Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 04-24-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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North Providence Edition Sports & Recreation APRIL 24-30, 2019 valleybreeze.com @ NORTH PROVIDENCE – Before North Providence High head baseball coach Dean Garganese addressed his team in left field last Wednesday afternoon follow- ing its 4-1 triumph at home over Scituate, a victory that was his team's fifth Division II win in six games, it dawned on him that even though the calendar read April 17, one- third of the Cougars' schedule was already in the books. "And it went by in the blink of an eye," he said. "But we're pleased with our record right now. If you said at the beginning (of the season) that after the first third of the sea- son, we'd only have one loss, I would have took that in a heartbeat." Last Wednesday's victory was the second in three wins last week for the Cougars, who kicked off the week with a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Spartans at Manning Field, came back 24 hours later to take the back end of their "home and away" series with Scituate, and capped the week last Friday with a 12-1 mercy-rule victory over Woonsocket at the Novans' Renaud Field that improved their record to 6-1. While the Cougars' fan- tastic start is their best since 2012, "we're also conscious of the fact that we still have a long, long way to go," added Garganese. "There are some real good teams that we still have to play." The Cougars, who are back in D-II this season for the first time since 2006, took on one of the D-II's top teams in Scituate, which entered last week with a 3-1 mark and one of the division's best pitchers, Wheaton College- bound senior Max Pierce, on the hill for the series opener. Pierce pitched two-hit ball in five innings of work, striking out 11 batters and walking one as he delivered 94 pitches and exited the game with a 4-2 lead. But the Cougars greeted his reliever, Ben DeAngelis, by scoring twice in the top of the sixth inning on RBI singles by Matt Mandeville and Jeremy Gervais and producing the eventual winning run in the seventh. With one out, a walk to Nick Conte, base hit by P.J. Rioles, and intentional walk to Peter Pimentel set the stage for Marcus Brotherns, who drove in Conte with a sacri- fice fly to center field. That made a winner out of NP southpaw pitcher Dom Pontarelli, who struck out five batters, walked none and scat- tered eight hits. Only one of the four runs he allowed was earned – the Cougars made five errors behind him. The Cougars, who ended up with seven hits, received a single and a double from Rioles, two hits from Pimentel, and a solo home run to right field in the first inning from Conte. The following day's victory saw Rioles take the mound and pitch a four-hitter that raised his record to 3-0. Rioles, who struck out just three batters, was one out away from tossing his first varsity shutout, but back- to-back hard-hit doubles by Pierce and Logan Butkins with two outs in the seventh spoiled his bid. Offensively, the Cougars did all their damage in the bottom of the first inning off Butkins, who also ended up with a four-hitter, but none coming after the opening inning. The first run scored when Tom Krikorian led off with a walk, and after he took second on a passed ball, he scored on a double to right field by Conte that the right fielder lost in the sun. With two outs and Conte on third, the Cougars added to their lead. Pimentel lined a single to center to drive in Conte, and he scored all the way from first on a double by Brotherns that found the gap in left-center field. Brotherns then came home with the Cougars' fourth run on a high pop fly in the infield by Mandeville that the Spartans' Triple play NPHS baseball team improves to 6-1 in D-II with sweep of Scituate, 12-1 rout of Woonsocket By ERIC BENEVIDES Valley Breeze Sports Editor sports@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY ERIC BENEVIDES All eyes are on North Providence runner PETER PIMENTEL, #9, as he scores all the way from first base on a close play at the plate, sliding under the tag by Scituate catcher EVAN PENDERGAST, in the bottom of the first inning of last Wednesday afternoon's game. The Cougars scored four times in that inning and ended up posting a 4-1 victory. See BASEBALL, Page 14 Jain's Laundry LOWEST PRICE IN TOWN NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART EQUIPMENT LOCATED ON THE NORTH PROVIDENCE/JOHNSTON LINE 1 MILE FROM NORTH PROVIDENCE HIGH SCHOOL Plaza 44 • 39 Putnam Pike, Johnston 231-7019 Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 7 a.m.-8 p.m. WASH • DRY • FOLD Drop Off Service only 69¢ per lb. 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