Toll Gate Titans baseball dropped its season opener 9-2 to the East Providence Townies at Pierce Memorial Field on Thursday afternoon.
East Providence junior Julian Reis led the way with two hits and four runs batted in. Titans' junior Connor Tainsh had a hit and an RBI.
Toll Gate senior southpaw Nicholas Cehelsky pitched 3.2 innings, striking out three while giving up two runs on three hits and five walks. Senior right-hander Benjamin Sears started on the bump for East Providence, striking out ten over 5 1/3 innings, while also yielding two runs.
With one out in the top of the second inning, Toll Gate's Tainsh hit a single to knock in Jake Randall and put the Titans up 1-0. With runners on second and third, the Titans tried to tack on more, but a shot to left by William Waggoner was caught by a diving Reis, who laid out and made a spectacular grab.
"The left fielder made a great play for them, keeping it only a one-run inning instead of 3," Toll Gate head coach Nick Durand said.
In the bottom of the second, East Providence evened it at 1 when Clayton Cook hit an RBI-single.
Then, in the bottom of the fourth, East Providence took a 2-1 lead on an RBI-single from junior Joshua Silveira. After that hit, Toll Gate brought in sophomore Darek Lallo in relief and he got the team out of the fourth without any further damage.
However, in the bottom of the fifth, East Providence exploded for four more runs.
With one out, Reis blasted a two-run double, which extended East Providence's edge to 4-1. Then, with two down, Nathan Anselmo hit a shot at the second baseman Andrew Ekroth, who mishandled it and a runner scored from third, making it 5-1.
Toll Gate got a run back in the top of the sixth, when Ekroth's ground ball was overthrown to first and that scored Jacob Paul, the junior catcher, from third.
With two down in the bottom of the sixth, Reis hit a 2-run single to left to put East Providence up 7-2. Then, Alvin Cajigas Martinez hit an
RBI-double and increased the advantage to 8-2. Finally, Keegan Seagrave hit an infield single to knock in a run, giving East Providence a 9-2 lead.
Durand, Toll Gate's head coach, believes that the two errors his team made during the game got the best of them.
"We need to work on the mental part of the game," Durand said. "We beat ourselves after that error to Sears. One error led to a few more and then we put our heads down. We need to be able to pick ourselves up after we make a mistake, instead of allowing it to snowball."