Above: Tyler Niessing comes into pitch. Photo by Chuck Nadeau
By Cameron Pellegrino
The EG Baseball team hosted the Moses Brown Quakers in a non-league matchup for senior night and the final game of their regular season. EG came into the game at the top of Division II, while Moses Brown had already cemented their position in Division I’s bottom spot. East Greenwich also celebrated senior night for seven seniors: Casey Delorenzo, Robert Brooks, Grogan O’Brien, Michael Ucci, Vincent Purcell, Ryan Marcantonio, and Tyler Niessing.
The Avengers started Clark University commit Vincent Purcell on the mound. The first three innings were quiet for the most part, with the two starting pitchers keeping hitters in check. The Quakers found the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly via starting pitcher Camden Lussier, but the East Greenwich bats had many answers.
Casey Delorenzo, playing shortstop in this one, got the offense started by lacing a triple that brought home 2 runs. EG surged ahead in the bottom of the fourth inning, snatching a 4-1 lead. Michael Ucci came in to pitch the fifth inning, where he struck out all three batters he faced. Throughout the seven inning game, Ucci made an appearance at all nine positions on the field, showcasing his versatility. He will be playing at Nichols College next year. With two innings left to play, East Greenwich retained their 3 run advantage.
“When we have momentum we can’t be stopped,” Delorenzo said afterwards, “We are a team with loads of talent from 1 through 9. We know what we can do and when we play our game no one can beat us regardless of the division.”
Once Moses Brown cut the deficit in half during the top of the sixth inning, the Avengers unleashed an offensive explosion. East Greenwich native Thomas Speltz entered the game to pitch for MB, but was not treated kindly by some of his former teammates in his homecoming. Purcell doubled and brought two runs in to score. Ryan Fay made contact with an RBI single in his lone at bat. After all the damage was done in the bottom of the sixth, the Avengers put across five additional runs to stretch the lead out to 9-2.
Returning from injury, Tyler Niessing came in to pitch for the first time this season, and closed it out for the win. A consolation run for MB brought the score back to 9-3, which is how it ultimately ended. Six out of the seven EG seniors scored a run on senior night. The only senior not to score was Robert Brooks, who posted a stellar performance as the only Avenger with multiple hits. Brooks also made the final catch of the game in center field, after switching gloves with fellow outfielder Cade Thomas and using his non-dominant catching hand to secure the victory. The playoffs are now next up.
“As for the playoffs, we are going to keep the momentum going and look to win a championship,” Delorenzo said. “Again, everyone wants to win and in doing so the team chemistry is phenomenal, everyone works hard all for the same goal of winning a championship.
Entering the Division II double elimination playoff bracket, EG does not yet know who their first opponent will be. Their final record on the season was 16-4 overall, and 14-4 in league games. On Wednesday, Tiverton and Narragansett will battle for the right to face the number one seeded East Greenwich Avengers next Friday.
Cameron Pellegrino, a senior at East Greenwich High School, as been writing for EG News for the past year.