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WEST WARWICK -- Just before the R.I. American Legion Senior Division Tournament championship tilt began late Wednesday afternoon, skipper Jim Mello huddled his troops outside the first-base dugout and issued a few simple thoughts.
“There is no tonight if we don’t take care of business right now,” he stated. “Think about this game and what you need to do. It’s do-or-die; now go out there and have some fun.”
It took a while, but his troops had a ball in the top half of the ninth: They plated a whopping six runs on only two hits, a pair of walks, one hit batsmen and three errors to dispatch R&R Construction of Newport, 8-2, before a spirited crowd at McCarthy Field. In the process, Collette forced a “winner-take-all” contest against the Newporters on Wednesday night, and it doubled its pleasure with a 9-6 triumph to – incredibly – earn the Anthony J. Lombardi Jr. Memorial Trophy and collect an automatic bid to the Northeast Regionals in Middletown, Conn.
And St. Raphael Academy product and Eckerd College sophomore Zach Mitsmenn took home the David T. Kenney III Memorial Award as the event’s MVP. He went 1-0 in Collette’s five tourney wins, and batted .458 in its six contests.
Reliever Nate Bannon whirled a seven-inning gem, allowing just two hits and four walks with five strikeouts. Dan O’Brien fanned the side in the ninth. Mitsmenn finished 2-for-4 with two runs in the nightcap, while Ben Roy went 1-for-4 with three runs; Bannon 1-for-4 with an RBI andf run; Ryan Fournier 2-for-5 with a RBI and run; Matt Ferdenzi 1-for-4 with two runs; and Dan O’Brien 1-for-4 with an RBI.
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