Providence Sweeps on Common, Preps for Georges Island on Saturday
September 13, 2019
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Last Saturday, September 7, the Grays made it five wins in a row with a sweep of the Beaneaters on Boston Common. This Saturday, September 14, they’ll board the ferry for Georges Island in Boston Harbor for an 1864 doubleheader with the Boston Union BBC on the historic parade grounds of Fort Warren. The ferry leaves Boston at 10:00 sharp with first pitch inside the fort at 11 a.m.
On Boston Common this past weekend, the Grays faced off with the Beaneaters in the second meeting of the two clubs this season. Providence took the first game (1886) by the score of 16-14, then completed the sweep with a 14-7 victory in the ’64 match to improve to 25-11 on the season. The Grays are 4-0 against the Union this season, having faced the new Boston squad in their inaugural twin bill in April and then in a rain-soaked doubleheader in May.
Providence vs. Beaneaters, Boston Common, September 7
The Common has long played host to base ball games, and the Grays always enjoy the opportunity to keep traditions alive. Last weekend, the first match followed the rules of 1886, and both teams got off to a slow start, scoring no runs in the first inning. The Beaneaters plated an ace in the top of the second before Providence tallied five runs in the bottom featuring a lead-off base hit from second baseman Jon “Bones” Henson and a three-run homer cranked off the bat of short stop Dave “Oppy” Oppenheimer. Pitcher Mike “Banquet” Swanson held Boston scoreless in the third while the Beaneaters returned the favor, keeping the Grays from scoring in the bottom frame for a 5-1 Providence lead after three.
The Beaneaters managed another run in the fourth, then the Grays’ bats awoke, as they plated three runs on four hits, including a lead-off double from left fielder Jamie Maynard, followed immediately with a single from captain Brian Travers (first base) and short fielder Oppy. The score was set at 8-2 leading into the fifth inning, but the Beaneaters rallied for five runs in the top, on a couple of solid hits and some Grays’ errors in the field. Despite one more hit each from Maynard and Travers, Providence couldn’t push another ace across the dish, and the score tightened to 8-7, with the Grays holding on to a thin margin after five innings.
Boston tied it up in the top of the sixth, but the Providence offense sprung to life once again, with four aces tallied. Zach “Wild” Oppenheimer hit a double in the frame as the Grays found ways to get on base and navigated the base paths aggressively to increase the lead, 12-8. The Beaneaters would not let this stand for long, however, as they scored four of their own in the top of the seventh to knot it up once again. Oppy made his first in the bottom half on a clean single then scored on a sacrifice from right fielder Ryan “Loggy” Logsdon to put Providence back on top by a single tally, 13-12 heading into the eighth. Banquet and his defense managed to hold Boston scoreless in the crucial eighth inning before the Grays scored three runs on five hits, all singles, from Banquet, Johnny Carlevale (catcher), Maynard, Travers, and Greg Smith (third base). Boston’s ninth-inning rally was strong as they plated two, but they fell short as the third out was recorded with the final score of 16 runs for Providence and 14 for the Beaneaters.
Game two followed the rules of 1864, and Providence struck first, jumping out to a three-run lead. Catcher Carlevale led off with a base on balls, followed up by singles from Travers, Oppy, right fielder Dave “Grandpa” Watson, and a sacrifice bounce out to center by short stop Banquet. With Bones Henson between the pitcher’s lines, the Grays defense held Boston scoreless for a 3-0 lead after one. Providence put up two more in the second, featuring a double from Travers and a single off the bat of Banquet. The Beaneaters got on the board with a single tally to make it 5-1 Providence after two.
The Grays came up empty-handed at the plate in the top of the third before Boston took a lead, hitting Bones well and tallying five aces for a 6-5 margin in favor of the boys in blue. Providence erased this lead quickly, however, with a six-run fourth inning, as Bones, Carlevale, Travers, Banquet, Smith, and Oppy all recorded singles to widen the gap to four, 11-7 Grays. Bones and the defense held Boston scoreless in the fourth, then added three more aces in the top of the fifth, as Carlevale made his first on another base on balls, Travers made his fourth hit on as many attempts in the game, Banquet singled, Smith doubled, and Oppy added another single to fix the final score at 14-7 as the game was called for time.
Grays vs. Union, Fort Warren, September 14
Providence will make the journey to the iconic fort in Boston Harbor this Saturday to face the Boston Union BBC in a continuation of the season series that has been dormant since mid-May. The Union opened the season in the first games for the franchise against Providence in Rehoboth on April 13 and rematched with the Rhode Islanders in Roslindale on May 19 in a pair of ‘84/’64 twin bills that saw the Grays come out on top in all four contests. This Saturday, both matches will follow the rules of 1864 on Georges Island, and the Union, with the experience of a long season behind them, will look to get into the win column against the gentlemen from Providence.
The Grays are out to extend their win streak to seven games as they power through the last weeks of the long 2019 schedule. The ferry leaves Boston at 10 a.m., and ferries run from Hingham on the South Shore, departing at both 9 and 10 a.m. With perfect autumn weather in the forecast, this event offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the local history of the Commonwealth while taking in two Civil War-era ball games in the most ideal of settings. Join us in the Harbor and follow the action on the Grays Facebook page and at ProvidenceGrays.com.
Photos: Peter Oppenheimer