Archive - Sports Article
May 28th, 2012
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.
PAWTUCKET â The location has changed and so has the weekend, but the Memorial 5K Run/Walk for PFC Kyle Joseph Coutu is returning to the area and eager to bring the community back together for a fun-filled day at Slater Park.
The event, which will take place on Sunday, June 3, at 9 a.m., will again pay tribute to Coutu, a 2009 graduate of Tolman High and football and wrestling captain and a U.S. Marine who was killed on Feb. 18, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan.
WEST CHESTER, Pa. â Itâs been quite the debut for Jad Prachniak, West Chester Universityâs new baseball skipper.
Thanks to the tutelage of the former Lincoln resident, the Golden Rams closed their regular season with a stellar 42-10 slate, captured the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship and qualified for the NCAA Division II World Series after winning four straight games in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament.
PAWTUCKET â The Pawtucket Red Sox received some much-needed outfield help Thursday. Despite putting up impressive numbers with Double-A Portland, J.C. Linares was not the player the Red Sox organization chose to promote.
Instead, Ronald Bermudez was the one summoned to Triple A. Selecting Bermudez over Linares may be viewed in some corners as a curious decision, especially when taking into account that the 27-year-old Linares is leading the Sea Dogs in hitting (.311), RBI (25), on-base percentage (.406) while ranking second among regulars in home runs (six) heading into Thursdayâs action.
LINCOLN --- For Thomas Falowo, the drive from his front door in Pawtucket to the Twin River Event Center is less than 10 minutes.
But on Thursday night, the Manfredoâs Gym middleweight felt like he took a long flight to Texas to battle the Lone Star Stateâs Samuel Clarkson in a marquee six-round showdown of unbeaten prospects.
PAWTUCKET â Win and youâre in the playoffs. Lose and feel the pain that goes with realizing that your season is kaput before Memorial Day.
With so much riding on Fridayâs outcome, there was no time for either Lincoln or St. Raphael to get caught up with what potentially lies ahead. There would be no tomorrow for one team, nor would any partial credit be awarded as the Lions and Saints entered this pivotal final game of the regular season sporting identical 7-10 league records.
PAWTUCKET â Darnell McDonald knows that the Red Sox need outfield help in the worst way possible. Thatâs why the 33-year-old is holding out hope that his rehab assignment with the Pawtucket Red Sox is of the short and sweet variety.
âHopefully it wonât be more than a few days; a lot of guys up there are out,â noted McDonald Friday prior to going 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly while playing five innings in left field for the PawSox.
PROVIDENCE â Tolman High had just earned an easier-than-expected 3-0 triumph over Central on Tuesday night, and with it virtually sealed up the second-place slot in Division II-North, but veteran head coach Neil Nachbar was hardly satisfied with his squad's overall performance.
PAWTUCKET â It's been a rough first season for the fledgling St. Raphael Academy program, but Tuesday night made it all worthwhile.
Maybe the number 13 is lucky, after all.
After that amount of losses, the Saints earned its first-ever varsity volleyball triumph with a 3-1 Division II-North decision over Lincoln High at the Alumni & Wellness Center, and the squad commemorated it appropriately.
NORFOLK, Va. â The Pawtucket Red Sox broke a 2-2 draw by scoring twice in the top of the seventh inning and held on for a rain-shortened 5-3 victory over the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday afternoon for a split of their four-game series at Harbor Park.
Jonathan Hee led off the seventh with a single to right and Pedro Ciriaco followed with a double to right to put runners in scoring position.
A groundout to shortstop by Jose Iglesias allowed Hee to speed home with the go-ahead run, and Ryan Lavarnway doubled to right to drive in Ciriaco.
It was a textbook case where the idiom âturnabout is fair playâ directly applies.
From Ryan Mallettâs vantage point, some friendly and well-intentioned payback was in order. It only seemed fitting, considering Mallett had pulled the necessary strings that paved the way for his childhood chum from Texas, Will Middlebrooks, to attend a couple of New England Patriots games last season â sitting in primo seats no less.
In the short time Rakim Sanders has spent as an NBA hopeful, the Pawtucket native has learned an invaluable lesson â when opportunity knocks, itâs best to jump all in.
Fresh off spending the weekend at a draft combine in East Rutherford, N.J., at which representatives from all 30 teams were in attendance, Sanders now embarks on a vagabond tour of NBA cities scattered across the country.
EAST PROVIDENCE â Nine-year-old Andrew Smyth of East Greenwich stared down at X Games' nine-time BMX medalist Kevin Robinson autographing his white T-shirt in heavy blue ink. When the elder had finished, he flashed a grin at his mom, Stacey.
The boy had never before met Robinson, and couldn't believe his good fortune when the 40-year-old athlete and East Providence native posed with him for a photo.
Robinson immediately hugged Stacey and thanked her for attending his second annual âRide with K-Rob/Family Fun Festival,â held at Rose Larisa Park on Riverside's tip Sunday afternoon.
PAWTUCKET â The regional and national tournaments are all a thing of the past. So is the points scoring system that heâs had to worry about every time heâs fought, as well as the headgear that heâs had to strap on for 130 amateur fights, 119 of which he won.
The next time Toka Kahn-Clary steps in the ring, the Manfredoâs Gym fighter will do so as a professional. His name and his pro fights will be etched forever on boxrec.com, and yes, he will be fattening his wallet with some extra greens.
LINCOLN --- With a 5-0 shutout against the Smithfield Sentinels Friday, the Lincoln Lions improved their record to 14-0 and clinched the Northern Division.
Including yesterdayâs game, the Lions have only played in five games that were decided by five or fewer runs, one of which came against Smithfield on April 4. During that game, Lincoln came away with a 3-2 win.
Coach Dick Ryan thought that the grit his squad showed against a Smithfield team that always gives Lincoln a close match was a good sign.
WOONSOCKET --- These past two weeks have certainly belonged to Cumberland, and that was evident on Friday afternoon in its Division I-North showdown against Mount St. Charles.
The Clippers took over second place and grabbed their fifth win in their last seven outings with a solid performance that saw the visitors claim the early momentum with five runs in the first two innings, play steady defense, and ride the solid pitching of Caylin Legare to a 6-3 victory that put a damper on the Mountiesâ âSenior Dayâ festivities.
PAWTUCKET â This did not resemble your typical second-place vs. third-place battle.
In fact, Thursday afternoonâs Division III showdown between Davies and Shea resembled a mismatch between a team battling for the division lead and a team saddled with a losing record and no hopes of grabbing a playoff spot.
The Patriots collected 12 hits and took full advantage of a season-high 12 walks and eight errors by the Raiders, and the end result was a stunning 15-1 rout before a large gathering at Max Read Field that was halted after five innings by the mercy rule.
CUMBERLAND â Just before Cumberland High hosted St. Raphael Academy in a critical Division I-North tilt on Thursday afternoon, the two squads stood on their respective baselines and watched Sue Lanctot, a Cumberland resident and two-time breast cancer survivor, throw out the first pitch.
The touching moment drew a hefty round of applause, and for good reason: The contest had been set up weeks ago to benefit the American Cancer Society. Both players and coaches had purchased special, blue-and-white âStrike Out Cancerâ caps to wear, at $15 each.