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PROVIDENCE â€” Most coaches will gladly tell you that a win is a win no matter the circumstances. That was certainly the case after Fridayâ€™s three-hour plus affair at Davis Park as Tolman bused back to Exchange Street with a hard-fought 13-8 win against fellow Division II-Central foe Classical.
The Tigers conclude the first week of the season with two league wins under their belts, a pleasant development that head coach Theo Murray will gladly take at this early juncture. Despite pounding out 13 hits, Tolman struggled mightily with runners in scoring position, a key factor that allowed Classical (1-1) to hang around before the home team exploded for five runs in the fifth inning, a barrage that enabled the Purple to tie the game at 5-all.
To the Tigersâ€™ credit, they were able to buckle down, scoring eight runs between the sixth and seventh innings to snap the deadlock. A two-run single by Zach Viveiros capped off Tolmanâ€™s three-run surge in the top of the sixth before the visitors struck for five runs an inning later.
â€śWeâ€™ll take it,â€ť said a relieved Murray. â€śEven though weâ€™re a veteran club, weâ€™re still learning.â€ť
The Tigers featured plenty of hitting stars with Brad McParlin leading the charge with two hits and five RBI. Chris Baldwin finished with two hits while knocking in three with Viveiros adding three hits and two RBI. Carlos Sanabria came through with a run-scoring triple in the top of the seventh inning as part of a three-hit, four-run performance.
McParlin started the game for the Tigers, taking a shutout into the home portion of the fifth. Thatâ€™s when the Purple woke up as a bases-clearing double by Tim Lombardi cut Tolmanâ€™s lead to 5-3. Lombardi was the last batter McParlin faced as Murray made a pitching change with one down.
McParlin finished with eight strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
â€śI thought he did a fine job,â€ť said Murray about his starter. â€śAll of these guys, theyâ€™ve been on limited pitch counts. The most (McParlin) has thrown in a bullpen is in the neighborhood of 50-60 pitches. Once he got past 80, I was pulling him no matter what.â€ť
New Tolman pitcher Andrew Larson began his outing by allowing back-to-back RBI singles that allowed Classical to tie the game at 5-5. His teammates were able to pick the senior up as Tolman struck for some insurance runs in the seventh. A double steal resulted in one run with a perfectly placed suicide squeeze by McParlin leading to another score.
Tolman will face North Providence in an Injury Fund game Saturday before diving back into league play next week with three games. The Tigers welcome Hope to Slater Park on Wednesday before bussing to Mount Pleasant on Friday. The busy stretch wraps up Saturday inside McCoy Stadium with Tolman renewing acquaintances against crosstown rival Shea.