Providence Heads West for Twin Bill with Wheelmen

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- After two doubleheader sweeps at Rocky Point to start the season and a postponement of Connecticut Day last weekend, the Providence Grays (4 – 0) will take the 2022 campaign to the outskirts of Springfield this Saturday, May 14, to battle the Wheelmen of Westfield, Massachusetts, in an 1886 matchup, followed by a matinee 1864-rules game.

The friendly rivalry between the Rhode Island squad and the Westerners has intensified over the years, as both teams bring their best games as two of just a handful of clubs in the region who play by nineteenth-century rules that allow overhand pitching. Saturday’s games will find the clubs eager to pick up where they left off last season when the Grays took three of the four matchups with Westfield but suffered a big loss at the hands of the Wheelmen (16 to 2) in their final matchup in Hartford last October. Two of Providence’s three wins were by a single tally (11 to 10 and 24 to 23) and the third was by just three runs (10 to 7). With these two teams, the competition is always fierce.

Providence jumped out to quick success with the season opener sweep of Thames BBC on April 10, then achieved four wins on the young season with another sweep at Rocky Point on April 24, this time facing the Union BBC of Boston in a ‘64/’65 doubleheader. Unlike the opener, where the home squad took both games by wide margins, the games against Boston both proved nail-biters, as the Grays won both by only a single run (18 to 17 in the 1864 game, 22-21 in the ’65).

Providence narrowly defeated a tough Boston crew in two games on
April 24 at Rocky Point in Warwick.

Last weekend would have been games five and six on the season, as Providence was set to square off with the Red Onion BBC of Wethersfield and Thames in East Hampton for Connecticut Day, but the threat of inclement weather and blustery conditions forced a postponement of the matches, providing a suitable date can be scheduled for all clubs.

Game one (1886) in Westfield commences at 11 o’clock on Saturday, followed in short order by the 1864 game. If you’re in western Massachusetts or looking for an excuse for a nice drive to enjoy the very warm weather, set your GPS for 21 South Broad Street in Westfield. Follow the action on Facebook and Instagram as well.


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