Tigers mercy-rule Classical at McCoy
Poor baserunning can’t stop home rout
PAWTUCKET – His team had just dusted Classical, 10-0, in an important Division IICentral clash that ended prematurely due to the Interscholastic League’s mercy rule on Wednesday afternoon, but Tolman High skipper Theo Murray sounded much like Bill Belichick following a Patriots’ loss, and prepared the interviewer for such.
The only statement missing, perhaps, was, “We’re on to Warwick Vets.”
“We won the game, and we’ll take it,” Murray said simply. “We’ve got a really big game against Warwick Vets (today at 4 p.m. at Slater Park’s Ted McConnon Memorial Field), and we have to play well.”
When asked about a few baserunning gaffes during the latest tilt, he offered a mischievous grin while stating, “I don’t want to say anything, except we need to have a solid game against Warwick.”
He barely addressed the fact that junior righty Peter Microulis had tamed the Purple lineup with a stellar three-hit, no-walk, two-whiff performance before at least 100 fans inside McCoy Stadium, or that the same kid had finished 1-for-3 with a double, walk, three RBI and a run.
He said nothing about sophomore Adam Tremblay’s two-run, two-out, walk- off double that enforced the mercy rule during the bottom of the fifth frame, or the fact seven of his starters recorded at least a hit; or that four managed two hits or more.
Still, facts are facts, and – courtesy of the win – the Tigers improved to 6-5 in league action, and can do more damage in the standings with a triumph over the Hurricanes this afternoon.
Tremblay led his troops at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored.
Classmate Noel Hernandez finished 2-for-2 with a walk and a run; junior Tim Greene 2-for-3 with an RBI and run; sophomore Ethan Bernardo 1for-3 with a run; classmate Kyle Depatie 2-for-4 with an RBI; and junior Aaron Massey 0-for-0 with three free passes.
Classical fell to 2-8 in league play after junior righthander Juan Reynoso surrendered six hits, five runs (three earned) and a half-dozen walks without fanning a Tiger over the initial three innings.
You’d have thought that Microulis would be more enthused about his outing, though his demeanor resembled his head coach’s after the blowout.
“I knew I wanted to throw the outside fastball, and I did that because I knew I could hit my spots; that worked OK,” he said. “I hit those spots, and I guess my curveball was pretty good.”
Asked about how he felt about the verdict, he grinned shyly, “I don’t know.”
Mircoulis yielded his first hit of the afternoon with two down in the top of the first; that went to senior Zach Odsen, but nothing came of it.
Perhaps Murray’s consternation came after the back half of the opening frame. Leadoff batter Microulis opened it with a walk, and senior batterymate Ricky Bourdeau singled him to second. Kyle Depatie then lofted a fly ball toward second base, which later fell, and Microulis scampered to third.
After second baseman Vincent Welch fired to third to catch Microulis attempting to advance, the home plate umpire called for a double play, as the pop-up was an automatic infield-fly rule.
Reynoso then delivered walks to juniors Brett Gaudreau and Aaron Massey to fill the bags, but Bernardo fouled to catcher Earlyn Hernandez to skirt the threat.
Tolman seemed destined to repeat its baserunning woes in the second when Tremblay flew out to center and Noel Hernandez walked, but was quickly picked off. Greene, however, drilled a ground single to center, then stole second. When Microulis lofted a lazy fly to left, junior Sam Bush dropped it, allowing Greene to score.
The latter moved up when Bourdeau walked, and Kyle Depatie plated him with a hit to left, giving the Tigers the 2-0 lead.
In the interim, Microulis sailed, retiring six consecutive batters before striking sophomore Chris Hernandez with two outs in the third, yet he escaped unharmed.
The hosts threatened – and succeeded – in the bottom half. Bernardo reached on a fielder’s choice, and Tremblay and Noel Hernandes both singled to fill the bases. That’s when Microulis bludgeoned a threerun double down the left-field line to increase the lead to 5-0.
It could’ve been more if not for a superb, lunging catch of Bourdeau’s line drive by center fielder Odsen.
Classical seemed poised to spoil Microulis’ shutout bid in the fourth when junior Roberto Reyes poked an infield hit, classmate Reynoso reached on a fielding error and Dan Karlin knocked an opposite-field single to right.
With the bases loaded, though, Microulis fanned senior David Torres, then forced Earlyn Hernandez to ground out to second to end the potential surge.
Tolman tacked on two more in the bottom half, all against reliever Erik Robles; after Gaudreau beat out an infield miscue, Massey drew a pass. Bernardo then crushed a rope single to center, yet Odsen caught Massey allegedly overrunning the middle bag for the second out.