WESTERLY — Westerly High's baseball team has a simple mantra that's been paying big dividends this season.

"We have a sign in our locker room that says "Win the Day," and all throughout the team our main goal is to just win the day," Westerly senior left-handed pitcher Dean Pons Jr. said

That approach has put the Bulldogs at 15-1 overall and 13-0 in Division II after a 5-2 victory over Chariho on Wednesday night at Cimalore Field.

The Bulldogs have won close games this season and they've also had blowout victories.

Pons played a big role in Wednesday's win, striking out 13 in a complete-game victory. He allowed just four hits, zero walks and only one of the runs he gave up was earned.

"It's a big rivalry game, and my main goal was to throw strikes and I did that and we got the win," Pons said. "Coming out of the gate, my slider wasn't working the best. Once I got rolling through the first few innings, the slider started to come into play more."

Pons is 6-0 on the season with an ERA of 0.74. He has 69 strikeouts in 38 innings and has walked just eight.

Westerly took a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning. After Pons walked to start the inning, Greg Gorman delivered a hard-hit line drive that quickly cleared the fence in right field  to make it 2-0.

It was Gorman's fifth homer of the season. He leads the team with 26 RBIs. He finished 3 for 3 with a walk and raised his batting average to .522 and his slugging average to 1.043.

"I was just trying to put the ball in play and I happened to get it at the right angle and it went out. It felt good to barrel up the ball," Gorman said.

Westerly later loaded the bases with no outs in the inning on singles by Zach Beckler (2 for 4) and Jack Tenuta and a walk to Travis Costa.

But Chariho starter Ryan Cormier, who had only pitched two innings prior to Wednesday, induced a fly-out then struck out the next two batters to end the threat.

In the second inning, Westerly's Nick Fiore walked to lead off the inning. With one out, Gorman singled and Beckler reached on an infield error that scored Fiore. Gorman and Becker were both in scoring position, but Cormier got out of trouble once again with a strikeout and groundout.

"He was a little tight the first inning, but he settled in and kept them off balance and kept us in the game," Chariho coach Matt Clarke said.

After Beckler reached on the error, Cormier retired eight of the next nine batters before leaving after five innings.

The Chargers scored a run in the second to make it 2-1 when Alan Carpenter (2 for 3) drove in Liam Flynn, who had opened the inning with a single.

Chariho threatened again in the fourth when Brendan McGovern led off with a single. Liam Currier then bunted down the third-base line. Westerly's Noah Burdick did well to throw out Currier at first. First baseman Evan Clyne then threw out McGovern, who was trying to go from first to third on the play. Shortstop Beckler covered third and tagged out McGovern to complete the double play.

The Chargers (6-5, 6-5) did make it 3-2 with an unearned run in the sixth — Kyle McGovern scored on a Jack Stevens groundout. Kyle McGovern had reached on an outfield error to start the inning.

Westerly added two more runs in the sixth when Gorman scored on a wild pitch and Beckler, who doubled over the center fielder's head, came home on a bases-loaded walk to Drew Bozek.

Westerly left five runners on base in the first two innings, but Pons said there was no concern in the Bulldogs dugout.

"In all honesty, it's not a big deal for us. That's the normal for us — we have the bases loaded in a lot of innings," Pons said. "I wasn't worried that we were not going to get enough runs."

Chariho left fielder Brendan McGovern had the defensive play of the game, making a diving catch while running to his left in the fourth inning. It denied Pons a double.

Chariho reliever Brady Anderson also snared a hard line drive off the bat of Evan Clyne in the sixth and doubled a runner off third to end the inning.

The Bulldogs are still striving to win the division and earn a huge first-round bye in the playoffs. That would almost guarantee they would face the second starter from their opponent in the playoff opener.

"It's not easy because you are going to have days when you don't play your best game. We've had a couple of those, but luckily we have come out with wins," Westerly coach Ron Sposato said. "There is a lot of confidence that if it doesn't happen early, we can get it going later in the game and it's going to come eventually."

Westerly next hosts Rogers on Thursday at 5 p.m. Chariho plays at West Warwick at 5 p.m.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.