Grenier and Maynard lead West Warwick past New Canaan, 5-4!
West Warwick, R.I. 5 New Canaan, Connecticut 4
Experience? Luck? Opportunistic? Whatever the answer may be, the 10 year old West Warwick All Stars, which lost last year's New England Regional Championship to New Milford (Connecticut), are just one game from creating lifetime memories for their families and themselves.
Led by the solid pitching of starter Matt Grenier and the clutch pitching of reliever Joe Maynard, West Warwick was able to squeeze by New Canaan (Connecticut), 5-4. The win moves West Warwick to within one victory of a trip to Abbeville, Louisiana in next month's Cal Ripken 10 year old World Series.
Matt Grenier, who had some early control problems because of the beach-like pitching surface, struck out eight batters and allowed just two singles in four innings of solid work.
Joe Maynard, who was awarded the player of the game for his clutch pitching at end of the game, struck out three batters in 1 1/3 innings pitched to pick up a well earned save.
In the top of the first inning, West Warwick scored twice to take a 2-0 lead. Kyle Henseler led off with single to center, advanced to second on a walk to Ray Zincone, and scored on Matt Grenier's single to center field. Zincone, who moved to third base on an errant throw, scored on pitch later when Tyler Boisclair hit a r.b.i. ground out to second base.
In the bottom of the first inning, Kyle Levasseur (walk) scored a run on a bases loaded walk to Justin Clark. Matt Grenier, West Warwick's starting pitcher, struck out the next batter to end the inning.
During the next two innings, the two aces of each team were simply unhittable. While Matt Grenier struck out four batters in the the second and third inning, New Canaan's Zach Allen was equally impressive, striking out four batters too. For the game, Allen, who could only work three innings, struck out six batters and allowed only three hits.
In the top of the fourth inning, West Warwick scored three runs on two hits, two sacrifices, and one error. Joe Maynard, who led off the inning by reaching on an error, advanced to second on a single to left field by Mitchell Moore and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Caleb Hoyle. With the count at 1-1, third base coach, Warren Henseler hoodwinked the New Canaan nine by calling for a suicide squeeze by David LaMountain. After laying down the perfect bunt, LaMountain not only reached first safely, but stole second base as the ball was being thrown back to the pitcher. Two pitches later, Kyle Henseler, who has suddenly displayed power from the lead off spot, hit a line drive double over to the fence scoring Moore and LaMountain.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, New Canaan clawed its' way back into the game by scoring three runs on two walks and two singles. After one out, Zach Allen worked the count full before reaching first on a walk. After West Warwick's catcher, Trevor Lawton, made a circus catch on a foul pop-up for the second out of the inning, Zach Smith also walked putting runners at first and second. Justin Clark, then, took a 0-1 change-up and muscled a single in the hole just by the outstretched hands of shortstop Matt Grenier. Thomas Williams, New Canaan's player of the game, hit at two run single to center to make it 5-4. Joe Maynard, however, entered the game and struck out the next batter to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Maynard walked two batters with one out, but dramatically ended the game with back to back punch-outs.
Offensivley, West Warwick received contributions from Kyle Henseler (2 for 4, one double, one run scored, and 2 r.b.i.'s), Ray Zincone (1 for 2, one run scored), Matt Grenier (1 for 3, 1 r.b.i.), Tyler Boisclair (1 for 3, 1 r.b.i.), Joe Maynard (one run scored), Mike Pellerin (pinch hit single), Mitchell Moore (1 for 3, one run scored), and David LaMountain (one run scored and 1 r.b.i.).
New Canaan received hits from Zach Allen (1 for 2, two walks and one run scored), Justin Clark (1 for 3, one run scored, 2 r.b.i.'s), Thomas Williams (1 for 2, 2 r.b.i.'s), and David Giusti (1 for 2).
All Star Notables:
West Warwick's Workhorses: Matt Grenier (117 pitches) and Joe Maynard (134 pitches) have combined to pitch 12 of the 16 innings for West Warwick. In two appearances, Grenier has allowed two runs (one earned) on three singles while striking out ten batters. In three appearances, Maynard has allowed only three earned runs on seven hits while striking out twelve batters.
New Canaan's Dynamic Duo: Zach Allen (143 pitches) and David Giusti (112 pitches) have combined to pitch all of New Canaan's 16 innings. In three appearances (eight innings each), Allen has struck out 14 batters and Giusti has 11 struck out batters.
Mr. Reliable: Trevor Lawton, the durable and reliable catcher of West Warwick, has had only two passed balls in 16 innings behind the plate!
Matt Grenier, who won his second consecutive game of the tournament and fourth of the 2008 All Star season, has now posted a 10-1 mark over the past two years for the West Warwick All Stars.
West Warwick, who is 3-0 in the regional and 8-0 this season, has posted a 19-3 record over the past two years. Two of those three losses were to New Milford, Connecticut, in last year's 9 year old New England Regional Championship.
Clean Up or Lead Off? One would not know that Kyle Henseler was West Warwick's lead off hitter. In three tournament games, Henseler has an extra base hit in each game (2 doubles and one triple).