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NARRAGANSETTâ€”A little over two hours after the Exeter-West Greenwich Junior Little League All-Starsâ€™ season came to an end the EWG seniors followed suit.
Exeter dropped a 9-0 decision to Riverside â€“ its second loss to the District 2 champs in as many games â€“ Tuesday at Sprague Park to bring its summer run to an end.
As was the case in Saturdayâ€™s 8-2 loss to starting pitcher C.J. Woods, Exeter-West Greenwich couldnâ€™t get anything going against Riverside starter Ethan Gervais.
â€śTheyâ€™re a good team,â€ť EWG coach Jim Fiske said. â€śWe saw the left-hander the first time and then we saw this kid that pitched here today. Those guys have pretty good veteran pitchers.â€ť
Gervais had a no-hitter through three innings before Aaron Amitranoâ€™s lead-off infield single broke it up but the right hander from Riverside was hardly rattled.
In his 5 2/3 innings pitched Gervais did not allow a ball out of the infield, giving up three infield singles before exiting after reaching his pitch limit with nine strikeouts.
â€śWe just couldnâ€™t muster enough offense in either game,â€ť Fiske said. â€śWe scored none in this game and only two in the other.â€ť
While EWG struggled to get going offensively, Riverside came out of the gates hitting against starter Zack Dion.
Each of the first four Riverside batters reached base safely against Dion and each would ultimately come around to score to give the District 2 champs the early 4-0 lead.
From there Dion settled in though, setting down the next eight batters he faced before an error in the fourth allowed Sean Feeney to reach safely with two outs.
â€śItâ€™s awful tough when you bring these guys into this high pressure type of game,â€ť Fiske said. â€śWhen he settled in heâ€™s got a nice little knuckle ball, a nice little curve ball and keeps the ball down low. He just wasnâ€™t ready to go the first inning.â€ť
Feeney came around to score on a Matt Ricci single and after getting out of the inning Dion was lifted for Austin Coker.
Coker tossed a one-two-three fifth and in the bottom half of the inning EWG had its best chance to get on the scoreboard.
A bunt single from Coker and walk from Ian Touchon put the first two runners aboard, while a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt from Nick Fogarty moved them into scoring position.
Each would be left stranded though as Coker ultimately got throw out at the plate on an Ivan Forcier grounder to third and Nick Narkievich grounded out to short to end the threat.
Riverside added three runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh, while Justin Kennedyâ€™s one-out, infield single in the sixth was the last time Exeter put a runner on base.
â€śIt was a very good run,â€ť Fiske said. â€śâ€¦Itâ€™s not just that we have baseball players. Itâ€™s not like all these guys played for varsity baseball or JV baseball from our town, they played other sports. So when they gelled together to make a run they did a good job with their ability.
â€śI can only say how proud I am of them to come and play this game of baseball that we all love.â€ť