WESTERLY — Ponaganset made the most of its chances and Westerly High let some golden opportunities get away in Monday’s Division II, Region III losers’ bracket game at Cimalore Field.
The Chieftains (13-10) hit a pair of home runs and downed the Bulldogs 11-1 in a game shortened to six innings by the mercy rule.
Ponaganset advances to face No. 14 Central championship round while the third-seeded Bulldogs (16-6-1) come up short in their bid to reach the Division II finals for the second straight season.
Ponaganset used a three-run home run in the top of the first inning to take a 4-0 lead. The Chieftains scored three more in the second, two in the third and used a two-run homer in the top of the sixth to make it 11-1.
While the Chieftains made their nine hits pay off, Westerly did not get all it could out of its six hits. Anthony Garro drove in Kyle Allen in the bottom of the fifth with the Bulldogs’ only run of the game. Westerly loaded the bases in that inning with no outs, but mustered only the one run.
Ponaganset allowed Westerly to load the bases in the the second when the score was a more manageable 7-0, only to get out of the frame unscathed.
Brenton Rayner was the starting pitcher and he went 2 for 2 at the plate with a pair of singles. Allen went 2 for 4 with two singles and Cam Newell doubled.
Westerly started out the regional with a tough 2-1 loss to Central and downed Chariho on Saturday to stay alive.
“I told the kids they had a tremendous year. This team, they wanted to win the division and they did. They wanted to get back to the finals and I feel a lot of the little things they didn’t accomplish, they put a lot of pressure on themselves,” Westerly coach Bob Cahoone said.
The Bulldogs lost two of their first three Division II-South games but rallied to finish 12-4 to win the title.
“The talk around town from day one was that this group had the talent to get back to the finals and they put a lot of pressure on themselves,” Cahoone said. “I feel this was a very talented group that did a lot of great things over the last four years.”