Team effort propels Hurricanes to first win
On Friday, April 12, the Block Island School Varsity Baseball team visited Providence Country Day School and used a combined pitching effort and opportunistic offense to record a thrilling 8-6 victory.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead on consecutive hits by Mathias Heinz, Cole McGinnes, and Reilly Hobe, along with an RBI groundout by Nick Phillips. In the bottom of the frame, Block Island starter David Barillas immediately struggled to find command, surrendering three walks and a hit before yielding to Hobe. Hobe promptly struck out two hitters, and wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam, but not before PCD had knotted the score at 2.
Block Island responded with three runs in the second on the strength of hits from Barillas and McGinnes and RBI groundouts from Hobe and Heinz. McGinnes dashed home with the fourth run of the inning when Dan Cullen engaged the PCD infield in a timely rundown.
Block Island and PCD traded runs over the next two innings. The Hurricanes' effort was highlighted by tremendous base-running from Tairique (Tony Plush) Dias, who electrified the small but faithful Block Island crowd when he scored from second base on a routine groundout.
When Hobe finally tired after his solid relief performance, the visitors turned to freshman hurler James Arnott. Arnott confidently squelched a PCD threat with help from a fine defensive play by battery mate Nick Phillips. Phillips alertly responded to a botched squeeze play and chased down the opposing runner to end the rally. Barillas added another run on an RBI ground out after teammate Jostin Blanco neatly advanced pinch runner Tim Connor with a sacrifice bunt.
Arnott took the mound hoping to protect an 8-6 lead into the final stanza. After a strikeout and a walk, PCD's number 5 hitter ripped a blistering shot to deep left field that seemed destined for extra bases. Hurricane left fielder Dan Cullen took off sprinting, tracked down the shot, and reached up to record the out. If that wasn't enough, Cullen had the presence to spin around and fire a one-hop rocket to first baseman Sawyer Milstead, who doubled up the PCD runner. The double-play secured the victory, and sent Hurricane fans home satisfied, but with a few shorter fingernails.
Hobe earned the win for Block Island, Arnott secured his first Varsity save, and Cole McGinnes led the offense with three hits.
Final score: Block Island 8, PCD 6.