Above: Grogan O’Brien at bat on June 8. Photo by Chuck Nadeau
Casey DeLorenzo beat second seed Barrington for the second time in a week last Friday to send the top-seeded EGHS Avengers to the Division 2 state baseball finals against East Providence.
Barrington forced Friday’s match up by hanging on to beat the Avengers last Wednesday 5 to 4 in EG. The Eagles’ victory sent the teams to Barrington for a winner-take-all clash that started in the rain and finished with the Avengers celebrating under a rainbow that arched over right field.
Both teams scored a run in the first and things remained tense and tight as they headed into the sixth with EG up 3 to 2. As the intermittent rain morphed into a downpour, the Avengers took control of the contest by scoring four runs with two outs. Robert Brooks started the deluge with an infield single and a quick steal of second, his third of the game and 23rd of the season, an EG single-season record. Brooks’s base hit brought the ever-dangerous Cade Thomas to the plate, who lined a double to right to send Brooks home. The Avengers then benefited from a pair of walks and a wild pitch to score again before Ryan Fay drove in his fourth run of the game with his second hit, a sharp single to left. The clutch Fay now leads the team with 26 RBIs in 24 games. Another wild pitch pushed the score to what would be the final of 7-2.
A five-run lead was more than enough for DeLorenzo, who held the hard-hitting Eagles to just a pair of runs en route to his seventh complete game of the season in nine starts. After following up his team’s four-run outburst with a shut down bottom of the sixth, DeLorenzo closed out the victory with 1-2-3 seventh as the rain departed and the sun finally came out. The EG senior is now 7-0 going into the finals.
The Avengers will begin their best-of-three championship series against East Providence Thursday, June 15, at 4:30 at Rhode Island College. Game 2 is slated for Saturday at 4 p.m. If necessary, game 3 will be played on Sunday at a time to be determined. EG beat the Townies with a come-from-behind, walk-off 6 to 5 win during the regular season.
“East Providence is always extremely tough,” Avenger head coach Bill O’Connell said. “They had to win three elimination games in a row to win their side of the bracket. It’s going to be quite a series.”
Here’s a slideshow of photos from the June 8 game against Barrington by Chuck Nadeau and Chip DeLorenzo: