PAWTUCKET – This is a game Collette Vacations Post 79 would like to file away as quickly as humanly possible.
Tuesday’s 7-5 loss to previously winless South Kingstown Post 39 at Max Read Field was the result of a host of mistakes by Collette, both mental and physical. There were five Post 79 errors that led to all seven South Kingstown runs. The home team’s inability to get down a bunt resulted in an ill-timed double play in the sixth, since Post 79 trailed by a run at that juncture. A leadoff double in the fourth was wasted after the baserunner straddled a little too far from the bag on a pop up to shallow left field. The play resulted in an easy S.K. twin killing, one of four Collette amassed.
Things did get off to a promising start in the last of the first as Post 79, fresh off a strong showing in a tournament held last weekend in Oneonta, N.Y., compiled four runs on three hits while sending 10 to the plate.
A sacrifice fly by Andrew Veiga scored fellow St. Raphael Academy chum Zach Mitsmenn for the first run. SRA alum Dom DiSano followed Veiga with a run-scoring double to make it 2-0 before someone other than a player with Purple & Gold ties got into the act for Collette. Shea High graduate Max Perry laced a double into the right field corner that produced another run before Ben Johnson made it 4-0 with a single.
Instead of being more than enough runs for Collette starter Tyler Drainville, via La Salle Academy, to work with, Post 79 endured a nightmarish top of the third. In a span of five S.K. batters, Collete amassed four errors, as routine choppers were badly misplayed. The error free-for-all proved consequential as Post 39 scored six times to grab the lead.
Drainville, the recipient of the leaky play behind him, departed after 2 1/3 innings. On came Nate Patch, who was easily the lone bright in an otherwise forgettable night for Post 79.
A native of Rumford, Patch delivered 4 2/3 innings of one-run relief. The run was unearned, the result of the Collette first baseman and second baseman bumping into one other on a routine pop up in the top of the seventh inning. Patch worked around a leadoff double in the fifth and again in the sixth on his way to registering seven strikeouts. Offensively he added a double and drew a walk.
“He did a nice job,” praised Post 79 manager Ray Ventura, noting that Patch is also Collette’s backup catcher. “He’s consistent and throws the ball over the plate.”
Post 79 had baserunners in every inning after South Kingstown went ahead but could only push across one run over the final four frames. Collette had the tying run at the plate with one down in the seventh before Post 39 turned a 4-3 double play to secure its first in-state win in 17 chances.
“We haven’t been 10-run ruled yet this year,” noted S.K. skipper Mark Hutchins. “We’ve talked about making plays and we were able to do that today.”
Collette, now 7-5-1, finds itself in scramble mode in the final full week of the regular season. The team plays a doubleheader against Upper Deck Post 86 Wednesday at Max Read Field, one of three on the schedule. All told, Post 79 will play eight games between Wednesday and next Monday.