EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School baseball team bashed its way to the Division II championship series final over the last two days, sweeping Central in the sides’ semifinal playoff series played June 8 and 9 at Pierce Field in city.
The top-seeded Townies won both games via the 10-Run Rule, taking the opener Sunday by a 12-2 count and the clincher Monday night in the rain by an 12-0 score.
East Providence awaits the winner of the North Smithfield-Classical semifinal series in the D-II finals slated to begin June 17 at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium. The 10th-seeded Northmen defeated the fifth-seeded Purple, 5-3 in 10 innings, June 8 in the opener of their best-of-three semi. Game 2 is set for Pierce Field Tuesday night, June 10, at 7 o’clock.
The Townies had their way with 13th-seeded Central, emphatically dashing the Knights’ Cinderella hopes. Mike Allienello’s three-run double ignited a nine-run E.P. outburst in the bottom of the fifth that brought Sunday’s game to an early end.
Senior left-hander Keith Grant was the winning pitcher, allowing just four hits and fanned four in his five innings of work on the hill for the locals. Kyle Marquis and Jared Estrella had RBI-hits in the contest.
Monday night, Marquis, a junior, was the winning pitcher, twirling the shutout while also allowing the Knights just four hits. Estrella paced the E.P. offense with three hits and two driven in. Adan Duarte also plated a pair as did Jasiah Hatch. The Townies scored five times in the top of the first to take immediate control of the contest.
The semis mirrored East Providence’s 12-1 win over Central back on May 2, but were a far cry from the teams’ first meeting of the year, a 6-2 win by the Knights on April 9. To date, it’s just one of two loses suffered by the Townies in 21 league games played this spring, including the postseason. E.P.’s only other setback came to Mt. Pleasant, 5-1, on May 13.