West no-hit in playoff loss

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The Lincoln Lions got a complete-game no-hitter from senior Dom Cunha as they went to Cranston West High school and shut out the Falcons 8-0 and ousted them from the Division I Regional Pod I losers’ bracket.

Cunha, who the team calls D-Train, finished the game with six strikeouts.

 “Today we had a really good pitcher on the mound,” Lincoln head coach Vin Zibelli said. “We had our senior captain, and our senior captain on three days’ rest, does what senior captains do, but today he was a little extra special with the no-hitter.”

With the Lions’ season hanging in the balance, Cunha came through in the clutch with a gem.

“Just the first inning, we put up two runs,” Cunha said. “So, that was big. It took a lot of pressure off of me.”

“The biggest thing for me is, I was looking around at my teammates and stuff and last night I was talking to my dad about just everything that I’ve done with this team,” Cunha continued. “I had graduation last night and I was thinking how upset I would be if I just never played with these guys again. . . I’ve been with these guys since I was 8-years old. Ten years now. And to go out there and to think that it’s going to be your last game with these guys ever, it gives you a little motivation to drive forward and just work harder.”

The Lions roared from the dugout and then their bats came alive and helped out Cunha.

“Our team hit for him,” Zibelli said. “We put eight runs up on the board off of one of their top pitchers that threw against us the other day.”

Senior first baseman Stephen Andrews led the Lions’ offense with two hits and three RBI and sophomore second baseman Cody Anter added three hits.

With the win, Lincoln stays alive and plays La Salle Academy next in the losers’ bracket on Monday at a time that is to be determined.

On the other side, Cranston West senior Cam Harris pitched 6 1/3 innings, striking out two while yielding four runs.

“He pitched well today,” Falcons’ head coach Rob Malo said. “It was his first start of the year. He’s been my bullpen guy all year – our closer. We went with him for the start because he pitched so well against them in the thirteen inning game during the regular season.”

“He’s a competitor out there,” Malo added. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more from him. Unfortunately, when you get no-hit, it doesn’t matter if you make one error or ten errors, or if you lose by a run or ten runs. We had no hits today, so it’s pretty tough to score runs when we only had three or four base runners.”

Looking back on the season, Malo believes that his Falcons played well.

“I’m very proud them,” Malo said. “A great group of guys. The senior class will definitely be missed.”

“All the kids, 1-20 on the roster work hard,” Malo added. “It’s tough to see the season end like this, but hopefully this will kind of burn in the non-seniors for next year and allow them to work hard in the off-season and we’ll get at it next year.”

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