The Barrington Little League Major Division all-stars will compete for the state’s District II title this Sunday after a 13-4 home win against Darlington American (Darlington) Wednesday night.
The victory was Barrington’s fourth in a row as the team looks to advance out of district play and into the state Major Division tournament. Barrington previously defeated Bristol (19-3), East Providence (9-2) and Portsmouth (4-3).
Despite the final score, Barrington’s match with Darlington was a tight contest through the first three innings. Pitchers for each side looked a bit shaky in the first inning though both managed to escape without significant damage.
Barrington’s Cabot Maher walked the first two batters he faced before rendering a single to load the bases with no outs. After a three-pitch strikeout, Darlington plated its first run on a passed ball though Barrington’s defense would stop the bleeding with a double play. Darlington’s Colin Gauthier hit into a 6-3 ground out before Barrington’s first baseman Matt Hurley threw home to tagout Darling first baseman Brendan Aldridge, who was attempting to score from third.
Barrington responded quickly in the stanza’s bottom half. Short stop Chase Griffin got things rolling with a single up the middle and didn’t waste much time stealing second. He was brought home by a stand-up double to right-center field off the bat of second baseman Jake Studley though this would mark Barrington’s only run of the inning. The home-team left two runners on base after Darlington pitcher Kyle Depatie struck out the side.
The next two innings featured quiet bats for both teams with the score staying at a 1-1 stalemate. Maher sat down Darlington one-two-three in the second and faced only four batters in the third. Barrington, in turn, left a single runner on base in their plate appearances in the second and third.
The fourth inning, however, was a much different story.
Darlington came out swinging early with a ground rule double to left field. The visitors soon loaded the bases with one out following a hit-batter, a strikeout and a single. During the sequence, Barrington made the switch from Maher to relief pitcher Michael Pfeffer.
Darlington scored its second run of the game on single by catcher Nick Crawley, which took a tough bounce towards second base. Second baseman Chris Pierce came across the plate but, in a bit of a base-running blunder, Darlington’s James Coleman was thrown out after rounding second with third base occupied.
Pfeffer would end the threat with a strikeout.
Barrington’s response in the bottom half was emphatic. It was also the definition of a team effort. Matt Carranza was first up and drew up a walk. Darlington’s Depatie then hit the next two Barrington batters, Aidan Gasbarro and Tucker Flint, loading the bases with no outs. Depatie was then replaced by Darlington short stop Sean Dunphy.
Barrington’s next batter, Griffin, brought the game even with a single over the third baseman. Next up was Studley, who cleared the bases with a three-RBI triple to left center field.
After yet another hit batter, Barrington outfielder Andy Marra, who stole second without a throw, Barrington first baseman Matt Hurley tripled on a shot to right that snuck under the right fielders glove. Barrington third baseman Colin Scorpio then provided Hurley with an easy stroll home courtesy of a homerun over the right-center field fence.
Barrington would end the inning with a pair of fly outs and two runners on base.
In the fifth, Darlington pulled to within five on a pair of solo home runs, one from Depatie and a monster shot from Dunphy but Barrington answered back once again in the bottom half. Griffin and Studley both singled up the middle before Marra drew a walk. After Darlington’s second pitcher change, Hurley knocked a double up the middle, scoring two, then Scorpio single to the left side scoring one.
Barrington added one more in the bottom of the fifth and stopped Darlington from scoring in the top of the sixth.