Archive - 2014 - Sports Article
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.
PAWTUCKET â As a knuckleball pitcher, Steven Wright can get loose in a hurry.
As a 29-year-old man who is three months removed from undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia, the importance of taking things slow and steady cannot be understated.
From his vantage point, Wright earnestly believes that heâs thriving on this unconventional and demanding comeback trail. The Red Sox right-hander is not rehabbing a bum shoulder or a tender elbow. In effect, he had to re-train the muscles in the lower half of his body following a lengthy stretch of inactivity.
PAWTUCKET --- As good as Brandon Workman was on Wednesday night â and he was very good â his counterpart was just a tad bit better.
Toledo Mud Hens starter Kyle Lobstein delivered his best outing of the year, limiting the Pawtucket Red Sox to four hits and a free pass in 6 1/3 scoreless innings, and the Hensâ bullpen kept the PawSox off the board the rest of the way in securing a 4-0 victory at McCoy Stadium.
PAWTUCKET --- Limited to five hits in each of its last two games, Cumberland broke out of its offensive slumber in a big way in the top of the first inning of its Division I contest against Tolman on Wednesday afternoon.
The Clippers scored six times on seven hits in that inning, and then watched ace pitcher Juliet Nelson and their defense contain the hard-hitting Tigers the rest of the way before busing out of Slater Park with a 10-1 triumph.
PROVIDENCE â If Rhode Island College was going to see Bob Walsh pursue his basketball coaching dreams elsewhere, Anchormen Athletic Director Don Tencher took comfort in knowing that he was not going to lose his head coach to a Division II or III school.
PAWTUCKET â The Alex Wilson who posted a 10.80 ERA in four Grapefruit League outings is a distant memory.
In his place is a reliever who has been a rock solid contributor at the backend of Pawtucketâs bullpen. Entering Tuesdayâs game against Toledo, the right-hander has posted a microscopic 0.71 ERA in 12.1 innings. International League foes are hitting a paltry .143 against Wilson, who is averaging 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings.
ATTLEBORO â If not for Abigail McNultyâs father pushing her in the direction of high-school running, there is no story about how this Cumberland native and Bishop Feehan senior blossomed into a long-distance ace that will be Stanford-bound this September.
To borrow from a popular television series: âFather Knows Best.â Tom McNulty certainly fits the bill after parlaying a strong tennis career at Feehan into a scholarship to Providence College.
PAWTUCKET â Itâs not often that an athlete at an advanced stage such as Triple-A baseball is hearing something for the first time, but that was the case after Pawtucket held on for a 3-2 victory over Indianapolis on Sunday.
PAWTUCKET â Ryan Lavarnway has worn many labels since his dynamic Triple-A debut with the PawSox three summers ago.
Back then he was viewed as a long-ball threat whose catching abilities needed refining. To Lavarnwayâs credit, heâs made tremendous strides behind the plate, though some scouts wonder if itâs come at the expense of his power. The 26-year-old clubbed a combined 14 home runs over the past two seasons between Boston and Pawtucket â after belting 18 round trippers in only 61 games at the Class AAA level in 2011.
PAWTUCKET â Dating back to the 2000 campaign, when it captured its first R.I. Division II championship, Tolman High has been one of the premier programs not only against its divisional brethren but statewide as well.
Under veteran mentor Neil Nachbar's direction, the Tigers have earned numerous league titles and four state crowns, with two collected over the past three years.
In that time, only one program has eclipsed that mark. That would be Mount St. Charles, which has five, and because of that success now plays â and excels â in Division I.
PAWTUCKET â Kevin Boles had no problem with the umpireâs decision to pull the plug on Thursdayâs game. The fog that had engulfed McCoy Stadium reached a point where player safety had been seriously compromised.
Boles had a good view on the final play of this abbreviated contest: a shallow pop fly off the bat of Garin Cecchini that Indianapolis left fielder Chase dâArnaud had trouble finding. Luckily for the Indians, shortstop Robert Andino â remember him, Red Sox fans? â was able to make the catch for the first out in the home portion of the seventh inning.
PAWTUCKET â Itâs common to see a number of Pawtucket Red Sox hitters shuffle in and out of the indoor batting tunnel â located a stoneâs throw away from the home clubhouse at McCoy Stadium â prior to heading outside for more hitting and on-field work.
This time-tested practice was once again on full display Thursday afternoon, as Bryce Brentz, Alex Hassan, and others chose to take full advantage of the early work services offered by hitting coach Dave Joppie. Daniel Nava was also among the participants, which wasnât at all shocking.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â For someone who had just watched his team improve to a perfect 9-0 in league play on the season, Tolman High head coach Neil Nachbar sure didnât seem very pleased.
His Tigers had just manufactured not only a 3-1 victory over gritty North Smithfield in a Division II crossover clash at the Lovett Memorial Gym on Wednesday night, but also a minimum of four individual season-best performances.
Among them were senior captainâs Eric Silveiraâs 20 kills and nine aces; fellow senior setter Kelvin Reyesâ 50 assists; and classmate Denzel DePinaâs 15 kills (with two blocks).
PAWTUCKET â To get picked first is always a noteworthy feat, not to mention the declaration of admiration and high regard that such a choice implies.
To get selected for the first broadcast in conjunction with CBS Sports Networkâs Minor League Baseball Game of the Week package further legitimizes the Pawtucket Red Sox as a national brand within this cottage industry of cultivating and developing the next wave of major league hopefuls.
PAWTUCKET â Much has already been said about Garin Cecchiniâs ability to understand the strike zone and his propensity to get on base. Case in point, the PawSox third baseman entered Sunday ninth in the International League in on-base percentage (.415) while his .329 batting average has him just outside the top 10.