Providence Reaches Final Eight of Gettysburg Tournament

The Providence Grays represented well at the first Gettysburg National Historic Base Ball Tournament, reaching the final eight with a 3-1 record for the weekend. Providence outscored its opponents by 23 runs across the four games and won by double figures in each of its victories on Saturday.

The tournament, held on the grounds of Schroeder Farm on July 16-17, featured 32 teams from around the country in a single elimination bracket split into four divisions. On Saturday, the Grays defeated the Lewes BBC, 17-3, in round one and bested the Dirigo BBC of Maine, 19-7, in the second round.

Sunday saw the Rhode Islanders fall to the Tavern Wheels of Walker, Michigan, in the Alexander Cartwright Division title game, 25-16. Once eliminated from the bracket, each club reverted to festival play for a guaranteed four games. Providence defeated the Addison Mountain Stars, 15-9, in its final outing.

Providence opened play against Lewes in resounding fashion, holding its opponent scoreless in the top of the first and then erupting for nine runs in the bottom half. Leadoff hitter Dave Leopardi highlighted the outburst with a grand slam over the right fielder in his second at bat of the frame. Lewes plated two in the second, but the Grays answered with four runs over the next two innings for a 13-2 lead after three full.

The Grays added four insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, spurred by a leadoff triple from Mike “Banquet” Swanson, while holding Lewes to just one more tally throughout the rest of the contest. Jon “Bones” Henson delivered a complete game victory in the pitcher’s box.

Providence’s bats continued to set the tone against Dirigo, pushing across nine runs in the bottom of the first once again. The Grays grew their lead to 19-2 later on, maintaining control of this one all along. Maine rallied in the top of the ninth with five tallies, but pitcher Tony McClellan held on for a complete game win of his own.

Walker, who many picked to win the entire tournament, provided a quality challenge for the Rhode Islanders. Providence jumped out of the gates yet again, however, plating five in the bottom of the first after three straight hits from Leopardi, captain Brian Travers and Banquet to start things off. The Tavern Wheels bounced back with seven runs over the next two innings to jump ahead by two, 7-5, after three-and-a-half.

The two sides proceeded to trade leads throughout the middle innings before Walker took control with a nine-run seventh. Providence brought itself within five after three scores in the bottom half but couldn’t come all the way back as the Tavern Wheels added five more of their own in the ninth. Walker ultimately bowed out of the bracket with a loss to the Rising Sun BBC of Maryland, who faced the Bear Clan BBC of Flat Rock, Michigan, for the championship. Flat Rock came out on top to secure the tourney championship.

Providence drew Addison in its lone festival game of the weekend, avenging last year’s loss to the Mountain Stars in Gettysburg. The Grays trailed 2-1 after the first but batted around for five scores in the second to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. A seven-run fourth solidified the lead for Providence, highlighted by a Mike Duggan double to left. Addison scored four in the fifth, but the Grays didn’t allow them to reach double figures and improved to 14-7 on the season.

Next up for Providence is Baseball at the Beach on Saturday, July 23, in Hull, Massachusetts. The Grays welcome the Connecticut Bulldogs to the Bay State for an 1864/84 doubleheader at 11 a.m.


Cover photo: Helen Sheldon; additional photos: Steph Travers


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