June 22, 2024
East Providence takes on Johnston in a Tuesday game at Johnston

Townies Prevail 1-0 in Extra Inning Pitching Duel Friday

Robitaille tosses masterful game with 10 K shutout performance

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Baseball fans were treated to an old-fashioned pitching duel in a must win playoff game which was tied at 0 at the end of 7 innings. Tim Robitaille pitched a strong 7.2 shutout innings, striking out 10 Chariho batters while scattering three hits. Robitaille’s batterymate Brian Rutkowski was strong behind the plate. With one out in the Townies half of the 8th inning Nolan Lorenz walked. Chariho relief pitcher Ethan Elderkin kept Lorenz close to first with three unsuccessful pick-off attempts, but next batter Oliver Andrews’ sacrifice grounder moved Lorenz to second base. With two outs and the large Townie crowd cheering him on, Gavin Palombo came to the plate. If the Townie third baseman was nervous, he didn’t show it. On a count of two and two, Palombo lined a single to center field and Lorenz wheeled around third and headed home scoring the winning run ahead of the throw. With the win East Providence moves ahead in state playoff action with a game against Johnston High at Johnston in a 6 pm game Tuesday, May 28th.

Townie junior pitcher Robitaille, set down Chariho in order with two strikeouts in the first. In the bottom of the first, East Providence’s promising freshman, Aidan Martins slashed a single to right field on the first pitch and got to second on a nifty Kyler Lorenz sacrifice bunt, but Chariho pitcher Summer stopped further damage with two strikeouts. Robitaille would allow a Charger single to left but ground ball outs to shortstop and third ended the inning. Robitaille would dominate Charger hitters for the rest of the game picking up a total of 10 strikeouts and forcing ground balls which were nicely played by Gavin Palombo at third and Kyler Lorenz at shortstop. At least seven ground balls were handled by the latter with strong throws to Townie first baseman Tyler Dicecco.

East Providence had a chance to score with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, but Summer stopped the threat. On a 3-2 pitch Colin Roche smashed a deep ground-rule double as the drive bounded over the outfield fence on a hop. Dicecco bunted safely to first as Roche moved to third and a walk to Martins filled the bases with Townies. “This was an opportunity for us, but you have to tip your hat to Summer (Chariho pitcher) who was tough all night,” said East Providence coach Bobby Rodericks. “We had a chance there.” A couple of ground ball outs ended the Townie threat.

Robitaille was masterful as he picked up 5 strikeouts over the 5th, 6th and 7th innings. Robitaille started the 8th inning, but a pitch count limit (113) saw him pitch to two batters. He induced a ground out to the mound and struck out his final batter. Robitaille left the game to an ovation from fans. Another Townie Junior pitcher of note, Dylan Annicelli entered the game and quickly shut the door on Chariho with an inning ending strikeout. The rest became history when Palombo’s hit scored N. Lorenz walk-off run.

Almost matching Robitaille’s mound performance was Landon Summer, Chariho’s starting pitcher who also recorded 10 strikeouts. Summer threw 112 pitches and was relieved by Elderkin who threw 67 times. The Townies amassed 4 hits for the game. The Townie hits were from Aidan Martins, Gavin Palombo, Colin Roche and Tyler Dicecco. For Chariho, Darren Clarke, Gavyn Pepler, and Ethan Elderkin each had a hit.

“All I can say is this was a great game,” said Chariho Head Coach Matt Clarke as the game ended. “That’s a good team over there (EP) and we gave it our best.” Clarke went on to say that they (Chariho) also have young pitchers who will be back next year. For his part, East Providence Head Coach Bobby Rodericks continued his mantra after the game by saying, “We play hard to win, one pitch, one at-bat, one play and one game at a time.” East Providence moves ahead to Johnston Tuesday night.

(Story written by Bob Rodericks, Sr. with some stats from GameChanger Media, Inc. all rights reserved. Game photos by Andrea Annicelli).

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