Archive - Sports Article
July 21st, 2011
PAWTUCKET â€“ Plate discipline and strike zone recognition can be found on the first page of the hitterâ€™s manual. Knowing the pitches one can drive goes hand-in-hand with refusing to chase the ones that dance outside the strike zone, tempting as they may be.
One day Yale head baseball coach John Stuper passed along this nugget to Ryan Lavarnway, words of wisdom mentioned to him by Gene Tenace, a former teammate of Stuperâ€™s with the St. Louis Cardinals in the early 80s.
The R.I. American Legion Senior Division tournament will get under way this weekend at fields across the state, but the format of this summerâ€™s tournament will be vastly different from the one used in past seasons.
Instead of 16 teams trying to claim back-to-back, best-of-three series to reach the â€śFinal Fourâ€ť of the tournament, the goal this season will be to earn berths in the â€śFinal Eightâ€ť double-elimination format that begins on Tuesday night at McCarthy Stadium in West Warwick and Pierce Field in East Providence.
CUMBERLAND --- The Cumberland Major Division all-star teamâ€™s roads to the District IV and state championships were tough. The squadâ€™s next venture only promises to be a whole lot tougher.
Cumberland joined nine other ballclubs from the northern part of the country this weekend to take part in the Eastern Regional Tournament at Breen Field on the Bart Giamatti Complex in Bristol, Conn.
PAWTUCKET â€” The Pawtucket Red Sox are in a pennant race.
Just donâ€™t mention it to PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler.
â€śI get excited about all of our wins,â€ť Beyeler said Wednesday after his PawSox moved to within one game of International League North division leader Lehigh Valley with a 2-1 walkoff victory, their third win in as many games with the IronPigs this week.
Pawtucket can move into a tie for first place with a win over Lehigh Valley in tonightâ€™s series finale.
PAWTUCKET â€” Kevin Millwood isnâ€™t much different than the average working man who is nearing the end of his professional career.
The 36-year-old veteran of 14 big league seasons is proud of his accomplishments (159 wins, third in the 1999 National League Cy Young voting) and determined to go out on his own terms, pitching baseballs on hot summer days in the minor leagues, waiting for one last call to the big leagues.
PAWTUCKET â€” Greg Grall, the bullpen catcher for the Pawtucket Red Sox, describes Ryan Lavarnway, the catcher, as â€śraw, which gives him the upside of what he can possibly do. Obviously with his hitting, heâ€™s going to have the potential of playing in any lineup. Now heâ€™s just going to work on continuing to improve his defense. Thatâ€™s the key.â€ť
EAST PROVIDENCE â€” There were more than a half dozen birdie putts that either lipped out or just missed the mark. There were two holes that he probably wished he could have had back.
But after an opening round of 3-over 73 at the 82nd annual New England Amateur Championship on Monday, Pawtucketâ€™s Kyle Hoffman was perfectly content with how he shot the ball at the challenging and tricky Metacomet Country Club.
As a Hall of Fame second baseman blessed with the ability to influence the game's outcome with his bat and glove, Ryne Sandberg appreciates the intangibles that present day second sackers Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano bring to the ballpark.
To Sandberg, Lehigh Valleyâ€™s first-year manager, Pedroia and Cano are chips off the old block. For good measure, so is Chase Utley, who unlike Pedroia and Cano operates outside of the A.L. East caldron.
PAWTUCKET â€“ This was certainly not the way the Pawtucket Red Sox wanted to end their four-game series with the Durham Bulls.
Locked in a tight game for six innings on Sunday afternoon, the Bulls cut loose with nine runs in the final three frames to cruise past the PawSox, 13-3, before 6,318 at McCoy Stadium. Durham collected 16 hits in the three-plus hour affair, including a three-run homer from Felipe Lopez in the ninth.
Durham scored eight of its runs with two outs, while the PawSox were just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The second and final game of Carl Crawfordâ€™s rehab assignment with the Pawtucket Red Sox left much to be desired.
An 0-for-3 showing at the plate and no action in left field in the PawSoxâ€™s 11-8 loss to the Durham Bulls on Saturday at McCoy Stadium wasnâ€™t the evening Crawford envisioned before rejoining the Boston Red Sox. Nonetheless, the left fielder departed Pawtucket with at least one reason for optimism: a healthy left hamstring.
PAWTUCKET â€” The fans came to see Carl Crawford and went home talking about Ryan Lavarnway.
Crawford, in his first of two rehab games with Pawtucket, reached base in all three of his at-bats during Pawtucketâ€™s 3-2 win over Durham on Friday night. He blooped a single over the second basemanâ€™s head in the first, walked in the third, and reached on a fielderâ€™s choice in the fifth, scoring one batter later when Lavarnway crushed a home run down the left field line that cleared everything, bouncing around in the parking lot as the crowd collectively murmured â€śWho is this guy?â€ť
BURRILLVILLE â€” Down by four runs and staring at a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the bottom of the second inning, Cumberland American showed the heart of a champion and staged a marvelous comeback that landed the ballclub the District IV Major Division title.
Connor Mastin and Stephen Dugas each bashed a pair of home runs and Max Hanuschak delivered five superb innings of relief to help CALL win a 12-6 slugfest with neighboring rival Lincoln on Friday night before a packed house at Sherman Park.
Very few people see batting practice anymore. Big league parks usually donâ€™t open their gates in time for the fans to witness this baseball ritual. The gates were open at McCoy Stadium on Friday afternoon but only a smattering of fans were in the stands when rehabbing Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford stepped into the cage and took swings with his temporary PawSox teammates.
RIVERSIDE â€“ Their pitchers might not have thrown as hard and their batters might not have had the same pop, but when it came to throwing strikes and make plays in the field, no one was better than Cumberland National.
Cumberland was spotless defensively and pitchers Sydney Provencal and Katerina Kent allowed only seven base runners the entire game as the offense took advantage of two errors in a 3-0 win over East Greenwich to claim the Rhode Island Major Division Softball Championship Friday night.
PAWTUCKET -- Brandon Duckworthâ€™s frustrating two-month stretch without a victory came to a merciful end on Thursday night.
The veteran Pawtucket Red Sox starting pitcher handcuffed the Durham Bulls to seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of work and his teammates did all their offensive damage in the fourth inning to grab a 3-2 triumph at McCoy Stadium.
The victory was the fourth in a row and the eighth in the last 10 teams for the surging PawSox, who are now a season-high 10 games over .500 (51-41) and tied for the International League wild card lead with the Gwinnett Braves.
EAST GREENWICH --- Jamison Randall has already proven in his young career that heâ€™s a golfer with unlimited potential.
On Thursday afternoon at the R.I. Amateur Championship, he also proved he has the heart that goes with it.
Randall wasnâ€™t able to advance to todayâ€™s quarterfinal matches, but the recent Cumberland High grad gave two-time champion Brad Valois all he could handle during match play of the Round of 16 at the Potowomut Country Club.
PAWTUCKET -- Itâ€™s been nine years since Carl Crawford last played a game at McCoy Stadium, but the Boston Red Sox left fielder will be in Pawtucket tonight and tomorrow for a brief injury rehab assignment with the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Crawford will start in left on both nights when the PawSox host the Durham Bulls, and if all goes well this weekend, he is expected to be back in the Red Soxâ€™s lineup on Monday when they head to Baltimore to face the Orioles.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Former Pawtucket Little League baseball star Mason Williams is off to a fast start with the Staten Island Yankees of the New York Penn League.
Williams, son of ex-Patriots wide receiver Derwin Williams, and a fourth-round draft pick of the New York Yankees last summer, is batting .363 for Staten Island after 102 ABs.
The 6-foot, 150-pound centerfielder boasts a .539 slugging percentage.
Williams, still only 19 years old, played for Darlington American Little League before his family moved to Florida seven years ago.
While most kids his age were down at the beach soaking up some rays the past two days, Jamison Randall was at Potowomut Country Club playing with some of the top amateur golfers in Rhode Island.
And, after a shaky opening start, the recent Cumberland High grad and individual state champion has manufactured a pair of solid rounds at the 106th annual R.I. Amateur Championship.
LINCOLN â€” On their way to posting undefeated records in pool play of the District IV Little League All Star Tournament, Cumberland American and Lincoln combined to outscore their opponents by an 87-12 margin.
After their respective semifinal games on Tuesday night at Hien Field, the two powerhouse teams kept their records unblemished.
But it wasn't quite that easy.