Archive - May 2011 - Sports Article
Some things I think I think:
It didnâ€™t take long for the Boston Red Sox to climb out of that impossible hole all the doomsayers had put them in after they started the season with two wins in their first 12 games. After Sunday nightâ€™s win over the Cubs, Bostonâ€™s record stood at 25-21 and the Sox were just one-half game out of first place in the American League East.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Ron Coutu looked at his watch and realized he had gone under his intended goal of one hour.
That wasnâ€™t the only reason he managed to smile on Saturday morning.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Needing at least one win to feel good about its playoff chances, St. Raphael Academy went out and grabbed a pair of victories over the weekend. On Sunday SRA climbed over the .500 mark for the first time this season courtesy of a 2-0 win against La Salle Academy. That coupled with Saturdayâ€™s 9-4 win against Cumberland High leaves the Saints at 9-8 in Division I-North heading into Mondayâ€™s regular season finale against Moses Brown.
LINCOLN â€“ Just ask anyone associated with the Lincoln High program and they will universally declare the following: Joe Yankee is the quintessential X-factor.
On a team loaded with players ranging from good to very good, Yankee might just be the one Lion whose impact cannot be understated. The junior continued to strengthen said argument Sunday afternoon against a strong Moses Brown offense, striking out seven Quakers in the Lionsâ€™ 14-4 mercy-rule thrashing at Chet Nichols Field.
PAWTUCKET â€” With its playoff hopes squarely on the line, Shea High avoided elimination from the postseason on Friday with a 6-2 victory over Juanita Sanchez.
The Raiders (7-10) host Wheeler School (9-7) this afternoon at 2 p.m. in what amounts to a â€świn and youâ€™re inâ€ť game for the home team.
â€śI think weâ€™re in if we beat Wheeler,â€ť Shea coach Dino Campopiano said after Fridayâ€™s game had ended.
It wouldnâ€™t be a Boston baseball season without Theo Epstein and the Red Sox resuscitating some aging baseball player. Kevin Millwood becomes Epsteinâ€™s reclamation project, a former all-star starting pitcher who has posted an ERA of over five in three of his last four seasons.
The recent string of rainy weather, resulting in a myriad of postponements, will not impede the high school baseball playoffs from starting on time.
The Interscholastic League sent out a reminder to coaches on Thursday â€“ the fourth consecutive day that wetness impacted the high school scene â€“ that Monday is still the last day of the regular season. The brackets in Division I and II will be distributed to the schools on Tuesday with Wednesday serving as the official opening of the postseason.
PROVIDENCE â€” The first offseason departure has arrived for Providence College as the school announced Thursday that sophomore guard Duke Mondy has been released from his commitment.
Mondy departs after a 2010-11 campaign that saw the Michigan native sit out the final four games of the season. At the time the only thing PC officials said about Mondyâ€™s situation was that it was a "coach's decision." Mondy did appear at Ed Cooleyâ€™s introductary press conference in March, telling Blackstone Valley Sports when asked to clarify his situation that, â€śIâ€™m good, just canâ€™t wait to play.â€ť
WOONSOCKET â€” This has been a nightmarish year for Mount St. Charles Academy, a team most folks predicted would again compete for the Division I-North title and embark on a long run in the state tournament.
There have been the injuries. Two of the Mountiesâ€™ top players -- ace pitcher Olivia Hendricks (foot injury) and third baseman Nicole Silva (illness) -- out indefinitely. The four losses they suffered in the last inning. The five straight games they stranded 10 or more runners on base.
PAWTUCKET -- Tolman High scored its biggest win of the season on Monday, handling Division II-South leader Middletown its first loss.
The Tigers rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull out the win. The game was tied after seven innings to both teams began their at-bats in the eighth with a runner on second base. Middletown plated its runner to take an 11-10 lead, setting the stage for Tolmanâ€™s final comeback of the day.
Ashley Hessler put down a bunt single for Tolman to get things started. Jordan Klemanchuck then singled in both runners to win the game.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tolman High dealt a crushing blow to Shea Highâ€™s playoff chances on Monday.
The Tigers rolled to a 15-5 victory over the Raiders in a Division II contest shortened to six innings by rain at McConnon Field.
Tolman improved to 10-6 with the win while Shea fell to 6-10.
â€śItâ€™s kind of a bittersweet win for us,â€ť Tolman coach Theo Murray said, â€śbecause Shea needed to win two of three games this week to be playoff-eligible. Now they have to win their last two games, and they play two tough teams, Wheeler and Juanita Sanchez.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€” After losing five straight games, including a 10-2 trouncing Saturday night against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Pawtucket Red Sox had fallen back to .500 and needed a victory badly.
They got one on Sunday, a 9-3 drubbing of the Yankees that put Pawtucket back over .500 and just 2Â˝ games out of first place with their modest 19-18 record.
Veteran pitcher Matt Fox, a former first-round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2004, beat Scranton for the second time in 10 days on Sunday, striking out seven in five innings while allowing all three runs.
PAWTUCKET â€” Baseball scouts usually sit in the best seats minor league stadiums have to offer, a few rows behind home plate. They come armed with the tools of their trade â€“ radar guns, stopwatches and â€ścheat sheetsâ€ť that record the data of players down on the field.
â€śThe radar gun is mainly used to measure the speed of pitches,â€ť Chicago White Sox scout Gary Pellant was saying on Sunday afternoon at McCoy Stadium. â€śIâ€™ve seen some scouts use them on infielders, to see how strong their arms are. Amateur scouts do that because they watch a lot of high school players who change positions.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€“ If the Red Sox were in need of a starting pitcher and turned to Pawtucket to fill the void, which PawSox hurler would get the call?
If your answer is Brandon Duckworth, congratulations. From the first day of the season Duckworth has been the most consistent and dependable arm at Pawtucketâ€™s disposal. The 35-year-old strengthened his resume Friday night, holding first-place Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to one run in seven innings in what amounted to a 2-1 loss by the PawSox before 4,512 at McCoy Stadium.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The rave reviews keep on pouring in for Jose Iglesias. The latest person to throw bouquets of adoration at the promising shortstopâ€™s feet is Frank Menechino, the former big league infielder and current coach for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Menechino first laid eyes upon Iglesias last year while serving as the hitting coach for Double-A Trenton. Iglesias was busy cutting his teeth in Portland, but Menechino could already tell the Cuban defector was a special talent.
CUMBERLAND â€” The twins are going off to college. And thatâ€™s big news around this town, where Shaidai and Shoneil Lariviere lit up the wrestling scene at Cumberland High for the past four years.
Shai Lariviere, the two-time state champion and former New England champ, has decided to attend Missouri Valley, a NAIA school that finished sixth in the country last year. It is located in Marshall, Missouri, smack in the center of the state, halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City.
PAWTUCKET â€” Itâ€™s no secret: Tolman High can hit. And on Thursday afternoon, the Tigers put on a hitting clinic at the expense of one of the Division IIâ€™s top teams.
Leadoff batter Alex Lacoste went 4-for-5 with three runs batted in to spark a season-best 17-hit attack and help the Tigers claim their sixth straight contest, a 9-5 triumph over the Prout School in Division II crossover action at Slater Park.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Nobody wants to play extra innings on a chilly afternoon at McCoy Stadium, not when the wind is blowing hard across the outfield and runs are hard to come by.
Thursday was getaway day for the Gwinnett Braves and they certainly wanted to get on a plane and fly back home to balmy Georgia, where the temperature is 30 degrees warmer. The PawSox players wanted to finish the game, too, and enjoy a rare night off.
PAWTUCKET â€“ St. Raphael broke out the bats in a 17-7 mercy-rule triumph against Smithfield Wednesday afternoon at Vets Park. The Saints, now 8-8 in Division I-North, scored nine runs in the third inning, sending up 13 to the plate.
Andrew Veiga enjoyed a productive day for SRA, the sophomore finishing with three hits and five RBI. Veiga collected two of the five extra base hits the Saints recorded.
Ty Karalis and Julian Diaz each collected two his for the Saints, who return to Vets Park this afternoon against North Providence.
Smithfield 103 021 â€“ 7-14-3
PAWTUCKET â€“ Thereâ€™s always been a soft spot in Tommy Harperâ€™s heart for Jacoby Ellsbury. Thatâ€™s why it pained Harper, a 15-year big league veteran, to see the Red Sox speedster get abused and mistreated â€“ both from media members and teammates alike â€“ the way he did in 2010.
â€śA lot of people turned on him,â€ť noted Harper on a visit to McCoy Stadium Wednesday night. â€śSometimes in team meetings, you would give an opinion, but it stays right there. But if a media person says it, itâ€™s all over because itâ€™s out in the public.â€ť