There’s no doubt about it. The Tiverton Tigers played a complete game.
They made the defensive plays when they needed them, including some big catches in the outfield. They put the pressure on offensively, with consistent hitting and strategic base-stealing. And they got the pitching they were looking for from senior leader Mitchell Hartnett who remains undefeated in his first three starts.
The Tigers could do little wrong on Monday afternoon as they defeated their rival, the Mt. Hope Huskies, 10-0 in six innings at Guiteras Field in Bristol. After an inconsistent start to the season, the Tigers improve to 3-3 and earn their first road win of the year with the victory.
“We played very well today,” said Tigers head coach Carl Reid. “We had guys getting on base up and down the lineup. We swung the bat pretty well. Very good defense, but it all comes back to pitching, and I thought Mitchell (Hartnett) did a great job.”The Huskies struggled defensively throughout the game and it didn’t take long for the Tigers to take advantage. Tiverton scored five runs in the second inning, starting with junior Alex DeSantis’s ground ball double that brought two runners home with the bases loaded. Sophomore Evan Nelson shot a ground ball in between third and second, bringing home Hartnett to make it 3-0, and senior Robert Kiser brought home another run in the monster inning. Right off the bat, Tiverton had a commanding 5-0 lead.
With the pitcher replaced, Mt. Hope continued to struggle. Their defensive plays lead to numerous errors, and their pitching was consumed by the relentless Tiger offense. The Huskies would rotate three pitchers into the game before it was all over.
By the bottom of the fourth inning, Tiverton lead 7-0. But the Huskies started to push back, figuring out some of Hartnett’s pitches and getting some strong hits. It was then that the Tigers defense stepped up to the challenge.
It started with an incredible reach at first base by senior Hayden Costa to get an out. Then, it was Kiser with an amazing dive and grab in center field off a fly ball to get another out. Then, a strikeout by Hartnett to end the inning.
You could feel that the Huskies were itching for a comeback, trying to get on base. But the Tiverton defense wouldn’t allow it, coming up with huge plays in the field to not only keep Mt. Hope off the scoreboard, but also off the bases.
“(Defensive plays in the outfield) were very big,” Reid said. “We have a lot of speed out there. I thought the guys did a great job going to get the ball.”
At the top of the sixth Tiverton struck again, bringing home two more runs off a triple by junior Eli Roeske to increase the lead to 9-0. Tiverton would end the top of the inning with a 10-0 lead.
In a last ditch effort to advance the game further, the Huskies bats started to find their target. But once again, they were stopped by a stellar play in the Tigers outfield, this time junior Alex Pavao with a diving grab off a long fly ball. After a strikeout by Hartnett, the Tigers would end the game with a win.
The Tigers next home game is this Friday, as they take on West Warwick High School at 4 p.m.