Archive - 2013 - Sports Article
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď The worst-case scenario that Xander Bogaerts envisioned never came to pass.
Initially, Bogaerts thought he was being summoned to the manager‚Äôs office because he didn‚Äôt protest a strike three call that came with the count full. Portland‚Äôs Kevin Boles felt the decision that went against the highly-touted prospect was egregious. Protesting balls and strikes usually results in a swift ejection, which Boles eventually received after attempting to stick up for his shortstop.
PROVIDENCE ‚ÄĒ St. Raphael Academy head coach Ron Labree had heard from a select group of people that his troops had coasted through their regular season because they played in a less-than-strong Division II-West.
Those same naysayers seemed to infer that the lone ‚Äúreal‚ÄĚ team to be concerned about was North Providence.
Labree mentioned that to his girls before their playoff debut, and ‚Äď excepting one hiccup ‚Äď they've been on a roll ever since.
LINCOLN ‚Äď It was pretty easy to see the frustration mounting inside Lincoln High senior righthander Lindsay Mayer during the R.I. Division I Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament winners' bracket final against always-gutsy Coventry on Saturday.
She'd fire a fastball, riseball or screwball, one she thought for sure would be called a strike at the belt or knees. Yet, when it wasn't, it would bug her to no end, as it would most All-State whirlers.
PROVIDENCE ‚Äď A simple but well-executed bunt that St. Raphael‚Äôs Kamryn Labree laid down in the top of the sixth inning Monday proved a turning point in Monday's Division II losers‚Äô bracket semifinal contest against North Smithfield.
If the freshman doesn‚Äôt get the ball down, the tenor of the game may have been drastically different. Both pitchers, SRA‚Äôs Kaylee Sylvestre and Karissa Carlton of North Smithfield, may have gone on flummoxing hitters and maintaining what was a scoreless, rain-soaked affair at Rhode Island College‚Äôs Dayna A. Bazar Softball Complex.
Lincoln High senior Nick Zammarelli has been presented with two envelopes. One is marked ‚Äúcollege‚ÄĚ ‚Äď as in the opportunity to play Division I baseball at Elon (N.C.) University. The second envelope is labeled ‚Äúpros‚ÄĚ ‚Äď as in an invitation to sign a professional contract with the Boston Red Sox, the team that selected him in the 28th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
NORTH KINGSTOWN ‚ÄĒ Perhaps it‚Äôs fitting that Lincoln High senior Nick Zammarelli got to share his special moment ‚Äď that of getting selected by the hometown Boston Red Sox in the 28th round of Major League Baseball‚Äôs First-Year Player draft, No. 833 overall ‚Äď with his teammates and coaches.
After all, both groups were generous with their support and encouragement through every twist and turn of his career.
LINCOLN ‚Äď Andy Souvalian had been trying to complete his usual business as an assistant administrator at Amica Insurance Co. headquarters on the afternoon of Monday, April 15 when he heard the horrifying news, that someone had exploded two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
His immediate thought: ‚ÄúOh, no! How's Roup?‚ÄĚ
His best friend, Rhode Island State Police Trooper Roupen Bastajian of Greenville, had been running in the grueling 26.2-mile race from Hopkinton to Copley Square, and he wondered if his pal had suffered any injuries.
LINCOLN ‚Äď In a spring season that has seen their son operate in a fishbowl and subjected to seemingly never-ending interactions with pro baseball scouts, Nick Zammarelli Jr. and wife Lisa have been with Lincoln High senior standout Nick III every step of the way.
The journey leading up to Major League Baseball‚Äôs first-year player draft has been part eye-opener, part draining ordeal. Frequently, the player's dad has been forced to deal with endless questions from talent evaluators, all of them clamoring to know about Nick and what his future plans may entail.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina experienced one side of Major League Baseball‚Äôs draft when he served as the Angels‚Äô on-site representative during the televised portion of the 2011 edition.
Sitting in a studio room at MLB Network‚Äôs Secaucus, N.J. headquarters, DiSarcina turned in the card that contained the name of the player that the team would select with its first-round selection.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď There‚Äôs no doubt that getting drafted into professional baseball ranks is a pretty significant milestone. Yet as several inhabitants of the PawSox clubhouse explained earlier this week, there are several behind-the-scenes variables that are just as important as learning your name has been called.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď Based on the comments John Farrell made Wednesday, it wouldn‚Äôt classify as a tremendous shock to see Will Middlebrooks remain with the PawSox beyond when he‚Äôs eligible to come off the disabled list, which is Saturday.
Position players are allotted a 20-day rehab window with Wednesday serving as Day Two of Middlebrooks‚Äô on-the-mend stint. During his weekly radio appearance on WEEI, Farrell mentioned that it‚Äôs just not a matter of the third baseman shaking off the cobwebs after landing on the disabled list with a lower back strain.
PAWTUCKET ‚ÄĒ These No. 2 pitchers looked an awful lot like No. 1s.
Unfortunately for Tolman, Narragansett‚Äôs Zachary McKanna pitched a lot better than his counterpart, the Tigers‚Äô Richie Marshall, and his solid performance allowed the Mariners to move one win away from the Division II‚Äôs ‚ÄúFinal Four‚ÄĚ round.
PAWTUCKET ‚ÄĒ The good news coming out of McCoy Stadium on Tuesday night was that Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks kicked off his rehab assignment with the Pawtucket Red Sox on the right foot ‚Äď with five innings in the field and a 1-for-2 effort at the plate with a walk.
The bad news was that the PawSox fell victim to a pair of rallies by the Charlotte Knights in the fifth and sixth innings and were never able to pick up a clutch hit when they needed one, and as a result, the hosts came out on the losing end of a 5-1 score.
A little of this, a little of that ‚Ä¶
Rainouts during high school spring sports are always problematic. Sure, there‚Äôs comfort in knowing that you can reschedule, but what happens if the same issue arises on the rescheduled day? Can‚Äôt keep pushing the games or matches further and further down the road forever, you know.
A rainout like the one that washed away the vast majority of Monday‚Äôs baseball and softball playoff contests brings with it a whole host of complications.
PAWTUCKET ‚ÄĒ It‚Äôs been said that all good things must come to an end, and for Peter Manfredo Sr., nearly a quarter of a century of running his boxing gym in Pawtucket has heard the final bell.
The longtime owner and trainer of Manfredo‚Äôs Gym in Pawtucket won‚Äôt be making any more hour-long drives from his Charlestown residence to Conant Street. Instead, he will only need to take a short drive to his fairly new Narragansett center on 140 Point Judith Road to train his boxers and conduct his fitness classes.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď One day after Jose Iglesias went deep for his first big-league home run of the 2013 season, PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina was asked to weigh in on the suddenly red-hot Red Sox infielder.
The blast at Yankee Stadium continues a stretch that has seen Iglesias shift from short-term fill-in to possibly serving as a full-time backup. The official answer won‚Äôt come until Boston activates third baseman Will Middlebrooks from the disabled list, yet if Iglesias continues to perform at a high level, it‚Äôs hard to imagine that the 23-year-old will be back with Pawtucket.
LINCOLN ‚Äď After watching Bay View‚Äôs Shannon McArthur bloop a shot that hugged the left-field foul line, Lincoln High head coach Dick Ryan got up from his dugout perch and asked the home plate umpire to grant him time.
With the infielders and star pitcher Lindsay Mayer gathered around him on the mound, Ryan conveyed the following decree ‚Äď don‚Äôt let the Bengals bring the potential tying run to the plate. If the hitter that was next in line to face Mayer was fortunate enough to blast one out of Sullivan Field, the Lions would remain ahead by one run.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď Fresh off a 5-3 road trip that saw them take over first place in the North Division, the Pawtucket Red Sox kept the good times rolling Friday night.
It may have taken some time, yet Pawtucket was able to outlast Syracuse courtesy of a 9-8 contest that took 12 innings and lasted four hours, 20 minutes. The hero was Jonathan Diaz, who blooped a ball into shallow right-center to score Justin Henry with one down in the 12th.
Diaz‚Äô third base hit of the game went in the books as a double. Ryan Rowland-Smith picked up his third victory after tossing a scoreless top-of-the 12th.
For a change of pace, the R.I. high school baseball playoffs are neither rushed nor condensed.
The 16-team field in Division I and II takes center stage Saturday, with the first game of the double-elimination regional qualifying round. In years past, a loss on Day 1 placed players and coaches squarely behind the eight ball. Teams were forced to start their battle for survival in the losers‚Äô bracket the very next day, a predicament that wreaked havoc with pitching plans and left no opportunity for coaches to address any other issues.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď As his stay in the major leagues expanded from days to weeks to months, Alex Wilson resisted the temptation to feel comfortable.