WEST WARWICK R.I. – After beating East Bay on Sunday, Shoreline looked to beat the hottest team in the Rhode Island Legion league. However, they would have to wait an extra day as Mother Nature pushed back Tuesday’s game to Wednesday night. After Shoreline and Cumberland exchanged a run in the first, Cumberland would pull away with 2 runs in the third and 3 runs in the fourth. Shoreline would be able to score two runs in the fifth but it proved to be nothing but a dent in the Cumberland lead. With the 8-3, loss Shoreline will be faced once again with a win or go home situation.
With a bye, Cumberland began Wednesday night’s game strong. Cumberland sent Mennucci to the hill who got the first two Shoreline batters to strike out swinging and ground out to second. Cumberland would then get sloppy. Cumberland’s Center fielder dropped a Sherburne fly ball allowing Sherburne to reach on second. Chris Hess would then follow with a triple to center field as the center field failed to make the diving catch. Shoreline failed to drive Hess in as Austin Barry grounded out to end the inning.
Now down by one run, Cumberland got right to work to earn the run back. Joe Landi began the game singling to center, giving Cumberland an early base runner. After a fly out to right, Joe Yankee was able to single to right allowing Landi to reach on third. Tyler Santaniello then followed with a sac fly platting the first Cumberland run. Dom Grillo, the Shoreline starter, would stop the Cumberland bats from scoring any more as Kyle Jackson grounded out to end the inning.
Mennucci was able to settle down in the second. Besides hitting Grillo, Mennucci sent down the Shoreline batters as they came. Mennucci forced two ground outs and a line out to end the inning. Grillo would follow Mennucci’s lead in the bottom half of the second. Grillo sent the Cumberland batters down as they came with two strike outs and a ground out.
Mennucci continued to dominate in the third. Besides allowing Apice to reach on a single to right, Mennucci forced a fly out and two strike outs shutting down the Shoreline bats. Grillo wouldn’t have the same result with the Cumberland bats in the bottom half of the third. After a Landi walk and Ryan O’Dell single to right, Cumberland had runners on the corners with no outs. Yankee would ground out to second moving up both runners and allowing Cumberland to plate their second run of the game. After a Santaniello walk and a passed ball allowing O’Dell to reach third, Nick Zamarnelli would hit a deep fly ball that would serve as a sac-fly platting the third Cumberland run. Shoreline would be able to get out of the inning with just the two run as Hess was able to throw out Santaniello who was trying to steal second.
Shoreline was not able to respond in the fourth. Beside a walk, Mennucci breezed through the Shoreline lineup. Mennucci would force two ground outs and a fly out to end the inning. Cumberland picked up where they left off in the fourth. Jackson began the inning singleing to right and Christian Spader walked putting two on with no out. Grillo would get back to back outs with a pop out to second and a fielder’s choice. However, Grillo wouldn’t be able to get out of the inning. Landi would triple to right and O’Dell would drive Landi in with a single to center making it a 6-1 Cumberland lead.
Beginning to fade fast, Shoreline needed to score fast. Shoreline quickly got to Mennucci in the fifth. A leadoff single followed by a Savickas double and an Apice walk would load the bases for Shoreline. A Sherburne Sac Fly would move up the runners and plate the second Shoreline run. Hess would follow with a single to left platting another Shoreline run. However, Shoreline would fail to score anymore. After cutting the lead to three, Grillo was able to hold the Cumberland bats sending the Cumberland batters down as they came in the bottom of the fifth.
The sixth was a 1-2-3 half inning for both Shoreline and Cumberland. Shoreline was sent down grounding out and striking out twice. Cumberland grounded out and striked out twice. The top of the seventh was another 1-2-3 inning for Shoreline. Two fly outs and a strike out were the results for Shoreline in the seventh.
Cumberland would find an insurance run in the bottom half of the seventh. Cumberland leadoff with a Landi double to right and O’Dell followed reaching on an error, giving Cumberland runners on the corners. After a Yankee ground out and Santaniello fly out to second. Landi would later score as the second base man Savickas couldn’t chorale a ground ball.
Shoreline continued to try and put together a comeback in the eighth. After a Hess leadoff walk, Shoreline looked like they were going to threatem again. However, Hess was picked off at first killing Shoreline’s chances dead in the water. Shoreline ended the inning scoring nothing as Barry grounded out to short and Rains grounded out to the first base man.
Cumberland would score their eight and last run in the bottom of the eighth. After Jackson leadoff the inning with a single to center. Jackson would then steal second giving Cumberland another base runner in scoring position. After a passed ball allowed Jackson to reach third, Alex Howard laid down a perfect squeeze to push in the eighth Cumberland run.
Beside a leadoff single, Shoreline wasn’t able to muster anything together in the ninth. After the leadoff hit, Shoreline would be picked off at first, ground out, and strike out to end the game.
Shoreline’s starter did have a struggling game at the mound. Grillo pitched seven innings allowing seven hits on seven runs. Grillo walked four and striked out four. The man who opposed him had the complete opposite performance. Mennucci pitched four and one thirds of an inning allowing five hits on three runs. Mennucci walked two and striked out four. The Cumberland bats were led by Joe Landi who went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs.
With the win, Cumberland will play Collette Vacations at Pierce Memorial Field. Shoreline will play Hurd Auto Mall. Cumberland’s manager Jim Dawber was overjoyed with his team’s performance. “Our pitching came up big for us tonight. We had pretty relentless at bats and quality at-bats.” “Our pitches pitched and our batters hit”. Shoreline will have to win on Thursday to keep their season going. A loss Thursday would end Shoreline’s playoff run. Shoreline’s manager Chris Batzinger described to keep their season going “We have to play cleaner baseball and not give up runs on errors.”