BARRINGTON, R.I. ─ The Barrington Baseball team seems to be turning the corner on their season with two huge wins earlier this week, but the Eagles could not contain the ferocious offense of South Kingstown Wednesday afternoon, falling to the Rebels, 12-2.
After a blowout 12-0 win against Toll Gate and a close 3-1 victory over Portsmouth in the past two games, the Eagles could not keep the momentum going, falling behind early and failing to score to counter the Rebels’ offensive attack.
“South Kingstown is a first place team; they really seem to be the cream of the crop,” said head coach Ralph Caruso. “The hallmark of our team [this season] has been good pitching and good defense, as well as getting hits in bunches; today we weren’t quite as strong defensively.”
Senior picher Aaron Harbin took the loss for the Eagles, allowing eight runs over four innings of work, while walking two and striking out none. The Rebels’ Connor Barrett earned the victory, allowing just one run over five solid innings, all while striking out six.
“Aaron is improving every time he goes out,” said Caruso. “He really battles out there; we are really going to need him in this second half of the season.”
The game started out promising for the Eagles, as Barrington put two runners on base with only one out after a single by junior Matt Ferdenzi and junior Retsyn Ootton was given first base on a catcher’s interference, but the Eagles couldn’t capitalize and the first inning ended tied 0-0.
The Rebels offense took over the game in the second, scoring four runs on four hits over the course of the inning, including a two out triple by Nick Hayes that scored two more runs. South Kingstown scored again in the top of the third to make it a 5-0 game, and despite another single by Ferdenzi in the bottom of the inning, the Eagles would fail to score again.
The top of the fourth was another ugly one for Barrington, as an incredible leaping catch by Ferdenzi at second base was overshadowed by sloppy defense which opened the doors to three more runs for South Kingstown. Heading into the top of the fifth, Harbin was relieved on the mound by Ferdenzi, who came in and proceeded to pitch two solid innings of relief. He was also helped out by a much tighter Barrington defense, including a nifty double play turned by junior shortstop Nate Bannon.
The Eagles would finally get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth, when, after Harbin was robbed of an extra base hit by centerfielder Nick Hayes, senior Tyler Thomas doubled to the gap in left center field. An outfield by junior Brett Fay plated Thomas to give Barrington their first run of the day. After a scoreless top of the sixth inning, the Eagles threatened again with a one out single by Bannon, but the junior shortstop would be left on base as his fellow Eagles could not bring him home.
Bannon came in to pitch for Barrington in the top of the seventh inning, in which South Kingstown would score four more runs to put the contest on ice. The Eagles got another run in the bottom of the seventh as a leadoff walk to senior Jack Kelly gave way to a one out double by Thomas to make the game 12-2. Junior David Burbine singled in the next at bat to put two runners on with only one out, but the Rebels would turn a double play on a groundball by sophomore Quinn Morvillo to end the game and end the Eagles short win streak.
“I always use the analogy of ‘The Crucible’: objects in the crucible change when you turn up the heat, and I think we are definitely changing for the better,” said Caruso.
The Eagles drop to 4-7 overall on the season, while the win moves the Rebels up to 9-1 on the year. Barrington will travel to North Kingstown on Friday, May 3, for a rematch of their season opener, while South Kingstown will host Portsmouth on Friday.
There was some silver lining on the afternoon for Barrington, however, as entering the closing innings Matt Ferdenzi, Matt Calitri, Nate Bannon, Brett Fay, and Danny O’Brien were subbed out of the game in order to attend to a ceremony in which the five juniors were inducted into the National Honor Society, a fact Coach Caruso was very proud of.
“We are in a really interesting division; we have definitely seen some excellent pitching performances,” said Caruso. “This is a good league, and the players like the challenge. We are definitely improving: I switched Retsyn and Nate in the [batting] order, and they both seem be more comfortable. We start the second half of the season on Friday and we are looking good.”