Archive - 2014 - Sports Article
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â Hayley Microulis, the lone senior on St. Raphael Academyâs roster, took charge on Thursday when the Saints opened the Division II playoffs against Burrillville in the single-elimination portion of the tournament.
âI wanted to make a statement about how much I love playing softball for St. Raphael Academy,â Microulis said after knocking in three runs and scoring another in a 4-0 victory that sent the Saints into the double-elimination phase of the playoffs, probably on Saturday against the Moses Brown-Cranston East survivor.
PAWTUCKET â Nearly seven months have passed since Stephen Drew last appeared in a major-league game.
Naturally, the goal is to see as many pitches as possible following such a lengthy layoff. Given that this is considered spring training for Drew, something he acknowledged prior to going 1-for-3 with two strikeouts in Pawtucketâs 3-0 victory over Gwinnett at frigid McCoy Stadium on Wednesday night, thereâs also a sense of urgency on the shortstopâs part.
PAWTUCKET â At long last, Danny Redshaw can enjoy all the perks that come with subscribing to the MLB Extra Innings package.
âIt will be nice to turn on the TV and see a young man who you were fortunate enough to coach in high school and has gone on to play Major League baseball,â Redshaw admitted when reached via cell phone.
PAWTUCKET â The PawSox offense is abysmal this season, ranking as one of the most futile in the International League.
That is not exactly âstop the presses materialâ to anyone who has watched this team up close. Theyâve seen plenty of 3-2 victories and 4-1 defeats. The PawSox bused back to Rhode Island in the wee hours Monday morning possessors of a seven-game losing streak, a dubious mark that has seen them bat .212 over that span. The weekend in Syracuse saw the locals go 23 innings without scoring a single run.
PAWTUCKET â For Travis Shaw, the process of getting out of Double-A Portland began in earnest at last yearâs Arizona Fall League.
âLast year was a fluke, that wasnât me. I got so far away from my approach,â stated the 23-year-old Shaw prior to making his Triple-A debut with the PawSox Monday night.
The first baseman was referencing his 2013 numbers with the Sea Dogs, ones that consisted of a high strikeout total (117 whiffs in 444 at-bats), low batting average (.221 in 127 games) and a career low on-base percentage (.342).
Two high-ranking members of the New York Yankeesâ minor-league branch believe that the offensive struggles that Mason Williams has endured for nearly two months are not cause for panic.
Williams, a 22-year-old who spent his formative years growing up in Pawtucket before moving to Winter Garden, Fla. following the completion of seventh grade at St. Teresa School, is in the midst of a deep slump. Thereâs no easy way to sugarcoat the .199 batting average and .295 on-base percentage he brought into Fridayâs game for Double-A Trenton (he stood at .191 prior to Thursdayâs two-hit performance).
PAWTUCKET â Rich Sauveur firmly believes that all five current members of the PawSoxâ starting rotation possess the ability to hold down jobs at pro baseballâs highest level.
âWhether itâs with Boston or with somebody else, theyâre going to start in the big leagues. I really feel that,â said Pawtucketâs pitching coach with a straight face. âI couldnât tell you when or with who, but they will.â
PAWTUCKET â Springtime may have finally sprung in southern New England, but Pawtucketâs bats remain in a deep slumber.
The offensive doldrums that have plagued the locals for much of the season perhaps simmered to a boil during the eighth inning of Tuesdayâs disheartening 3-0 loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, winners of three games in this four-game set. With two runners on base and the potential tying run at the plate, the PawSox turned to their Nos. 4 and 5 hitters in the hope seeing a ball disappear over the McCoy Stadium fence.
CUMBERLAND â Cumberland and Lincoln have hooked up in some interesting late-season matchups over the years, and on Tuesday afternoon, they continued this tradition with an extra-inning barnburner at Tucker Field.
After watching Lincoln score an unearned run in the top of the eighth inning, Cumberland came back to snag a dramatic 8-7 victory in its half of the frame on a clutch two-out, two-run single to right field by ace pitcher Juliet Nelson.
PAWTUCKET -- Monday night marked the 21st game of Daniel Navaâs penance with the PawSox.
The gone-but-certainly-not-forgotten Red Sox outfielder/first baseman carried a .275 batting average, .370 on-base percentage and a .435 slugging mark out to his right-field post while looking to extend a nine-game hitting streak.
WOONSOCKET â The Keith Carney who was enshrined into Mount St. Charlesâ Athletic Hall of Fame last Friday night was the picture of serenity â suggesting that after 17 years in the NHL, retirement agrees with him.
CUMBERLAND --- For the past few years, the sand volleyball courts in the back of Fore Court Racquet & Fitness Club on Cray Street had been vacant and pretty much forgotten.
But when a club member approached Dave Morin, the president and general manager of Fore Court, about the possibility of transforming the big outdoor space into a training center for obstacle racing, the wheels went into motion.
Providing quality without paying quantity.
Thatâs the mindset of the R.I. Strikers FC premier youth soccer organization as it kicks off its second season of existence.
After fielding five teams last season, including an Under-13 boysâ squad that captured the R.I. State Cup, the Strikers are looking to expand to nine teams this summer and include young talent from across the Blackstone Valley.
And theyâre doing so with the repeat promise of offering the lowest premier fees in southeastern New England.
PAWTUCKET â In what now will be an absolute annual clash between the city's two public high schools, Tolman and Shea delivered a strange, sloppy affair inside the Pawtucket Red Sox' long-standing home on Tuesday afternoon.
All told, the two squads combined for 11 errors (with three batters reaching on strikeouts gone bad), six wild pitches, two passed balls and three hit batsmen.
The contest also saw the Tigers jump out to a 6-1 cushion, then watch aimlessly as the Raiders tied it at 6-6 with a quartet in the top of the fourth.
SMITHFIELD â For golf enthusiasts who remember Jason Dufnerâs blistering performance on his way to capturing the 2013 PGA Championship, they know that the Auburn University product is a man of few words. He will respond to someone who acknowledges him with a polite nod, but donât expect much more.
PAWTUCKET â One cannot quantify with simple words what John Scanlon and Ray McGee mean to this cityâs public school athletic programs.
So given recent developments, two coaches â one from Tolman and the other from Shea â feel that itâs time to begin a new tradition to preserve the legacies of these two dedicated and beloved athletic directors.
Following the final out of Tuesdayâs Division II baseball game between the Tigers and Raiders at McCoy Stadium, the first-ever awarding of the âMcGee/Scanlon Trophyâ will be made to the winning team.
PAWTUCKET â Tolman Highâs options to overturn the one-year playoff ban saddled to its football program have been completely exhausted.
CENTRAL FALLS â Pawtucket resident Joe Handy recalls with fondness â not to mention an edge in his voice â his years as a student-athlete at Central Falls High School.
But no particular moment meant more to him than the happenings of March 15, 1987. It was on that Saturday at the then-Providence Civic Center that Handy, the Warriorsâ senior co-captain, helped deliver to his school its first-ever state basketball championship.
LINCOLN â As Lincoln High senior first baseman McKenzie Cavanaugh walked to her family car late Friday afternoon, she heaved one last grunt â âAaarggh!â â at what had occurred just minutes before.
She then shook her head in dismay.
Cavanaugh had every reason for the sentiment, and â actually â had to be relating her teammatesâ feelings after the Lions sustained a disgruntling 3-0 Division I loss to still-unbeaten North Kingstown at the Saylesville Elementary School diamond.
PAWTUCKET â There was a time Thursday afternoon when Rubby De La Rosa didnât appear as if he would make it out of the second inning.
Toledoâs three runs in the frame came as a result of five consecutive batters reaching with two outs. De La Rosa allowed RBI singles to Ben Guez and Daniel Fields, while the pitcherâs own throwing error enabled the Mud Hens to plate another run.