The Panthers were beaten 4-1 by the Cranston West Falcons at Johnston Memorial Park on Friday afternoon in Division I baseball.
Both West junior Massimo Feroce and Johnston sophomore Matt Fortier pitched complete games with four strikeouts apiece.
The Falcons got on the scoreboard during the top of the first, when Noah Cook, a senior, belted an RBI double through the middle and drove in Matt Carvalho, a junior, which put the Falcons up 1-0.
In the second inning, West added two more runs to its edge.
First, Anthony Cardi, a senior, hit an RBI single and knocked in Tom Barbieri, which extended the Falcons’ edge to 2-0. Then, Evan Degaitas, also a senior, belted an RBI single over the second base bag, which brought home Cardi and upped the West advantage to 3-0.
In the fifth inning, the Falcons tacked on another run when Carvalho launched an RBI single to deep center, which scored Degaitas and increased the West cushion to 4-0.
Johnston’s lone run came in the bottom of the fifth when Robert Civetti, a senior, socked an RBI single, which drove in Nathan Fortier, also a senior, and inched the Panthers within three at 4-1.
In the seventh, Johnston filled the bases on hits from Andrew Clesas and Luke Vincent, plus a walk from Anthony Scivola.
Nonetheless, with one out, Civetti grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and that ended the ballgame.
“We’re struggling,” Johnston manager Joseph Acciardo said. “We were getting hits with a couple outs, but we’re not putting a string of hits together and scoring.”
Johnston had seven hits in the contest compared to West’s eight, but the Panthers could only muster the one run.
“The pitching’s doing well, but we’ve got to put more than a couple runs up,” Acciardo said. “And near the end we put a big push on, and we told the guys we got to have more innings like that. You can’t wait until the seventh inning and try to get up and get pumped up and make it happen. If we did that early on, we would have been fine.”
Johnston falls to 3-4 in Division I with the loss and plays next on Wednesday at Moses Brown (3-2) at 4 p.m.