Archive - Sports Article
May 26th, 2011
PAWTUCKET â€” Hideki Okajima kicked off his second tour of duty with the PawSox Thursday, admitting that McCoy Stadium was the last place he expected to set foot in. Such sentiment can be linked to the events of last Friday, when Boston designated the 35-year-old reliever for assignment.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Theo Murray was ready to talk suicide squeeze with Brandon Gagne. It didnâ€™t take long for Murray to recalibrate his expectations for the Tolman High junior after Gagne voiced he was in no mood to lay down a bunt.
Swing away then, insisted Murray. With the onus now on Gagne to deliver the goods on his confident promise, the leadoff hitter came through with arguably the biggest hit of the season for the Tigers.
LINCOLN â€“ Cranston East sure didnâ€™t play like a No. 14 seed, nor did Lincoln High look the part of a state title contender.
So while Wednesdayâ€™s result at Chet Nichols Field could certainly be described as unexpected, it wasnâ€™t exactly a shock.
Fresh off a 14-4 regular season that produced a Division I-North crown and the third overall seed in the 16-team, double-elimination state tournament, Lincoln endured a collective struggle in dropping a 4-2 decision to Cranston East, an 8-10 team out of Division I-Central.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The banner to the left of the scoreboard at the Donaldson Gymnasium signifies the last time that Tolman High has earned a state title in Division II volleyball. It was 2003, a mere three years after it captured its first in the program history.
Longtime head coach Neil Nachbar isnâ€™t predicting his Tigers will be able to add another year to that banner, but itâ€™s certainly possible.
WOONSOCKET â€“ Kristen Rodrigues spun a complete game four-hitter as Mount St. Charles climbed back over the .500 mark courtesy of Tuesdayâ€™s 4-1 win over La Salle Academy.
The Mounties improve to 9-8 in Division I-North with one game remaining, Saturday at home against Smithfield.
Rodrigues collected four strikeouts while walking no one. Taylor Messier finished 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored while Emily Hendricks went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Hannah Gardella delivered a RBI double in the second inning.
La Salle 010 000 0 -1-6-1
Mount St. Charles 011 200 x â€“ 4-8-1
The high school baseball outfits hailing from Lincoln, Tolman and Woonsocket find themselves in an enviable position â€“ at home, serving as the higher seed in the opening round of the double elimination, regional playoffs, which cuts four ways with four teams comprising each group.
The real key as baseballâ€™s second season gets under way is not specifically tied to home-field advantage. In the case of a double-elimination format, itâ€™s about starting out on the right foot. Win on Wednesday and wait until Friday before resuming the March to McCoy Stadium. Thatâ€™s called the easy road.
LINCOLN â€“ Jillian DeSimone stood anxiously on the rain-soaked Ferguson Field sidelines, her teamâ€™s perfect season hanging in the balance.
If ever there was a time for Lincoln High to prove it was more than a one-player show, this was it.
Playing without DeSimone for most of the second half after the stateâ€™s leading goal scorer picked up her yellow card of the game, the Lions rode Ashley Moreauâ€™s five goals and Nina Fournierâ€™s goalkeeping to a 12-9 victory over Cumberland High School on Monday.
Some things I think I think:
It didnâ€™t take long for the Boston Red Sox to climb out of that impossible hole all the doomsayers had put them in after they started the season with two wins in their first 12 games. After Sunday nightâ€™s win over the Cubs, Bostonâ€™s record stood at 25-21 and the Sox were just one-half game out of first place in the American League East.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Ron Coutu looked at his watch and realized he had gone under his intended goal of one hour.
That wasnâ€™t the only reason he managed to smile on Saturday morning.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Needing at least one win to feel good about its playoff chances, St. Raphael Academy went out and grabbed a pair of victories over the weekend. On Sunday SRA climbed over the .500 mark for the first time this season courtesy of a 2-0 win against La Salle Academy. That coupled with Saturdayâ€™s 9-4 win against Cumberland High leaves the Saints at 9-8 in Division I-North heading into Mondayâ€™s regular season finale against Moses Brown.
LINCOLN â€“ Just ask anyone associated with the Lincoln High program and they will universally declare the following: Joe Yankee is the quintessential X-factor.
On a team loaded with players ranging from good to very good, Yankee might just be the one Lion whose impact cannot be understated. The junior continued to strengthen said argument Sunday afternoon against a strong Moses Brown offense, striking out seven Quakers in the Lionsâ€™ 14-4 mercy-rule thrashing at Chet Nichols Field.
PAWTUCKET â€” With its playoff hopes squarely on the line, Shea High avoided elimination from the postseason on Friday with a 6-2 victory over Juanita Sanchez.
The Raiders (7-10) host Wheeler School (9-7) this afternoon at 2 p.m. in what amounts to a â€świn and youâ€™re inâ€ť game for the home team.
â€śI think weâ€™re in if we beat Wheeler,â€ť Shea coach Dino Campopiano said after Fridayâ€™s game had ended.
It wouldnâ€™t be a Boston baseball season without Theo Epstein and the Red Sox resuscitating some aging baseball player. Kevin Millwood becomes Epsteinâ€™s reclamation project, a former all-star starting pitcher who has posted an ERA of over five in three of his last four seasons.
The recent string of rainy weather, resulting in a myriad of postponements, will not impede the high school baseball playoffs from starting on time.
The Interscholastic League sent out a reminder to coaches on Thursday â€“ the fourth consecutive day that wetness impacted the high school scene â€“ that Monday is still the last day of the regular season. The brackets in Division I and II will be distributed to the schools on Tuesday with Wednesday serving as the official opening of the postseason.
PROVIDENCE â€” The first offseason departure has arrived for Providence College as the school announced Thursday that sophomore guard Duke Mondy has been released from his commitment.
Mondy departs after a 2010-11 campaign that saw the Michigan native sit out the final four games of the season. At the time the only thing PC officials said about Mondyâ€™s situation was that it was a "coach's decision." Mondy did appear at Ed Cooleyâ€™s introductary press conference in March, telling Blackstone Valley Sports when asked to clarify his situation that, â€śIâ€™m good, just canâ€™t wait to play.â€ť
WOONSOCKET â€” This has been a nightmarish year for Mount St. Charles Academy, a team most folks predicted would again compete for the Division I-North title and embark on a long run in the state tournament.
There have been the injuries. Two of the Mountiesâ€™ top players -- ace pitcher Olivia Hendricks (foot injury) and third baseman Nicole Silva (illness) -- out indefinitely. The four losses they suffered in the last inning. The five straight games they stranded 10 or more runners on base.
PAWTUCKET -- Tolman High scored its biggest win of the season on Monday, handling Division II-South leader Middletown its first loss.
The Tigers rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull out the win. The game was tied after seven innings to both teams began their at-bats in the eighth with a runner on second base. Middletown plated its runner to take an 11-10 lead, setting the stage for Tolmanâ€™s final comeback of the day.
Ashley Hessler put down a bunt single for Tolman to get things started. Jordan Klemanchuck then singled in both runners to win the game.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tolman High dealt a crushing blow to Shea Highâ€™s playoff chances on Monday.
The Tigers rolled to a 15-5 victory over the Raiders in a Division II contest shortened to six innings by rain at McConnon Field.
Tolman improved to 10-6 with the win while Shea fell to 6-10.
â€śItâ€™s kind of a bittersweet win for us,â€ť Tolman coach Theo Murray said, â€śbecause Shea needed to win two of three games this week to be playoff-eligible. Now they have to win their last two games, and they play two tough teams, Wheeler and Juanita Sanchez.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€” After losing five straight games, including a 10-2 trouncing Saturday night against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Pawtucket Red Sox had fallen back to .500 and needed a victory badly.
They got one on Sunday, a 9-3 drubbing of the Yankees that put Pawtucket back over .500 and just 2Â˝ games out of first place with their modest 19-18 record.
Veteran pitcher Matt Fox, a former first-round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2004, beat Scranton for the second time in 10 days on Sunday, striking out seven in five innings while allowing all three runs.
PAWTUCKET â€” Baseball scouts usually sit in the best seats minor league stadiums have to offer, a few rows behind home plate. They come armed with the tools of their trade â€“ radar guns, stopwatches and â€ścheat sheetsâ€ť that record the data of players down on the field.
â€śThe radar gun is mainly used to measure the speed of pitches,â€ť Chicago White Sox scout Gary Pellant was saying on Sunday afternoon at McCoy Stadium. â€śIâ€™ve seen some scouts use them on infielders, to see how strong their arms are. Amateur scouts do that because they watch a lot of high school players who change positions.â€ť