Year Olds (5): John Correia, Dante Faria, Nathan Hunt, Cole O'Brien & Elijah Payne
10 Year Olds (2): Logan Dean & AJ Hernandez
Builders Surplus Red Sox
12 Year Olds (4): Jackson Boulay, Ty Condon, Adam Marsh & Sean Tavares
11 Year Olds (4): Darius Lopes, Drew McCaughey, Kaidyn Mitchell & Derek Petrarca
10 Year Olds (2): Leyton Belanger & Matthew Dion
9 Year Old (1): James Proulx
Security Concepts Mets
12 Year Olds (3): Avery Bliss, Cole Faneuf, Evan Firth
11 Year Olds (3): Nolan Hinz, Nick Pedus & Nick Petrangelo
10 Year Olds (3): Dominick Maznicki, Jon Rice & Michael Surtel
9 Year Olds (2): Joshua Pedus & Karl Swanson
Bill's Pizza Rays
12 Year Olds (3): Kyle Curran, Dominic Rogers & Nolan Wilkicki
11 Year Olds (5): John Barcelos, Billy Costello, Matthew Dennison, Devyn Glenn & Dylan Lombari
10 Year Olds (2): Caden Denton & Michael Strain
9 Year Old (1): Julian Threats
Elmwood Sports Orioles
12 Year Olds (3): Tyler Curley, William Studd & Sean White
11 Year Olds (5): Colden Marso, Richie McLoughlin, Brady Miale, Aaron Parry & Aidan Wallad
10 Year Olds (3): Jason Anzivino, Tyler Artruc & Keegan Duane
9 Year Olds (1): Mason Wallad
Preliminary Call-Up List
11 Year Olds (2): Joseph Marinello & Noah Sidhu
10 Year Olds (2): Camden Diffley & John Lovell
9 Year Old (1): Robert Illas
Note: The Major Division will play 15 games in the regular season, followed by a double-elimination playoff in June. Each team will play each other three times during the season.
West Warwick Connie Mack Baseball (Co-Sponsors: Graham Insurance & DeRobbio's Barber Shop)
West Warwick had a Solid Season in Connie Mack Play! The West Warwick Connie Mack baseball team, which featured 18 players from ages 13-18, had a summer of success and fun. In addition to winning their divisional title (Cooney Conference - Southwest Division), they qualified for the New England Regional, losing close games to Elmwood Sports (1-0) and the Cranston Bulldogs (4-2). Also, they advanced to the Elite Eight of the State Tournament where they went 2-2.
In the playoffs, they beat 365 Sports of Bristol in two straight games (6-2 and 7-0) and lost to a talent-laden and eventual Rhode Island State Champion, AMS Johnston, in two games (5-2 and 4-3).
For seasonal stats, summaries and pictures, please visit other "News" in the West Warwick Connie Mack "News" page.