Archive - Sports Article
June 11th, 2012
PAWTUCKET â Daniel Bard got his wish Monday night. Unfortunately for the pitcher, the switch to the bullpen did little inspire confidence that heâs ready to turn the corner.
Working one inning, Bard allowed one run on one hit with a walk and two strikeouts as the PawSox saw a ninth-inning rally come up just short in an 11-8 loss to the Gwinnett Braves. Bard ended up tossing 22 pitches, 11 for strikes.
Through all the video and bullpen sessions along with everything else geared toward the task of Reconstruction: The Daniel Bard Story, thereâs one loose end left.
What exactly is Bardâs mound assignment moving forward â starter or reliever? Judging by the early returns in his minor-league stint with the PawSox, such a pretty important clarification appears to have been left off the struggling pitcherâs itinerary, the one that the Red Sox brain trust undoubtedly compiled and left atop Bardâs equipment bag as he packed up his Fenway Park locker.
PROVIDENCE â And just like that, there will be a new champion in Division II this year.
Tolman Highâs run at the top came to a sudden and abrupt end Monday night, the semifinal loss sustained against an undefeated Pilgrim High outfit that pulled away in the third and final game en route to posting a sweep at the Providence Career & Technical Academy field house.
PROVIDENCE â Immediately after the Davies Tech team bus arrived at the Rhode Island College diamond at approximately 4:30 p.m., Sunday, skipper Scott Cooper strode up the aluminum stands to the press box for a coin flip with Central High's mentor, Michelle Rawcliffe.
That toss would decide the home team for this Rhode Island Division III Tournament championship series' ârubberâ tilt.
When Rawcliffe chose âtailsâ and won the flip, choosing to bat in the bottom half of each inning, Cooper silently said a prayer.
WEST WARWICK â If there is a margin of separation between the Cumberland Clippers and the South Kingstown Rebels, it doesnât appear to be a very big one.
Yesterday, behind a shutout pitched by Justin Patrick, the Clippers beat the Rebels 1-0 to send the series into a third game. In seven innings, Patrick gave up just two hits while striking out six batters with only one walk.
Cumberlandâs head coach Paul Murphy could not have asked for more of his starter in a critical elimination game.
âHeâs been absolutely fantastic in the playoffs,â Murphy said of Patrick.
PAWTUCKET â There was Ryan Lavarnway the other day, sitting in PawSox manager Arnie Beyelerâs office along with Chad Epperson, the Red Sox minor-league catching coordinator. The seating arrangement resembled that of an atypical boardroom meeting, with Beyeler staring directly at Lavarnway from his behind-the-desk vantage point while Epperson occupied the plush leather couch to the right of 24-year-old.
PAWTUCKET â Mike Cather was Daniel Bardâs pitching coach in Double-A Portland when Bard made the conversion from starting pitcher to reliever.
What does Cather, currently the minor-league pitching coordinator for the San Diego Padres, recall about watching Bard undergo said conversion in 2008? Letâs just say that experience is something that the struggling Red Sox pitcher should think long and hard about drawing upon during his stint with the Pawtucket Red Sox.
PROVIDENCE â Constant success can be bad for the psyche.
So claimed Lincoln High head coach Dick Ryan after his Lions posted an unusual, come-from-behind 5-2 victory over Coventry in a state Division I Tournament quarterfinal at Rhode Island College late Friday afternoon.
In 12 of its initial 18 contests, Lincoln registered seven or more runs, and six of those were of the 10-run âmercy-ruleâ variety.
PAWTUCKET â Daniel Bard could have taken the easy way out.
He could have tucked himself away in the trainerâs room, or if he wanted to be out of complete sight, he could have hid in the indoor batting tunnels or some other out-of-the-way location in McCoy Stadium.
Instead, the embattled starting pitcher faced the media in the Pawtucket Red Soxâs weight room at 5 p.m. sharp Thursday, discussing his recent demotion from Boston and the mechanical issues that have plagued him.
LINCOLN â When Dr. Edward M. Matejkovic chose to hire Lincoln's own Jad Prachniak to skipper his West Chester University baseball squad last July, he knew he was putting a lot of faith in an unknown product.
After all, up to that point, Prachniak had served just one year as an undergraduate assistant coach at the University of Rhode Island in 2005, then served as Frank Leoni's pitching coach/recruiting coordinator at the College of William & Mary the following five years.
The question cut right to the heart of the matter and can only be answered by Mark Prior himself.
Why keep revisiting what has been a torturous comeback trail in the same manner where in the past, injuries played a significant part in removing the luster of this onetime pitching star?
Why not come to terms that the last major-league start you made occurred August 10, 2006, take comfort in knowing you gave it your best shot and realize that at age 31, you still have an entire life ahead of you?
PAWTUCKET -- Last spring, Tolman High finished the season as it hoped it would â as Rhode Island Division II champions.
It nevertheless wasnât easy, as it had to manufacture come-from-behind victories over Pilgrim in a quarterfinal, Cranston West in a semifinal and finally Barrington, 3-1, in the championship match.
LINCOLN â Call what happened to Lincolnâs Chris Pickering on Wednesday afternoon a pleasant and unexpected surprise â that of getting selected by the San Francisco Giants on the third and final day of the MLB Draft.
See East Providence long jumper Chris Moura and others compete in a slideshow of the RIIL Outdoor Track and Field State Championship held Sunday. Click SPORTS in the menu bar at top of page to view.
CUMBERLAND â As a sophomore, Cumberland High senior Kara Gorman blew out a shoulder throwing the javelin, but attempted to make a comeback her junior outdoor track and field season.
âIt was a âno-go,ââ she explained. âWay too painful.â
This past fall, a few members of the girlsâ lacrosse squad begged her to sign up for their program, as they desperately needed a goalie, and she finally acquiesced.
PAWTUCKET â No. 2 and No. 3 seeds donât usually battle each other until the semifinals of a winnersâ bracket, not in the opening round of a losersâ bracket, but thatâs where Tolman and North Smithfield were contesting each other on Monday afternoon.
And not only did both teams head into Slater Park looking to erase the sting of 1-0 defeats from the previous afternoon, but they had to combat the misty weather and temperatures in the low 50s thoughout this part of the state.
PAWTUCKET â Tolman High overcame a 3-2 deficit with a five-run fifth inning and claimed a 7-3 victory over Ponaganset in a R.I. Division II/Region III losersâ bracket final at Slater Parkâs Ted McConnon Memorial Field in Monday afternoonâs off-and-on drizzle.
PROVIDENCE â Central Falls High senior Steve Vazquez and Cumberland junior Trevor Crawley maintained vastly different outlooks about reigning in their respective individual events at Sunday's Rhode Island Interscholastic Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Vazquez had just captured the high jump crown with a leap of 6 feet, eight inches at Brown Stadium, yet he sat virtually alone on a steel bench, shedding tears, just yards away from the bar that failed him.
PAWTUCKET â Woonsocket Highâs answer to grace under fire was one cool customer on Sunday afternoon.
With her team locked in a scoreless duel against Tolman High, senior Kelsey Boucher changed the playoff fate of two teams with one mighty poke. Her solo home run in the sixth inning â one that hit the top of the fence at Slater Parkâs Al Bailey Field before bouncing over â proved to be the deciding factor in the seventh-seeded Villa Novansâ 1-0 upset victory against the Tigers, the No. 2 in the Division II double-elimination tournament.
PROVIDENCE â There were T.J. Sorrentine and Mike Martin, two longtime buddies sitting Thursday night in a restaurant on Thayer Street. Earlier that day, it was revealed that Martin would be returning to his alma mater as the menâs basketball head coach at Brown University.