Archive - Sports Article
June 23rd, 2013
By DAN CHAREST
Toeing the rubber in the top of the ninth was a strikeout specialist from Pennsylvania. His batterymate behind the dish was a high-average hitter from Alabama.
And leading off for the Ocean State Waves of the New England Collegiate Baseball League stood Pawtucketâ€™s Nick Sebastian.
Before Sebastian strolled to the plate with his Waves losing 3-2 to the Laconia Muskrats, he had spent a lengthy time on his baseball journey outside of his hometown until the Waves brought him back to Rhode Island.
PAWTUCKET -- On a late March day in Fort Myers, Fla., Xander Bogaerts could have accepted what the lineup card stipulated and left it at that.
The Red Sox prospect and now the newest member of the PawSox, however, was comfortable enough in his own skin to approach the powers-that-be and show his eagerness and enthusiasm for the game he is paid to play.
According to one staff member, the sequence helped cast the player in a whole new light.
EAST PROVIDENCE â€” Bobby Leopold would have loved to compete in more amateur tourneys this spring, but just couldn't find the time.
On December 10, he and his wife, Taylor, became proud new parents of Grayson Robert, now a bouncing six-month-old boy, so â€“ naturally â€“ most of his days, and of course nights, are devoted to his baby and work.
EAST PROVIDENCE â€“ Regrets? Every golfer has some upon the roundâ€™s conclusion.
The ones that Jamison Randall expressed followed his one-over 70 performance on Day 1 of the Northeast Amateur Invitational didnâ€™t equate to the Cumberland lad singing the blues. Had the golf gods been kinder, perhaps Randallâ€™s Wednesday score would have been closer to the low number Brazilâ€™s Rafael Becker posted â€“ a minus-seven 62 that featured an eye-popping eight birdies.
PAWTUCKET â€” Never has a trip to the principalâ€™s office been more soothing and reassuring.
Score one for PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina for putting out the fire before it engulfed the clubhouse he oversees. There was a delicate situation that needed to be addressed with several Pawtucket players, and DiSarcina handled every last conversation with aplomb.
â€śThatâ€™s what the job of a manager is. You have to manage those people,â€ť stated DiSarcina matter-of-factly.
LINCOLN â€“ Casie Beauchemin, Lincoln High's heralded junior right fielder, sat back on a bench in front of the school early Wednesday afternoon trying to convey how incredible it felt to be a part of a team that not only captured two consecutive state Division I titles, but did so with an unblemished 43-0 mark.
EAST PROVIDENCE â€“ How Jamison Randall landed a coveted spot in this weekâ€™s Northeast Amateur Invitational can be traced back to last summerâ€™s noteworthy accomplishment on the links.
For the Cumberland High alumnus and junior-to-be at Virginiaâ€™s Old Dominion University, winning the R.I. Stroke Play Championship was akin to feasting oneâ€™s eyes on a golden ticket after opening a Wonka bar.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Bernie Carbo assumed custody of his grandson when he was two. This same lad has matured into a 14-year-old with big-league hopes, no doubt fueled by a grandfather who authored one of the most memorable home runs in Red Sox lore.
PROVIDENCE â€“ While far from finalized, several realignment proposals were shared and discussed amongst the Rhode Island Interscholastic Leagueâ€™s Principalsâ€™ Committee on Athletics Monday afternoon.
Speaking on behalf of the realignment committee, Prout Athletic Director Mike Traficante presented modifications to the formula that has been the determining factor in placing teams in corresponding divisions. The earliest these changes would take effect is the 2014-15 academic year, the first year following the expiration of the current two-year realignment agreement.
PAWTUCKET â€” This knuckleballer had the Wright stuff on Sunday afternoon.
Steven Wright impressed a large Fatherâ€™s Day crowd at McCoy Stadium with his finest start of the year. Throwing a season-high eight innings -- the Pawtucket Red Sox starter to do so this year -- Wright struck out seven batters and gave up just five hits, a run, and no walks to help the PawSox notch a 5-3 triumph over the Buffalo Bisons.
PROVIDENCE â€“ To Emily Bouthillette, a whack to the face never felt so good.
Minutes after Lincoln High had clinched an easier-than-anticipated 5-1 victory over Coventry to claim its second straight R.I. Division I Tournament title on Sunday afternoon, Bouthillette's fellow senior tri-captain, Lindsay Mayer, accepted the state championship plaque.
When Mayer heard fans screaming from the third-base gate to spin and hoist it â€“ of course for photos â€“ she accidentally struck her teammate, and immediately responded, â€śEm, I'm so sorry!
PROVIDENCE â€“ In two previous regular-season meetings with Division II-West champion North Providence High, league runner-up St. Raphael Academy suffered losses of 5-0 at Notte Park and 1-0 at the Hank Soar Complex.
SRA skipper Ron Labree and assistant Kevin Shea discussed the nuances of those defeats on the team bus, one carrying the Saints to one final showdown against the mighty Cougars in the R.I. Division II Tournament championship game, on Saturday morning.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Xander Bogaerts wasted little time in making himself feel quite at home in his new surroundings.
All the 20-year-old did in his PawSox debut was a little bit of everything, his efforts going a long way in Pawtucket grabbing both ends of Fridayâ€™s doubleheader against Buffalo. The home team won the first game in dramatic 1-0 fashion as Alex Hassan delivered a walk-off hit with two down in the seventh inning.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Xander Bogaerts reached Triple-A Pawtucket as a 20-year-old and with 290 Double-A at-bats in 79 games to his credit.
Just to provide an idea of how unique his situation is, below is a list of former and current PawSox position players and where they stood at-bat and age-wise upon leaving Portland:
â€“ Dustin Pedroia (256 at-bats in 66 Double-A games. Reached Pawtucket at age 22).
â€“ Will Middlebrooks (37 at-bats in 96 Double-A games. Reached Pawtucket at age 22).
â€“ Jacoby Ellsbury (271 at-bats in 67 Double-A games. Reached Pawtucket at age 23).
PROVIDENCE â€“ Immediately after the final point had been recorded, the on-court Tolman High players mobbed each other nearest their fan base, jumping up and down in a massive group hug.
Their classmates naturally joined in the celebratory scrum, and each Tiger â€“ including those cheering wildly from the bench â€“ then broke off individually for more personal congratulations with parents, girlfriends and the like.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The worst-case scenario that Xander Bogaerts envisioned never came to pass.
Initially, Bogaerts thought he was being summoned to the managerâ€™s office because he didnâ€™t protest a strike three call that came with the count full. Portlandâ€™s 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 â€” 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 â€śrealâ€ť team to be concerned about was North Providence.
Labree mentioned that to his girls before their playoff debut, and â€“ excepting one hiccup â€“ they've been on a roll ever since.
LINCOLN â€“ 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 â€“ A simple but well-executed bunt that St. Raphaelâ€™s Kamryn Labree laid down in the top of the sixth inning Monday proved a turning point in Monday's Division II losersâ€™ bracket semifinal contest against North Smithfield.
If the freshman doesnâ€™t get the ball down, the tenor of the game may have been drastically different. Both pitchers, SRAâ€™s 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 Collegeâ€™s Dayna A. Bazar Softball Complex.
Lincoln High senior Nick Zammarelli has been presented with two envelopes. One is marked â€ścollegeâ€ť â€“ as in the opportunity to play Division I baseball at Elon (N.C.) University. The second envelope is labeled â€śprosâ€ť â€“ 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.