BURRILLVILLE — It’s been more than a decade since the Burrillville Major Division all-star team concluded pool play in the District IV playoffs with an unblemished mark, but that’s what the Blue & Gold did on Wednesday night at Sherman Park.
And Burrillville put on a pure hitting display in nailing down its fourth victory. The winners received monster games at the plate from their No. 2 and 3 batters in the lineup, Tyler Richards and Josh Dichario, and ended up amassing 23 hits in a 22-1 triumph over Bernon that was cut short after four innings by the mercy rule.
Burrillville will be the Pool B’s top seed on Saturday night when the District IV semifinals at Hien Field in Lincoln. The locals will play in a 5 p.m. game against either the Pool A’s Lincoln or Smithfield, and Cumberland National is expected to face either Lincoln or Smithfield in a 7:30 p.m. meeting.
The winners of those contests will meet in the championship game on Monday at 6:30 p.m. back at Burrillville, and Burrillville and manager Mike Cabral would dearly love to win the district title on their home turf.
“We were coming into the tournament to beat everybody,” said Cabral, whose team has outscored its opponents by a 49-3 margin in its pool play games. “But we’re just working hard and taking everything one game at a time.”
Cabral was very pleased with his players after their latest victory, which saw Burrillville break open a close contest with eight runs in the top of the second inning and put it out of reach with a 10-run, fourth-inning eruption.
Richards, Burrillville’s catcher, continued his hot hitting by going 5-for-5 with a pair of solo home runs (his third and fourth of the tournament), four runs scored, and as many runs batted in.
Dichario also reached base in all five of his plate appearances, as he went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and seven RBIs. Dichario also belted a pair of homers, and four of his runs batted in trotted home on a long grand slam homer to center that nearly went over the fenced-in playground situated an extra 30 feet beyond the fence.
Burrillville also received a nice 4-for-4 night from No. 8 batter Harry Dumais that also included three runs scored. Leadoff batter Jason Cabral and Matt Gagne also singled and doubled, Matt Schiffman and Brian Rivers each added a pair of hits, and Rivers also scored three times.
Dichario, Schiffman, and Jeff Pichie also teamed up on the mound to no-hit Bernon and only allow two batted balls. Dichario struck out five batters, but also walked four and hit a batter and exited the game after throwing 48 pitches. Schiffman fanned four batters, walked two, and hit a batter in his time on the hill, and Pichie worked the fourth and and picked up a strikeout.
Burrillville scored all the runs it needed in the first when Richards belted a 1-2 pitch over the fence in left-center for his first home run and Dichario reached base on an error, took second on a wild pitch, went to third on a passed ball, and raced home on an grounder by Schiffman in front of the plate.
In the second, Jason Cabral made it a 4-0 game with a two-run double that he lined off the fence in center and was just a couple of feet away from leaving the field. Richards and Dichario then socked back-to-back RBI singles, and Burrillville never looked back.
Bernon scored its run in the second on a bases-loaded walk to Tyheen Gray that scored Matthew Jarrett.