EAST PROVIDENCE — The L&M Construction-sponsored Riverside Post 10 squad is off to a fast start in defense of its Rhode Island American Legion Junior Division Baseball League title, the locals winners of their first five games played over the last week plus.
Post 10 reached mid-week with a perfect 5-0 record, which leads the Northern Division, after defeating South Kingstown Post 39 by a 12-3 count Monday night, June 30, on the road. Kyle Marquis went the seven-inning distance on the hill for the locals, striking out 12 and allowing just one hit. All three Post 39 runs were unearned. Marquis had a stretch where he struck out eight of nine batters faced between the second and fourth innings.
Offensively, Jared Estrella and Marc LaValley paced Riverside. Estrella drove in two runs with a double while LaValley finished the night 3-for-4. Post 10, which sent Southern Division-leading Post 39 to its third loss in nine outings, scored three times in the second then added four more runs in the fifth to take a commanding lead.
The win was Marquis’ second in two trips to the mound to date. He also earned the decision in an 11-0 win over Woonsocket. Kam Gianlorenzo is 2-0 as well for the locals, picking up victories in a 6-4 win over Cranston-Auburn Post 20 and in a 7-2 triumph over Tom’s Lawn and Garden of Portsmouth. Matt Meystre has the other pitching win for Post 10 in a 12-2 victory over Barrington Post 8.
“We’re a well-round team. We can hit, pitch and play defense, but after seeing some of the teams around the league I don’t think many people are going to touch our pitching,” said Post 10 manager Keith Marquis Sr., who enters his third summer as the Riverside Junior coach. He’s assisted by Keith Marquis Jr., Gary Silva and Mike Gianlorenzo.
Kyle Marquis, Kam Gianlorenzo, Adam Duarte and Tyler Benedetti, all members of this spring’s Division II champion East Providence High School squad, make up Post 10’s starting rotation. LaValley, another of the champion Townies on the team, is the closer.
When not pitching, Marquis plays first base or the outfield, Gianlorenzo is a middle infielder, Duarte is a shortstop, LaValley plays third and Benedetti plays first. EPHS starting catcher Mike Allienello is behind the plate as well for Post 10. Meystre plays first. Estrella and Townie teammate Robert Pereira play the outfield. Another EPHS team member, Derek Silva, plays the infield.
Two more EPHS products are on the team. Riley Cronin is an infielder and Jordan Gibson plays the outfield. City residents and LaSalle Academy students Zach Pipa and Aaron Schneidereit play outfield and catch, respectively. Johnston product Nick Croce is an infielder/catcher. Cranston East football quarterback Logan McConaghy is an infielder. Junior Division players can compete for teams outside their residence or school if spaces on those teams are unavailable.
“I feel we should be very competitive, one of the top two or three teams in the league, if not the best team in the league,” Coach Marquis said. “We’re pushing to repeat. That’s how this team was built. Most of the kids are back from last year. We added a few new kids to round out the team, who we think can help us this year.”
Last summer, Post 10 had the best record during the regular season and finished with a 24-5 record, including the state title and a loss to host South Windsor, Conn., in the Northeast Regional tournament final. This year, the aim of the locals is to win at least won more game.
“We take the season one game at a time. Like I told the kids, we set a goal before the season to win each game, make the playoffs and win the playoffs, make it back to regionals and win it this year,” Coach Marquis said. “We have to forget about last year. It’s a new season, a new team, the rest of the league is different. We just have to be ready to play every time we take the field.”
Post 10 must get ready to play a number of games in a short period of time. Due to East Providence High’s run to the D-II title and Little League Big League Division conflicts, the already condensed Legion schedule is that much tighter for the locals. Riverside basically plays its remaining 14 games over a three-week period before the start of the playoffs.
Post 10’s next home game at Pierce Field is Tuesday night, July 8, against Upper Deck (Lincoln-Cumberland) at 6:30 p.m.