Archive - Sports Article
July 11th, 2011
If youâ€™re not a baseball fan, stop here. Itâ€™s time to talk baseball.
The All-Star break isnâ€™t just a respite for players. The short vacation gives baseball fans a few days off to think about the second half of the pennant race. Thatâ€™s what we fans do. Canâ€™t play so we sit around mulling schedules and statistics while the grass turns brown in our front yard.
In New England, when you mention pennant race, that can only mean one thing â€“ Red Sox vs. the Yankees, with a little dose of the Tampa Bay Rays thrown in.
PROVIDENCE â€“ A couple of family members, a cousin and even his coach graduated or are still attending Brown University.
Despite all those connections, David Kahn had never been to Providence until this weekend.
But the 27-year-old Long Island triathlete, a recent dental school graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, sure made his first visit to the capital city worthwhile on Sunday with a wire-to-wire victory at the fourth annual Amica Ironman 70.3 triathlon. Kahn finished the race â€“ a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run â€“ with a time of 4 hours, 52 seconds.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The type of season Ryan Lavarnway is enjoying tends to open the door to possibilities down the road, one being a September call-up.
Right now Lavarnway prefers to let his bat do the talking. The power-hitting catching prospect went 3-for-4 with two home runs Sunday as the Pawtucket Red Sox ended the unofficial first half of the season with a 4-3 win against Buffalo.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The PawSox players and staff couldnâ€™t vacate the McCoy Stadium grounds fast enough Sunday evening.
After holding on for a 4-3 win against Buffalo, the PawSox put the unofficial first half (91 of 143 games) behind them and will use the next three days to regroup mentally. Baseball, a staple for all involved parties since the start of spring training in mid-February, plans take a back seat to vacation getaways and family reunions.
LINCOLN â€” The Lincoln All-Stars have dominated pool play the first three games of the season, outscoring their rivals by a 31-1 margin.
When his unbeaten squad finishes up its slate in Pool A on Saturday night, Lincoln coach Matt Netto isnâ€™t expecting similar results against equally-unbeaten Smithfield (3-0) at Randy Hien Memorial Field.
CUMBERLAND â€“ A week off did nothing to cool down Cumberland Americanâ€™s scorching bats. Nor did the steady rain that fell at Garvin Field throughout Fridayâ€™s pool play finale against North Smithfield.
Next up for manager Dave Belisleâ€™s team: the District IV tournament semifinals.
Conor Lavallee and Steve Dugas belted home runs for Pool B champion Cumberland American (4-0), which collected its third mercy-rule victory of the tourney, a 12-1 thumping of North Smithfield (1-3).
LINCOLN â€“ Cumberland exacted revenge against Lincoln in the best way possible: with a victory in the District IV softball championship game.
After dropping a one-run decision to Lincoln last Friday, its lone loss of pool play, Cumberland used a five-run fifth inning to separate itself in Thursdayâ€™s title bout and held on for a 9-7 win at Sullivan Field.
This past Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of Michael Bowden relocating from the rotation to the bullpen. Rest assured cake was not served in the PawSox clubhouse to commemorate the occasion.
WOONSOCKET â€” After missing the first month of the season, Cumberland Post 14 outfielder Christian Spader was having a little trouble adjusting to the wooden bats that have been instituted into the American Legion baseball season this year.
But the Cumberland High product broke out of his mini slump in a big way on Thursday night against Navigant Credit Union Post 85. Spader collected four hits, including a game-winning two-run single in the top of the 11th inning as Post 14 outlasted Navigant, 2-0, in a three-hour marathon at Renaud Field.
PAWTUCKET --- Mercy-rule winners last week. Lopsided losers on Wednesday night.
Darlington American was unable to ride the momentum from last Thursdayâ€™s District II Major Division tourney-opening rout of Riverside into its winnersâ€™ bracket quarterfinal-round contest against Barrington at Slater Park, and the visitors were able to come away with a resounding victory.
Barrington used a seven-run rally in the top of the second inning and a 13-hit attack that featured a half dozen extra-base hits to produce a 14-4 triumph over DALL that dropped the Pawtucket All-Stars into the losersâ€™ bracket.
CUMBERLAND â€” The stakes were clear for both teams entering Wednesdayâ€™s matchup at Garvin Field.
For Cumberland National, a win would punch its ticket to the semifinal round of the District IV tournament. For Bernon, a win would allow it to stave off elimination.
In a vintage pitchersâ€™ duel that featured more than four times as many strikeouts (26) as hits (6), Cumberland National rode ace right-hander Brandon Croteau to a 2-1 victory, clinching the second-best record in Pool B.
Bruce Foster loves an adventure. The tougher, the better.
In past years, Foster has rode his bike 300-plus miles from his Lincoln residence to the Canadian border and back a few times. Heâ€™s also participated in the Sunday River Mountain Epic trail running challenge, a handful of Odyssey Adventure Racing multi-day expedition adventure races, and a few other over-the-top challenges to test his personal boundaries and push himself to the limit.
But none of his past experiences came close to measuring up to the challenge he endured two weekends ago.
CUMBERLAND â€” Chris Magill has had a history of top-three finishes at the Arnold Mills Road Race, an event heâ€™s won a record five times.
The 38-year-old former St. Raphael Academy standout had every intention to make an attempt at a sixth crown in the 43rd edition of the Cumberland race Monday morning.
Those thoughts, however, were quickly erased after the first mile.
CUMBERLAND â€” He only weighs 39 pounds and stands about 47 inches tall.
When he was lined up at the start of the Arnold Mills Road Race on Monday, it was easy to overlook the fact that Jack Casey was among the field of more than 500 runners.
Once the race opened up near the mile mark on Abbott Run Valley Road, the eight-year-old Cumberland tyke certainly became noticeable, making more than a few heads turn in the four-mile event.
Casey, an elementary student at Community School, finished the race with an eye-popping time of 29 minutes, 29 seconds â€“ a 7:22 per-mile pace!
With various opinions coming from scouts and management alike, plenty of discussion and debate occurs when narrowing down potential choices leading up to draft day.
Sherard Clinkscales recalls such an instance in 2000. As the Assistant Director of Scouting for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Clinkscales had an important voice regarding what the organization should do with the sixth overall pick. In the end Tampa wound up selecting Rocco Baldelli, but as Clinkscales recalled late last week, it took a while before everyone was in agreement regarding the Woonsocket native/Cumberland native .
SOUTH ATTLEBORO â€” Stone-E-Lea Golf Course superintendent Dave Lapierre makes no bones about the mission of his family-owned and operated business.
â€śWe want to make people feel at home here,â€ť Lapierre was saying last week during a brief break from his job. â€śWeâ€™re not trying to trick the course up and make it a difficult place to play. We want golfers of all ages and skills to play our course and have a chance to play well and enjoy themselves.â€ť
Stone-E-Lea is a public course that does not book tee times.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tim Norton has spent the better part of his professional career battling back from countless injuries. His latest setback is akin to the baseball gods kicking a man when heâ€™s down.
The homecoming originally planned for this weekend never happened. Norton did not pitch at McCoy Stadium for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before friends and family hailing from Burrillville. Instead, the 28-year-old is toiling under the hot sun in Tampa, Fla., the Yankeesâ€™ spring-training facility â€“ Steinbrenner Field â€“ the scene of Nortonâ€™s latest attempt to rehab from shoulder woes.
PAWTUCKET â€” Kyle Weiland did more than raise a curious eyebrow. The right-handed pitcher began besieging Notre Dame pitching coach Sherard Clinkscales with a series of self-doubting questions stemming from his mound troubles surfacing during his 2007 sophomore season.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The feet of Jose Iglesias proved to be the difference in Pawtucketâ€™s 6-5 win over Rochester Thursday. The shortstop prospect, known more for his defense than causing havoc on the basepaths, swiped two bases in the bottom of the eighth with the score knotted at 5-5. A wild pitch by Rochesterâ€™s Anthony Slama proved fortuitous as Iglesias scampered home, sliding feet-first.
PAWTUCKET â€” Sometimes staying put may well prove the best option. Kevin Millwood agrees, hence why heâ€™s not looking to leave the Red Sox organization anytime soon.
â€śI enjoy it here and feel that there could be some opportunity in the future [to once more pitch in the big leagues],â€ť said Millwood, addressing the thought process behind not exercising a recent opt-out date in his contract. â€śIt just seemed like a good situation to stay here and keep pitching. â€śMy biggest thing is this is a place Iâ€™ve enjoyed. I like the organization and hopefully it works out.â€ť