The Huskies stormed outfielder Aidan Ramaglia who stood on second base after he hit a groundball base hit up the middle to score Matt Gale and Caleb DeCastro and give the Huskies an improbable 10-9 walk-off victory at Guiteras Field on Friday afternoon.
The Huskies stormed outfielder Aidan Ramaglia who stood on second base after he hit a groundball base hit up the middle to score Matt Gale and Caleb DeCastro and give the Huskies an improbable 10-9 walk-off victory at Guiteras Field on Friday afternoon. Both Division I teams hit and scored runs in bunches in an exciting game of new East Bay rivals that sported several lead changes and wasn’t finished until the final run crossed the plate. Mt. Hope is currently on a four game winning streak and have improved their record to 8-7, while the loss drops East Providence to 5-10.
“The team is really playing good baseball right now,” said Mt. Hope head coach Mike Mazzarella. “It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win and we’ll take it. I’m proud of the boys.”
“It was a big bounce-back week for us,” said Ramaglia after the game, noting that the Huskies had previously lost seven straight. “I saw the infield playing in and I love that. I can just hit it on the ground and it’ll sneak through.”
Ramaglia the Huskies senior centerfielder last played for the baseball team as a freshman. He then took two years off and came back to play his senior year. He began the year off slow, but the Mt. Hope football quarterback has started to heat up as of late. Against East Providence, the righty went two for three with a triple, a single and a sacrifice bunt. He reached base three times, scored two runs and drove in one from the team’s nine spot.
“We have a lot of momentum going right now,” said Coach Mazzarella. “The team is playing hard and we have figured some things out and are really making the right strides that we need to make as a team.”
The Huskies offense got the momentum started as they bashed 17 hits and drove in seven runs off Townies pitchers Elijah Barber and Ziurel Vargas.
Standish RBI gives Huskies a 1-0 lead
The hitting started in the first inning when senior catcher Jack Standish drove in Dayton Van Amberg with a hit to right field for a 1-0 Mt. Hope lead. The Huskies had three hits, but stranded two during the inning.
Annicelli plates 2 for the Townies
Mt. Hope starting pitcher Brad Denton ran into control problems in the top of the second inning after pitching a scoreless first. Denson, six strike outs, allowed four hits and four runs in five innings of work, walked the first three East Providence batters to start the inning. Townies freshman first baseman Dylan Annicelli stepped to the plate and smashed a Denson pitch into left field to score McDuff and Colin Roche to give the Townies a 2-1 lead.
Huskies tie it 2-2
The Huskies tied the score in the bottom of the second. With two out, Ramaglia smacked a 1-1 pitch into the left field gap and slid into third with a triple. Freshman right fielder Ethan Santerre placed a Barber pitch into right field to score Ramaglia and even the score at 2-2. Barber struck out the side in the third and Denson settled down as well, striking out two in the third inning and two more in the fourth.
Huskies score six runs in the bottom of the fourth
The Huskies offense broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth. Standish, Gale, DeCastro, Ramaglia, Santerre and Van Amberg all came around to score as Mt, Hope belted six hits off Barber, who was replaced by Vargas late in the inning.
Determined Townies refuse to lose
The determined Townies refused to lose and were spurred on by a two-run blast by senior Vinny Enright. Manny Santos singled to lead off the inning. Vargas popped out to Matt Gale and with one out and one on, Enright tattooed a Denson pitch well over Ramaglia’s head. He hustled around the bases, dove head first into home plate and chest bumped Barber waiting in the on deck circle as the Townies cut the lead to 8-4.
Vargas settles, Townies roar back
Vargas and the East Providence defense held the Huskies scoreless in the fifth and sixth as the Townies offense mounted a comeback and scored four runs in the top of the sixth to even the score. Ethan Santerre came on in relief of Denson and walked infielder Kyler Lorenz to start the inning. Santerre struck out Tim Robitaille who replaced Annicelli at first base and second baseman Oliver Andrews. He hit Santos to give the Townies runners at the corners and after a steal, walked Vargas to load the bases. Enright hit a towering pop fly that Santerre lost in the sun and dropped to score Lorenz from third base.
The Townies with new life, scored three more to tie the game. Barber smacked a single into the left the field gap to score Santos and Vargas and Matt McDuff 's hit drove in Enright as East Providence knotted the score 8-8.
“Ethan throws strikes,” said Coach Mazzarella. “We had a couple of bad bounces. We try not to dwell on the negatives. He put it behind him, got threw it and put his team in a situation to win.”
Townies take the lead in the top of the seventh
The Townies took a 9-8 lead in the top of the seventh. With two outs, Andrews the Townies freshman nine hitter who had struck out his three previous times up, laced a single to right field. The speedy second baseman then raced around the bases to score as Santos, the Townies lead off hitter, crushed a hit into the left field gap. The Townies came out of the dugout and celebrated with Andrews after battling back to take the lead. Santerre struck out Vargas to end the inning, but the damage was done.
Mt. Hope reeling, but not finished
Mt. Hope was reeling with the bottom of the lineup due up and Vagas cruising. But Gale, the team’s seven hitter, stepped to the plate and bashed a fly ball to right field over Roche’s head. The Townies left fielder immediately scrambled for the ball as Gale rounded first base. The big righty smiled as he put on the brakes at second base, only to restart his advance as Coach Mazzerella vehemently urged him to come to third base.
“That hit was an absolute energy booster,” Coach Mazzarella said. “That hit was awesome.”
The crowd cheered as Gale stood at third base with a stand up triple. DeCastro attempted to bunt Gale home, but instead settled for a walk. Ramaglia stepped to the plate with no outs and a pitch later the speedy DeCastro quickly stole second base to put the tying and winning runs in scoring position. The Huskies centerfielder placed a seeing eye hit by Lorenz, the Townies shortstop. Gale scored the tying run as the ball rolled into left centerfield. DeCastro scored the winning run as the throw from the outfield came in wide of home plate. The Huskies erupted and raced out to jump on Ramaglia as the Townies, who pulled off a comeback for the ages themselves, stood solemnly at home plate waiting to shake the hands of their new division rivals.
Making the playoffs
Mt. Hope is currently in the sixth seed according to Coach Mazzarella and he’s excited that the Huskies are even fathoming about the playoffs.
“It’s a huge deal. Now that we are here. We are greedy and want more,” said Coach Mazzarella. It doesn’t sit well with the coach that the team plays to just make it to the playoffs. The Huskies want to win.
“The team doesn’t want that either. We want to win every game that we play. That’s the mentality that we have.”
Next up for the Huskies and Townies
The Huskies have four games left to their regular season. They play at East Providence on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m., at Lasalle on Thursday at 4 p.m., at Tolman on Saturday at 11 a.m. and they host LaSalle for the last regular season game on Tuesday 5/24.
East Providence hosts Mt. Hope on Tuesday at Pierce Field at 3:45 p.m., North Kingstown on Friday at 4 p.m., Travels to North Kingstown on Tuesday, 5/24 and travels to Smithfield on Thursday, 5/26.
Van Amberg pitches gem
Dayton Van Amberg pitched a gem against Central High School on Thursday, 5/12. “Dayton had a no hitter going into the sixth inning. He was a dog all day long. He picked the team up,” said Coach Mazzarella. The team hadn’t used Van Amberg as a starter for a week or two, so he could get adjusted to playing shortstop in the stead of Parker Camelo who the team moved to second base due to an injury.
North and South Kingstown a gauntlet
Mt. Hope began the season with a 4-0 winning streak then played first and second place North and South Kingstown. The Huskies went 0-4 and lost three more games before righting the ship. “That’s a gauntlet,” quipped Coach Mazzarella. “They are a different breed. But in my opinion, any dog any day. Anyone can win or lose a game. We certainly have the pitching and our offense is starting to come around, which is really what we needed. If we hit well, it takes the pressure off our pitchers.
Matt Gale starting to become force
“The thing that Matt does is puts the team first and himself second,” said Coach Mazzarella. Gale the team’s first baseman went two for two and scored two runs against the Townies.
“Whether he’s struggling or not, he’s working hard,” Coach Mazzarella said. “That hit he had in the seventh, I couldn’t be happier for Matt.”
Camelo shifts to second base
Parker Camelo, the team’s every day shortstop before he injured his shoulder, has healed up and is now the Huskies everyday second baseman. It is a shorter throw that doesn’t bother the junior’s shoulder according to Coach Mazzarella. Though the go-all-out Camelo dove for a fly ball up the middle and came down on it hard during the game on Friday. He got up and waved into the dug out that he was alright.