As anchor Stone Freeman mentioned at the outset of last night's broadcast, it was a beautiful night for Monday Night Baseball.
Monday Night Baseball....just mentioning the words conjures up the images of the good ol' days on ABC, when summer nights and the weekly baseball game meant something. What was better than listening to the call and analysis of guys like Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell? Well, perhaps with the stalwart announcers we have here at The Network, we're getting a glimpse of the future. Maybe it'll be guys like Stone and Cam who become the voices of the next generation of young baseball/sports fans.
It was, indeed, a beautiful night for baseball....warm temperatures, blue sky, the latter part of the game under the lights, good-sized crowd...it was a great setting. As for the game, our guys continued their assault on a third consecutive state title by taking care of business against Johnston, 12-3, and moving to 16-1 on the season. The Hawks have secured the #1 seed for their region in the quickly-approaching state playoffs.
Senior Anthony Graziano took the hill for the Hawks last night and did a workman-like job, tossing two-plus good innings, yielding only a run and striking out four before having to take himself out of the game with a hip problem. This, in fact, warrants fans' paying somewhat closer attention to the Hawks' pitching staff, though it's certainly not 'red alert' time yet: sophomore Matt Kennedy has been on the shelf recently, Anthony "AC" Cofone has been out since he was hit by a line drive, and now Graz may have a minor hip issue.
Stay tuned on that front.
On the heels of Graziano's abbreviated stint, Brandon Kenyon made his first mound appearance in a long time for the Hawks, having suffered a serious leg injury last year that kept him out the entire baseball season and then suffering a further setback at the beginning of this season that shelved him for another extended period. Brandon struggled a bit, but coach Holloway no doubt hopes to give him some innings down the stretch so that he may be in a position to help the team during the playoffs.
Junior Kyle Barbato followed Kenyon to the hill and was very, very good in relief. He tossed two innings, didn't alow a hit or a run and struck out three. Ryan Rotondo pitched the final inning and closed the game out.
On the offensive front, the first four Hawks in the batting order were a combined 11 for 20 and dished out the lion's share of the damage, led by sophomore John Willette's second home run of the season, a long drive that cleared the left field fence with ease -
- and Gian Martellini's four hits and six RBI.
All relevant stats are provided below.
The Hawks finish out their regular-season league schedule tomorrow afternoon at home, when they take on Woonsocket at 4pm, a game that we'll have here live on The Network.