WEST WARWICK -- Just before the R.I. American Legion Senior Division Tournament championship tilt began late Wednesday afternoon, skipper Jim Mello huddled his troops outside the first-base dugout and issued a few simple thoughts.
“There is no tonight if we don’t take care of business right now,” he stated. “Think about this game and what you need to do. It’s do-or-die; now go out there and have some fun.”
WEST WARWICK – With Collette Vacations Post 79 facing their third-straight elimination game on Tuesday, Zach Mitsmenn dazzled the tournament’s top-seeded squad for nine innings, sending home the highly-touted Senerchia Post 74 and propelling Collette into the final day of play at the R.I. American Legion Senior Division Tournament.
PAWTUCKET â For reasons no doubt discussed ad nauseam in other forums, âRocketâ Roger Clemens will not be featured during this weekendâs Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Brandon Workman, Clemens fan, fellow Red Sox pitcher and fellow University of Texas Longhorn, hopes that changes someday.
KR Baseball Academy is on the move after a successful 10-year run in Pawtucket.
Though nothing is official, the owner hopes everything regarding the academy’s new Lincoln location will be signed, sealed and delivered by the middle of next week. More specifically, Ken Ryan plans to inhabit space on 100 Higginson Ave., which is situated in the Lonsdale section of town.
The running joke between Bob Walsh and Antone Gray became a rite of spring.
Whenever Walshâs name was linked to prospective Division I menâs basketball head coaching jobs, he would receive a reminder from a player who never seemed to stray too far from the mentorâs mind. Gray first placed the bug in Walshâs ear during their point guard/coaching partnership at Rhode Island College. He continued to do so after his graduation in 2011.
âEven when Antone was a sophomore playing for me, he would say, âDonât leave me here, donât leave me here,â Walsh recalled.
CUMBERLAND — Even dating back to last summer, skipper Dave Belisle had a feeling his Cumberland American Little League All-Stars wouldn't have much of an issue with the bats.
But even he's surprised with how his roster of 12 has produced this time around.
Consider these statistics: In four straight triumphs over Smithfield (11-3) and Lincoln (9-6) in the R.I. District IV Major Division (11-12) event, then two more against Coventry American (5-4) and Cranston Western (17-4) in the state tournament, his squad has outscored its opponents, 42-17.
BRISTOL – Sean Meers clubbed two homers, drove in five runs and scored three on Sunday as Cumberland American delivered a 17-4 mercy-rule bushwhacking of Cranston Western's best in a winners' bracket final at King Philip Little League's Roger W. Pigeon Field.
BRISTOL – When Cumberland American standout Addison Kopack launched a one-out, opposite-field “tater” over the right-center field fence to tie Coventry American, 4-4, in the bottom of the sixth – as a result forcing extra innings – Lincoln All-Stars' manager Charlie Hien responded as only he could.
“Honestly, it's like they have nine lives,” he said, shaking his head. “That team just doesn't quit.”
The Cumberland American All-Stars begin play Saturday in the Rhode Island State Little League Major Division Championship, their first appearance there since 2011.
PAWTUCKET – The newest member of the PawSox pitching staff had a familiar face waiting to greet him at T.F. Green Airport.
Make that a good friend who also doubles as an offseason housemate down in Baton Rouge.
PAWTUCKET – Whether it’s promoting him to a new level or putting more responsibilities on his plate, the Red Sox have never shied away from challenging Christian Vazquez.
“Whether it’s going to the Arizona Fall League or his first big-league (spring training) camp, this guy has exceeded expectations every time,” gushed Red Sox Minor-League Catching Coordinator Chad Epperson on Thursday when asked about the recently-promoted-to-the-majors Vazquez.
CUMBERLAND – Twenty-four hours after their epic, come-from-behind 9-6 victory over gritty Lincoln in the District IV championship game, it was back to business as usual for the Cumberland American All-Stars.
They returned to practice at their Garvin Field home on Tuesday night, ready to move on from one of the most exciting and memorable contests in R.I. Little League Tournament history.
BURRILLVILLE -- For participants and fans alike, Monday night’s R.I. District IV Major Division (11-12) Tournament championship game was something like a Six Flags water slide – jam-packed with thrilling twists and turns, while getting everyone soaked.
Members of the Lincoln 9-10-Year-Old District IV All-Star team take a victory lap around Burrillville's Sherman Park after capturing the district title Monday night
BURRILLVILLE â If you have a penchant for the dramatic, and you attended the Cumberland American-Lincoln All-Star Game on Monday night, your appetite was whetted.
In the end, Jayden Struble walloped a three-run home run to left field with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to deliver to CALL a 9-6 walk-off victory over Lincoln at Sherman Park. With the triumph, Cumberland American not only captured the Rhode Island District IV Major Division crown, but also sealed a berth in next weekendâs state tournament in Bristol.
It looks like Theo Epstein may have the last laugh after all. All the former general manager of the Red Sox would have to do is point to last Wednesday when the starting lineup included five rookies. Surely such a development would have brought a smile to Epsteinâs face if he were still running the day-to-day baseball operations on Yawkey Way.
PAWTUCKET â Sarah Mirza-DiNardo still has plenty of acting blood in her.
Case in point: The happenings at the U.S. Figure Skating National Theatre on Ice Competition in Dearborn, Mich. the afternoon of Friday, June 27.
SMITHFIELD – His teammates call him “Hien Machine.”
PAWTUCKET – Through his 40 years in the music business, Jeffrey Osborne has compiled a pretty impressive Rolodex of celebrity friends in the entertainment industry, but one of his oldest and strongest friendships is with someone from an entirely different walk of life – basketball legend Magic Johnson.
PAWTUCKET – It’s become a given. No, make that an expectation.
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