By ALEX SPONSELLER After getting an opening round win over R&R Construction in three games, the top-seeded Warwick Tree Post junior American Legion team fell to Upper Deck in two games of the semifinals to be eliminated from the playoffs. "It was a very
By ALEX SPONSELLER After getting an opening round win over R&R Construction in three games, the top-seeded Warwick Tree Post junior American Legion team fell to Upper Deck in two games of the semifinals to be eliminated from the playoffs.
“It was a very good season for these kids. Although it was cut short, it was a good season and it was a lot of fun,” said Warwick manager Sean Rainey.
Upper Deck took the first game 7-4. Aidan Dumond, Dylan Vale and Jayden Pina all knocked in runs in the loss. Warwick led 4-2 heading into the final inning, but Upper Deck would score five runs in the top half of the inning to take the 7-4 lead which would eventually be enough to get the victory.
Upper Deck won a tight Game 2 by a score of 3-2 to punch its ticket to the state championship. Warwick took a 2-1 lead in the third inning, but the Upper Deck offense would score a run in the fourth and fifth to take over.
Dumond and Matt Colvin knocked in Warwick’s runs. Andrew Hatch went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Vale had a solid day on the mound for Warwick, pitching six innings and allowing just two runs while striking out three batters.
“We just didn’t get the timely hits like we were getting. The other team also made some plays. We were up 4-2 in the first game and then things fell apart in the seventh. Then it was 3-2 in the second game and there were a couple of close calls on the basepaths that could have been the difference,” said Rainey.
Warwick will now set its sights on 2022 and expect a nice size core to return with some promising middle schoolers on the way.
“We’ll hopefully have about 10 people returning and then a few seventh graders stepping up into some spots. The future looks good,” said Rainey, who also hopes the loss will motivate the players next time around. “It’s immense because they all wanted to take that trip to New York for regionals. They are really driven and this bummed them out. Hopefully that sticks with them and drive them to want to be better players.”
Rainey will remember this team for one for one thing.
“Resilience,” said Rainey. “This team never gave up and fought until the last out. They had a desire to go to better places.”