Providence Takes Two From Hingham for Third Doubleheader Sweep of the Season
May 26, 2018
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Providence Grays (7-1) vintage base ball club put their two-game win streak on the line with a doubleheader against the Hingham Base Ball Club (0-2) on Saturday at Pierce Field in East Providence. The Grays established an early lead in game one (1884 rules) and didn't look back, going on to win 18-7. Then, in game two (1864 rules), the hosts battled back from an early deficit and grinded out a 16-13 triumph. With the victories, Providence earned their best eight-game start to a season in over a dozen years.
|Dave "Grandpa" Watson Makes Contact|
Match one began with a single Hingham tally in the top of the first, but the Grays answered in the bottom half plating five runs behind aggressive base running and an RBI single from right fielder Jerry McCormack. In the pitcher's box, Providence starter Kai Henson recorded his first six outs of the game via strikeout and his team tacked on two more in the second to extend the lead to 7-1. The visitors responded in the top of the third as an RBI double down the right field line powered a three-run frame and cut the deficit to 7-4.
The score read 9-4 Grays after three full, but Hingham opened their half of the fourth with a leadoff single and looked poised to surge back. However, as the runner attempted to steal second, a pop-up was hit to Henson on the mound who caught it on the fly and threw back to first for a double play. Hingham threatened once more in the fifth with the bases loaded and one out, but the Grays turned two once again to squash the rally as Henson fielded a comebacker and fired to catcher Tony McClellan, whose throw beat the batter to first to end the inning.
|Kai Henson Pitching for Providence|
Providence broke things open in the bottom of the sixth with five scores capped off by a two-out, opposite field RBI double from second baseman Drew Ewing as they led 16-6 after six. Ewing came up big on the defensive end as well in the last half inning, snagging a line drive in the air and doubling up an off-base runner at first. Another standout for the Grays was center fielder Mike "Banquet" Swanson who posted four base hits and six runs scored, on top of stellar ball hawking in the outfield.
In the second contest it was Hingham who led 5-1 after the first as well-placed hits and spotty defense gave them a big opening frame. They added another in the second to lead 6-1 after two, but the Grays battled in the top of the third when short stop Mike Duggan singled, stole two bases, and was driven in by third baseman Greg Smith to ignite a two-run inning. In the bottom of the third, hurler Jon "Bones" Henson retired the side in order to keep his squad within striking distance as they trailed 6-3.
Ewing walked to open the top of the fourth and left fielder Johnny Carlevale followed with a base knock as Providence looked to retake the lead in the middle innings. Next up was center fielder Connor Pirruccello-McClellan who notched an RBI single to spearhead a four-run inning giving the Grays a 7-6 lead. Hingham tied things with a run in their half but the Grays immediately recaptured the momentum as Dave "Grandpa" Watson led off the top of the fifth with a walk and later scored, while captain Brian Travers belted an RBI double to highlight a four-run stanza. This gave Providence a 13-7 lead and they didn't trail for the rest of the game.
Hingham rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but came up short in their season opener. Catcher Aidan Pirruccello-McClellan showed off his arm strength the entire game behind the plate for Providence and caught all nine of Bones' frames.
|The two clubs were joined by East Providence Mayor James Briden, who threw out the first pitch|
Next up for the Grays is a twin bill against the Boston Beaneaters at the Eustis Estate in Milton, Massachusetts on Sunday, June 3. First pitch is set for 11 a.m.