Five-run fifth pro­pels Toll Gate

Lions suf­fer 3rd straight de­feat

Woonsocket Call - - SPORTS - By RYAN D. MUR­RAY Con­tribut­ing writer

The Lin­coln High School base­ball team was handed its third straight de­feat, as Toll Gate se­cured a 10-3 se­nior day vic­tory at Mickey Stevens Sports Com­plex Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

Toll Gate se­nior Matt Martinez earned the win, pitch­ing a com­plete game and strik­ing out three on 87 pitches.

“He got ahead of hit­ters,” Toll Gate coach Nick Du­rand said. “Once we gave him the lead, he filled up the zone. That’s what you got to do.

The Ti­tans’ of­fense was led by its se­niors, Dy­lan Palmiotti and Andrew Ekroth, who con­trib­uted two hits and three RBIs each.

Lin­coln coach Vin Zi­belli felt the Lions were out­played in ev­ery part of the game.

“We’ve got to pitch bet­ter, we got to field bet­ter, and we got to hit bet­ter,” Zi­belli said. “That’s re­ally it to­day. It was just ev­ery facet of the game, base run­ning, from hit­ting to field­ing.”

“You’ve got to give Toll Gate a lot of credit. They played hard. They came out in­spired and they def­i­nitely took it to us in all as­pects of the game to­day.”

Toll Gate didn’t waste any time get­ting on the board.

In the first in­ning, the Ti­tans had the bases loaded when they got a two-run sin­gle from sopho­more right fielder Jake Langevin. Then, with run­ners at first and sec­ond, se­nior sec­ond base­man Ekroth drove in Palmiotti to ex­tend the lead to three.

The Lions pulled within a run in the fourth in­ning when se­nior short­stop Blake Zan­iol hit an RBI sin­gle down the third base­line and drove in ju­nior out­fielder Aaron DeSousa. Shortly af­ter, Zan­iol scored Lin­coln’s sec­ond run when he scored from third af­ter an er­ror at third base.

None­the­less, Toll Gate tacked on two more runs in the bot­tom of the fourth.

First, sopho­more AJ Ucci de­liv­ered an RBI sin­gle. Then, Langevin launched a sac­ri­fice fly to right and scored Ucci, putting the Ti­tans up 5-2.

In the fifth, Toll Gate tacked on five more runs. With run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion, Lin­coln elected to in­ten­tion­ally walk Ucci to load the bases. Palmiotti came up to bat next and made Lin­coln pay when he hit an RBI sin- gle. Dur­ing that same play, Toll Gate had two run­ners near the third base bag, which caused Lin­coln to throw over to sec­ond and that re­sulted in an er­ror, which al­lowed both run­ners to score and gave Toll Gate an 8-2 lead.

Then, with the bases reloaded, Ekroth hit a sac­ri­fice fly to score Palmiotti, mak­ing it 9-2. Fi­nally, on back-to-back passed balls, Ryan Carlson trot­ted in from third and gave Toll Gate a 10-2 ad­van­tage.

In the sixth, Lin­coln se­nior Stephen An­drews blasted a one-out dou­ble to right-cen­ter. Then, Zan­iol sent a sin­gle down the third base­line and scored An­drews, pulling the Lions within 10-3.

It was a rare blowout win for Toll Gate, who im­proves to 3-14 in Divi­sion I on the sea­son.

“We came out loose and the kids had fun and when we do that, we play well,” Du­rand said. “Ab­so­lutely a whole team ef­fort. The younger guys picked up the se­niors and the se­niors set the tone.”

Toll Gate heads to John­ston next Wed­nes­day for its fi­nal game of the sea­son.

“If we can play with the same men­tal­ity that we played with to­day, we’ll be good to go,” Du­rand said.

Lin­coln falls to 8-8 and plays its last two games next week start­ing with Mon­day af­ter­noon’s game at Mid­dle­town. The reg­u­lar sea­son ends Tues­day against Cen­tral.

Photo by Jerry Sil­ber­man / risport­

Af­ter pro­duc­ing a five-game win­ning streak, the Lin­coln base­ball team has now lost three straight games af­ter Thurs­day af­ter­noon’s 10-3 de­feat to Toll Gate at Mickey Stevens Field.

Photo by Jerry Sil­ber­man / risport­

Lin­coln se­nior starter Bran­don Kelly (11) didn’t make it out of the sec­ond in­ning, as Toll Gate scored three times in the first, twice in the fourth and fifth times in the five to hand the Lions their third straight loss, a 10-3 Divi­sion I de­ci­sion Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

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