Hawks fall to Oakers, ending bid for sixth straight title

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The Bishop Hendricken baseball team ousted by the Coventry Oakers, 7-2, in the Division I Regional Pod 1 losers’ bracket at Rhode Island College on Friday evening.

Coventry senior Jarrad Grossguth turned in a quality start, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out four. The Coventry offense was led by sophomore Lucas Garcia, who had two hits and two RBIs and senior Cam Reid, who chipped in two hits and an RBI.

Hendricken senior Bill Roberge led the Hawks with two hits and an RBI and catcher Jordan Carvalho followed with a hit and an RBI.

“We didn’t play as good as we hoped to and it’s just part of the game,” Hendricken head coach Ed Holloway said. “We played a good team, a good pitcher, and they just beat us and we didn’t help ourselves.”

Coventry worked the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Garcia grounded into a force out at second base, but his speed got him safely to first, avoiding the double play while knocking in a run from third, giving Coventry the early 1-0 advantage.

Hendricken’s Jordan Marot was pulled in the bottom of the third after walking the first hitter, Josh Andrade. The sophomore pitcher finished the evening, giving up one run on three hits with two walks. Marot was replaced by Nicola Salvaggio. The junior didn’t fare any better, walking the first two batters that he faced, to load the bases. The Hawks would cut down the lead runner Cam Reid when Grossguth grounded out to the third baseman Andrew Flint, who threw home to get the runner at the plate. However, Salvaggio walked in a run after that, putting Coventry up 2-0. Then, Hendricken brought in Kyle Marrapese to try his hand, but it wasn’t any better as Coventry’s Robert Regine knocked in a run giving Coventry a 3-0 edge.

Grossguth may have suffered from some misfortune in the top of the fourth. First, Hendricken’s Andrew Flint reached base after an error on the shortstop. Then, Hendricken’s Carvalho launched a long single off the wall, pulling the Hawks within 3-1. But, Grossguth struck out the next three hitters to walk off without any further damage.

In the bottom of the fifth, Garcia connected for a two-out RBI single to extend Coventry’s lead to 4-1.

Hendricken’s Espinal hit a leadoff double to the warning track in the top of the sixth. With two down, Roberge drove him in, pulling the Hawks within 4-2. After that, Coventry yanked Grossguth in favor of Garcia. The reliever got the Hawks Kevin Gower, to fly out to right for the final out of the inning.

Hendricken played poor defensively in the bottom of the sixth and totaled three errors, which resulted in three Coventry runs, helping the opposition to a 7-2 cushion. 

The Oakers would go on to force a winner-takes-all game against top-seeded South Kingstown on Sunday, but the Rebels locked up their spot at McCoy with a 5-2 victory.

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