Young Villa Novans chase Div. II-A’s final playoff berth

Young Villa Novans chase Div. II-A’s final playoff berth

Baseball team grabs big win over Scituate, wraps up busy week today with big game vs. Tiverton

WOONSOCKET – The Woonsocket High baseball team played well enough to win its Division II-A game against St. Raphael Academy last Saturday morning at Renaud Field, but the Saints found a way to plate two runs in the top of the seventh inning and hold on for a 6-5 win.

The loss was the Novans’ second in four days to the Saints, who had walked off with a 5-4 victory in their first meeting on a run-scoring single by Ben Force in the bottom of the seventh inning.

But the Novans came back on Monday afternoon to post a 9-4 victory over Scituate, as they battled back from a 4-0 deficit after an inning of play and received an outstanding game from senior Nick Strojny, who pitched five scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win and collected three hits and four runs batted in at the plate.

Entering Tuesday’s action, Woonsocket was 2-8 and still in the playoff hunt. The Novans trailed fourth-place Tiverton, which was 3-8 with four games to play this week, by a half game in the standings. Woonsocket, which visited Tiverton on Tuesday afternoon, will host the Tigers today at 5 p.m.

“I have a young team,” Brien said. “We’re taking some bumps now, but if we can sneak into the playoffs, I really believe we can do some damage out there.”

In last Saturday’s game, Woonsocket outhit SRA, 10-2, and came back from a 4-0 deficit to take a 5-4 lead, and the Novans’ comeback began when they scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Jaden Violette started it off with a base hit to left field, and after Peter Santana Jr. singled to right, Violette came home on Ethan Allaire’s single to center. Sean Anelundi drew a walk to load the bases, and Josh Duprey hit a long sacrifice fly to center. Santana tagged up and easily scored, and Allaire came in when the late throw to the plate sailed past the catcher.

In the fifth, the Novans tied the game when Strojny reached on an infield single, stole second, went to third on a groundout, and scored on an infield error, and in the sixth, the hosts took the lead when Jesus Lanzo scored on a throwing error.

But with one out in the seventh, the Saints answered back by putting runners in scoring position. A flyout to shallow right field moved the Villa Novans one out away from winning the game, but an infield error on an infield grounder allowed Force and Nolan Potter to score the tying and go-ahead runs.

Despite the defeat, the Novans received multiple-hit games from Strojny and Violette and some solid pitching from their starter, freshman Shayne Godin, and reliever, sophomore Jeremey Vitiello.

Monday’s victory saw Strojny allow two hits and strike out four batters in his stellar relief outing, and Adam Beaudry pitch a scoreless seventh to earn a save. Andreas Lopez also produced two hits and three RBIs, and Santana scored three runs.

After Monday’s game against Scituate, the Novans found themselves having to play three more games in as many days, their two against Tiverton and another one on Wednesday against East Greenwich, but Brien believes the future is a bright one for his team.

“Right now, it’s a good experience for me, because they’re learning how to get better,” Brien said. “Not many of these 9th and 10th graders, if they were in another program, would be out there starting. It’s an opportunity I’m glad to give them, and it only bodes well for the future of the program.”