Archive - Sports Article
June 8th, 2012
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.
PAWTUCKET â Perhaps three minutes after Tolman High had suffered a 3-1 loss to Westerly at Ted McConnon Memorial Field on Friday afternoon, skipper Theo Murray jogged out to left field where his players, as is the norm, already had congregated.
He spoke with them for another five or six minutes, then followed his somewhat-dejected Tigers back to their third-base dugout.
âI just told the kids that our pitcher did his job, and our defense did its job,â Murray stated matter-of-factly. âI also said that our bats, unfortunately, let us down.â
LINCOLN â The sixth time was the charm.
After watching a successful season get cut short in the Division III semifinal round in each of the last five years, Davies took a torch to the history books and finally earned the right to play for a state championship.
A 10-run uprising in the home half of the second inning, sparked by a grand slam home run to center field by Madison Cooper, and another remarkable outing by ace pitcher Madison Goodhart were the keys to the Patriotsâ 15-2 triumph over Central Falls on Friday afternoon.
PAWTUCKET â Sure, the two-run inside-the-park home run by junior Jordyn Klemanchuck was mightily impressive. So too was the double off the bat of classmate Olivia Larson.
Yet ask Tolman head coach Craig Giarrusso about what stood out about the six runs his team exploded for in the fifth inning of Thursdayâs Division II single-elimination contest against South Kingstown and heâll gladly point to the little things.
NORTH PROVIDENCE â Fresh off of a 1-0 win in the 12th inning of its playoff opener against Middletown, No. 8 seeded Cumberland continued its impressive playoff run with a 6-2 upset win over No. 1 seeded North Providence on Thursday afternoon.
The Cougars had won the previous two meetings between these two teams -- 4-2 at home and 6-2 at Cumberland -- but the Clippers got the win when it mattered most, in the playoffs.
LINCOLN â There had been a fair share of dominant Division I teams during the past decade that ruled their regular seasons and captured state championships, but none of them were able to accomplish what Lincoln wrapped up on Monday afternoon.
For some high school sports like baseball and softball, the road to postseason glory begins this week. For other sports such as lacrosse, the action continues with teams setting their sights on reaching the finals, set for next weekend at Rhode Island College.
With the exception of softball, all of the brackets have been released. In an exercise geared toward setting the record straight, we present a brief overview of whatâs in store for the local teams fortunate enough to still be competing in meaningful games at this time of year.
PAWTUCKET â If Ron Johnson had any doubts or reservations about his status among the baseball cognoscenti, a phone call from Dan Duquette quickly erased them.
It was a phone call that was straight to the point with Duquette taking a run at Johnson to gauge his level of interest in the managerial job with the Norfolk Tides. Sure, the two share a past, but what heightens the importance of this particular phone call is the timing of when it occured.
WARWICK â Dan Rhault knows that in order for a high school baseball talent to get noticed, one has to venture to where college coaches and recruiters gather.
The belief that if youâre good, âtheyâ will seek you out no longer applies. Recruiting has become such a cutthroat business that if you snooze, you lose, and if you snooze some more, you just might see your baseball career end at the high school level.
âWeâre going to them,â Rhault, a Lincoln native, said matter-of-factly.