WARWICK – Collette Vacations Post 79 took care of business in the preliminary round of the R.I. American Legion Senior Division playoffs, sweeping Senerchia Post 74 in two games.
Post 79 got a near-flawless pitching performance from Andrew Veiga during Saturday’s 2-0 victory in Game 2. Veiga only faced 30 batters over nine innings as Collette’s defense once again played a key role in the team’s victory.
“Pitching and defense have been the reason we’ve won our last seven games in a row,” Post 79 coach Ray Ventura admitted. “Our third baseman, Nick Gagnon, has been the backbone of our defense. He has been making some serious plays.”
Saturday’s game was scoreless through six innings before Collette broke through in the seventh. Zach Mitsmenn led off with a bunt single. Ventura then put on a hit-and-run play with Dom DiSano at the plate. DiSano doubled and Mitsmenn came all the way around to score. Max Perry then singled in DiSano for all the runs Post 79 would need.
Perry and Joe Brooks each had two hits for Collette, which improved to 24-11-1 on the season.
Post 79 advances to the “Elite Eight” double-elimination round on Tuesday against Hurd Auto Mall. The two teams will meet at 5 p.m. at McCarthy Stadium in West Warwick.
“We split our two games with Hurd during the regular season,” Ventura said. “They’re a good team with a lot of players from the Scituate area. They finished one game ahead of us in the league season.”
Ventura has his pitching all lined up for this week’s double-elimination phase of the state playoffs. Perry will pitch the opener with Joe Brooks scheduled to pitch on Wednesday. If Post 79 is still alive, Ventura can turn to Eric Geisman or Veiga for Thursday’s game.
“We’re playing our best baseball of the season right now,” Ventura admitted.