The Johnston 8-10 Little League All Stars were walloped by Cranston Western Little League 18-2 in three innings on Tuesday evening at the Michael P. Varrato Baseball Field during the District 1 loser’s bracket final.
CWLL got a complete-game gem from Ezra Small, who struck out four while Lucca Ricci took the ball for Johnston and tossed 2.2 innings and struck out two.
It wasn’t Johnston’s best showing, and it had coach Jamie Ricci reminiscing to just two days prior when his team’s offense erupted for 16 runs.
“We didn’t bring our A game today,” Ricci said. “We showed up flat. But I know Sunday we had a hell of a game. It was probably the best I’ve ever seen these kids play on Sunday when we won 16-4.”
Johnston concludes the tournament with a final record of 2-2.
Overall, Ricci felt good about the way his team performed and he was excited that they were able to play four games.
“I think they did very well,” Ricci said. “We lost our first one, and then we came out and won two after that, and we were fighting. And we just fell flat today. But I’m proud of them. They did a good job.”
Johnston fell in its first contest to North Providence by a final score of 9-5. Then, it won its second game against Elmwood 7-3. In the third game, Johnston trounced Cranston East 16-4 before falling to CWLL on Tuesday night.
CWLL scored its first two runs of the final game during the top of the first inning.
The first run came in when Small, who walked, scored after an error at second base after a batted ball from David Cavalloro, and that gave CWLL a 1-0 edge.
Next, Jeremy Silverio knocked in Cavalloro when he grounded into a fielder’s choice, out at second base, making it 2-0.
In the second frame, CWLL tacked on another run when Matt Gomez launched an RBI single to left field and drove home Dylan Guglietta, upping the CWLL advantage to 3-0.
Then in the third inning, CWLL piled on 14 more runs.
It began with pinch-runner Chase D’Ambra scoring during a passed ball, which extended the CWLL cushion to 4-0.
Next, Gomez belted an RBI single and drove in Nathan DiZoglio and increased the Cranston advantage to 5-0.
Then, Small socked an RBI single to shallow center field and scored Dylan Guglietta, which pushed the CWLL margin to 6-0.
Next, Ricci walked Shane Gaudreu with the bases-loaded, which brought home Gomez and made it 7-0.
Shortly after that, Small scored from third during a passed ball and gave Cranston an 8-0 buffer.
hnston pulled Ricci and brought in Ethan Bracey, a left hander, from the bullpen.
Bracey inherited runners at second and third.
The first batter Bracey saw was Silverio, and he rocketed a shot off the chest of the shortstop, which brought home Cavalloro and put CWLL up 9-0.
Next, D’Ambra, Guglietta, and Nico Testa hit three straight RBI singles and expanded the CWLL margin to 12-0
Then, D’Ambra and Guglietta each scored during two separate passed balls and upped the CWLL lead to 14-0.
Next, with runners at second and third, Small crushed a 2-run double to center field and scored both Gomez and Nate Izzi, making it 16-0.
After that, Cavalloro hit an infield RBI single and knocked in Small, which increased the CWLL lead to 17-0.
Lastly, Albizu hit an RBI single and drove in Cavalloro, and that ballooned the CWLL cushion to 18-0.
Johnston inched within 18-1 in the bottom of the third when Aiden Neil belted an RBI single to the gap in deep left-center for an RBI double and scored Bracey.
Next, Ricci drove in Neil and got Johnston within 18-2.
“I liked the way we finished,” Ricci said. “I always tell my guys to finish strong and they did. They finished strong. It was excellent. I liked it. It gave the crowd something to cheer about.”
CWLL moves on to the Championship at Lee Romano Field in North Providence on Wednesday night. There, CWLL would have to beat North Providence twice to win the title. If necessary, Game 2 of that championship series will be played on Saturday.
“That’s a good Cranston team,” Ricci said. “They’re probably going to go into North Providence and win both games. They’re good.”
Managing Johnston during the tourney was Harry Ogden and assisting him were coaches Jamie Ricci and Marc Waterman.