Archive - 2014 - Sports Article
PAWTUCKET -- A bright new era has begun for Tolman Highâs fast-pitch softball program. The Tigers, who finished 3-13 in Division I last year, have advanced to contender status this season, thanks to an infusion of freshman players who honed their skills in the Darlington Girls League and on travel teams.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â Woonsocket play a crisp baseball game befitting the cool April afternoon on Thursday, rolling to a convincing 9-1 victory over St. Raphael Academy at Veterans Park field.
The Villa Novans got six strong innings of three-hit pitching from Miguel Raymond and backed their junior right-hander with a 12-hit offensive splurge that featured two perfect hit-and-run plays.
LINCOLN â Itâs over.
Lincoln Highâs incredible and season-spanning winning streak can officially mentioned in past terms after Tolman staged a 6-2 victory over the two-time defending state champs Thursday afternoon at Saylesvilleâs Sullivan Field. It officially goes into the record books as a 44-game winning streak for the Lions.
PROVIDENCE â Scratch off the biggest need on Ed Cooleyâs off-season âto-doâ list.
Shoring up the point-guard spot for next season as well as future ones has been a top priority for Cooley and the Providence Friars since the moment the 2013-14 campaign came to an end. With the verbal commitment expressed by Compton (Calif.) High School senior Kyron Cartwright, PC now has a second floor general to pair with Kris Dunn, who has missed significant time in each of his first two collegiate seasons.
PAWTUCKET â Itâs always nice to put on a good show when the brass is in town.
With Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington and Director of Player Development Ben Crockett checking out the action, the Pawtucket Red Sox thumped Syracuse, 7-1, Tuesday night before 2,675 fans. Allen Webster rebounded from a sub-par first start to his season with six shutout innings while Justin Henry and Ryan Lavarnway stoked the offense with back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning.
PAWTUCKET â For a different change of pace, Bryce Brentz is garnering more headlines for his nifty glovework than his ability to deposit souvenirs over the fence.
Long known as a power hitter with a strong arm, the PawSox outfielder is doing his best to bring attention to his defense. With two down in the fifth inning of Mondayâs game against Syracuse, Brentz robbed Eury Perez of surefire extra bases as he went full extension on a sinking liner in the left-center field gap.
PAWTUCKET â Brock Holt thought he had it all mapped out. With Will Middlebrooks on Bostonâs 15-day disabled list, the versatile infielder anticipated that his role as the designated âfill-in guyâ would encompass the next few weeks or so.
PAWTUCKET â No high schooler wears the badge of courage better than the Kelly twins, former Davies Tech student-athlete Waleska and Tolman Highâs Francheska.
It was back in July that Waleska, the elder by a few minutes, suffered a stroke following a summer league basketball game. Through several confusing, worrisome months for the sisters, their family members, friends, teammates and mentors, Waleska now is back on track and enjoying things most of her peers take for granted.
CUMBERLAND â Juliet Nelson supplied some heat on a chilly 41-degree afternoon.
The Cumberland ace pitcher also brought her âAâ game to her teamâs home opener on Friday against visiting Toll Gate, as she struck out nine batters and allowed just two batted balls to reach the outfield grass in a masterful one-hit gem and a 2-0 victory that took just 80 minutes to complete.
PAWTUCKET â After a dismal previous 13 offensive frames to open this 2014 campaign, the Pawtucket Red Sox finally broke out of their collective offensive funk on drizzly Friday night..
Lehigh Valley had seemed destined to record another âcrooked numberâ triumph after jumping out to a 4-0 cushion, but the PawSox manufactured eight runs in the back half of the fifth and cruised to a 9-4 victory before a sparse crowd of 2,652 at McCoy Stadium.
Umpires had halted the game after the top of the eighth due to rain, but the tilt was quickly called official after a 15-minute delay.
PAWTUCKET â It had all the pageantry of Opening Day, from the introduction to the teams to Boston bullpen cop Steve Horgan tossing out the ceremonial pitch to the unfurling of an American flag in center field and a cannon salute that sounded off at the conclusion of the national anthem.
PAWTUCKET â If eight PawSox players show up late to McCoy Stadium this afternoon, donât fret. Their potential tardiness has already been taken under advisement.
âIt will be okay,â smiled manager Kevin Boles. âOpportunities like this donât come around too often, so youâve got to take advantage of them.â
At this point of the high school baseball season, the main topic of discussion doesnât pertain to the depth of the pitching staff or whether thereâs enough offense to carry the day.
After the brutal winter and wet early spring Rhode Islanders have endured, the burning question pertains to the status of the local diamonds. Are they ready to come to life following a deep slumber?
PAWTUCKET â The 2014 season for the PawSox is upon us, and with it brings the promise of intrigue and discovery. Who will produce enough to get summoned to Boston? The answers will start to reveal themselves beginning with Thursdayâs season and home opener against Lehigh Valley.
Until the answers begin to trickle in, here are five items one scribe plans to closely monitor in the early going:
1). A spin-off of Threeâs Company
PAWTUCKET -- A year after reaching the Governorsâ Cup finals, the Pawtucket Red Sox are looking to come back even stronger with a veteran Triple-A squad that will boast more than just a ring of familiarity.
Eight players on the PawSox opening day roster will be at Fenway Park the following afternoon to receive the World Series rings they earned as contributors to last yearâs champion Boston Red Sox. Among the âElite Eightâ is Pawtucketâs opening day starter, Allen Webster.
Veteran Mount St. Charles head coach Cliff Matthews couldn't help but pitch a bit of levity when asked how his girls' softball team should fare when Division I fast-pitch action begins this week.
âIt's not about Lincoln or Cumberland, La Salle or Coventry; it's all about the Mounties!â he laughed. âTell (Lions' mentor) Dick Ryan we're coming after them.â
Naturally, he was joking. How could he not? Lincoln hasn't lost a game since 2011.
PAWTUCKET â âChampions Riseâ is once again en vogue at McCoy Stadium. This time, though, the popular slogan is not directly paying homage to the buildingâs primary tenants.
Last year, âChampions Riseâ was synonymous with the Pawtucket Red Sox and the franchiseâs 2012 Governorsâ Cup title. As patrons passed through the main entrance at McCoy, they were greeted by a colossal banner that proved a fitting salute to a fitting champion.
PAWTUCKET â As Kevin Boles discovered this spring, the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of managing the Pawtucket Red Sox will come in good time.
Reached over the weekend from Fort Myers, Boles noted that he and PawSox coach Bruce Crabbe remained with the parent club until the near completion of Grapefruit League play. Keeping the Triple-A manager around the big-league atmosphere is a fairly common practice for the Red Sox, as Boles recalled that his PawSox predecessor, Gary DiSarcina, reported to the minors just as camp was set to conclude.
In a recent conversation with former Central Falls basketball standout Rob Alers, he was asked the whereabouts of fellow C.F. alumnus and his roommate at Lyndon State, George Carle.
With immediate confidence â the kind that comes when youâre pretty sure about something â Alers ventured a guess as to his good friendâs location on the Vermont-based campus.
âHeâs probably in the gym as we speak,â was what Alersâ senses were telling him.
As always before each practice session, head coach Lisa Bessette addressed her Pawtucket Pacers on Tuesday night, detailing what four groups of athletes would be doing for the next 75 minutes to prepare for the upcoming Special Olympics Rhode Island's Northern Area Games, those slated for Saturday, May 3 at Bryant University.
She stood in the middle of the Francis J. Varieur Elementary School's cafeteria/gymnasium, laying down the groundwork not only for that competition but also the SORI's State Games at the University of Rhode Island beginning May 30.