Warwick Continental American walked off the field to the tune of a 13-3 drubbing of Narragansett during the 10-U District 3 Championship on Wednesday evening.
“These kids, they fought tough,” WCA manager John Wheeler said. “We were in a lot of close games throughout the whole thing and it was a close game up until the fourth inning here. And they just always fought back. They never gave up and it feels nice to win four games and win the District 3 title.”
Chase Prata got the start on the mound for WCA and pitched five innings and struck out ten while walking three and yielding three earned runs.
Finley Hohl pitched three innings for Narragansett and struck out five while walking four and giving up five runs, one of which was earned.
Braiden Sawyer led the WCA offense with three hits, two RBI and three runs scored, while Braeden Geer added two hits with two RBI and a walk.
Prata also chipped in for WCA at the dish with a hit, plus an RBI and two runs scored, while Timothy Blackwood added a hit and an RBI with a run scored.
The Narragansett offense was headed by Trevor Bonner, who had three hits, an RBI, and a run scored, Greg Fleury, one hit, one RBI and a run scored, and Sam Amargo, a hit, a walk and an RBI.
WCA drew a 1-0 lead during the bottom of the first frame when Sawyer, who led off with a double to center field, came home after back-to-back errors.
In the second frame, WCA extended its advantage to 2-0 when Prata scored from third, following a passed ball.
Narragansett cut the deficit to 2-1 in the third inning when Bonner belted an RBI double to deep left field, which drove in Fleury all the way from first base.
Next, Amargo walloped a one-out RBI double to deep left field and drove home Bonner, which knotted the game at 2.
But in the bottom of the third, WCA drew some separation again.
With the bases loaded and one out, Prata knocked in Nick Andruchow when he grounded out to the shortstop for the second out and that gave WCA a 3-2 advantage.
Then, with Ryan Santo and Jack Proulx on second and third base respectively, they each scored during the same passed ball and upped the WCA margin to 5-2.
In the fourth frame, Narragansett inched within 5-3 when Colton Fredette, who hit a leadoff triple, scored from third following an error.
WCA got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Geer launched a two-out RBI double to center field, which scored Sawyer from second base and made it 6-3.
Then, in the fifth frame, WCA put the nail in the coffin.
Santo started things with a leadoff single before moving to third after two passed balls.
Next, James Boughman brought him home with an RBI single, which he ripped by the second baseman, and that put WCA up 7-3.
Boughman took second base following an error at first base, and then Skylar Hawes came on to pinch- run for Boughman and she scored following back-to-back passed balls, which upped the WCA buffer to 8-3.
After that, Prata walked and then scored after three errors and extended the WCA lead to 9-3.
Next, Blackwood belted an RBI single past the shortstop and scored Brady Slinn from third base, ballooning the WCA cushion to 10-3.
Then, Sawyer blasted a two-run double to right field and scored both Blackwood and Manny Loud, who was hit by a pitch, and upped the WCA cushion to 12-3.
Lastly, Geer rocketed a shot to right-center and scored Sawyer from second base, which gave WCA the 13-3 walk-off win.
The triumph also meant WCA finished the tourney undefeated and a lot of that credit has to go to the starting pitching of both Prata and Sawyer.
“Chase is a rock star,” Wheeler said. “Chase and Braiden Sawyer. They ran us all the way through this. We were able to stay in the winner’s bracket and we pitched them all the way through and both of them were just lights out throughout this whole thing. It definitely made it easy as a coach for sure.”
“Every one of my 13 players stepped up in one way or another in this tournament,” Wheeler added. “Nick Andre was a rock behind the plate. Passed balls, he blocked everything. He was a wall. And he had some huge hits throughout the playoffs too, and some big plays. So, a big team effort for sure.”
WCA limited the offense of Narragansett, a team who normally scores a ton of runs.
“We kept the walks down,” Wheeler said. “We put a lot of balls in play and we made our plays on defense. So, we held them to three runs and they had scored, I think in the last three games, 12, 14, and 12 in runs, and to hold that team to 3, it was a great job by the team for sure. And they’re a really good team.”
Helping out Wheeler and the WCA 10-U squad during the championship run were coaches Dave Geer and Mike Andruchow.
“The three of us are a great team,” Wheeler said. “And for sure, it’s a team effort. Coaches, players, the whole league.”
“It’s a solid league,” Wheeler added. “I’m proud to be part of Warwick Continental American for sure.”
Prata’s arm was tired after his ten-strikeout performance, but he was content with the result.
“It was good,” Prata said with a smirk. “I threw my arm out.”
The young ace will be ready to go when WCA moves on to the state tournament this weekend.
“We’re going to win,” a confident Prata said.