EAST PROVIDENCE — Playing in the same twosome, Taylor Funk and John Hayes IV both went on birdie binges during the first round of the Northeast Amateur Invitational on Wednesday afternoon at Wannamoisett Country Club.
The son of eight-time PGA Tour winner Fred Funk made six birdies and an eagle (along with three bogeys) to take the first-round lead with a round of 64. The rising sophomore at the University of Texas started his round on the back nine and went eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie from No. 17 through the second hole on the front nine.
PAWTUCKET – Jackie Bradley Jr. can relate somewhat to fellow outfielder Rusney Castillo’s being sent down to the Pawtucket Red Sox.
The 25-year-old usual center fielder for the PawSox had spent a day in mid-April with the parent club, then 12 more in Boston before being optioned back on May 22 – in favor of Castillo.
PAWTUCKET – Matt Barnes could be upset, downright disgruntled, after being sent down to the Pawtucket Red Sox – again – on June 16.
Instead, the 25-year-old righty reliever has chosen to remain positive, and he claimed he has an abundance of reasons why.
First, during his second call-up to Boston between May 9 and June 16, he spent over five weeks collecting key information from coaches and fellow Red Sox relievers; and, second, is planning on putting that advice to good use while he’s honing his skills in Triple-A.
PAWTUCKET – Prior to Monday night’s game against Rochester, the Pawtucket Red Sox had manufactured 16 come-from-behind triumphs, including nine in their final at-bat and five of the walk-off variety.
During their 2014 Governors’ Cup championship run, they amassed 36 in all and 22 in their last at-bat.
Pawtucket had its fair share of opportunities to extend those positive numbers on Monday, though squandered all but one during a disgruntling 3-2 loss to the Red Wings before a fan base of 5,060 at McCoy Stadium.
PAWTUCKET – Ryan Hanigan is back in the fold, and he couldn’t be happier about it.
The 34-year-old resident of Andover, Mass. stood by his locker in the Pawtucket Red Sox’ clubhouse on Monday afternoon, chomping at the bit to get some playing time. He received his wish when he discovered he would start and bat third for the PawSox in their homestand opener against Rochester on Monday night.
CUMBERLAND – When Toll Gate High head coach Jim Stringfellow came calling, Josh Lima, who holds the same position at Cumberland, couldn’t and wouldn’t say no.
Stringfellow had asked him back in April to serve as his offensive coordinator for the East team of the third annual Rhode Island All-Star Football Game, slated for Saturday, June 27, at Johnston High School, and Lima jumped at the chance.
CUMBERLAND – Given the success of the town’s two Little League programs over the past half-decade, it seems appropriate to label Cumberland a pure baseball community in the summertime – a town that rallies around its all-star squads and takes pride in each league’s accomplishments.
PAWTUCKET – It was right there for Cumberland’s taking.
On two separate occasions Thursday night, the Clippers had three-time state champion Bishop Hendricken against the ropes. There was a surefire double-play ball in the ninth inning that instead was a throwing error resulted in the Hawks scoring the tying run.
That was hard to watch, but then came the 10th inning where Cumberland loaded the bases with no outs and failed to capitalize. It was a huge chance squandered.
PROVIDENCE – Victory tastes sweeter when served following a bitter defeat.
St. Raphael Academy, which finished second to North Providence in the 2013 Division II finals, erased that sour memory on Wednesday with a 5-0 victory over the Cougars in the state championship game at Rhode Island College.
PAWTUCKET – For the better part of seven innings, Tolman High seemed destined to clinch the opener of its R.I. Division II Tournament best-of-three championship series against Mount St. Charles.
Senior righty Alex Lopez pitched himself out of trouble time after time, with help, of course, from his defense, especially freshman second baseman Kyle Depatie, who managed seven assists and a putout.
PAWTUCKET – When last we saw the St. Raphael softball team, they were mounting a furious seventh-inning charge to rally past North Providence.
The three-run surge lifted the Saints to a 6-5 playoff win in a contest that took place last Wednesday – June 10 to be exact. Since then, SRA has been idle. The distinction as the tournament’s lone unbeaten team has been a badge of honor that the Saints have had no choice but to wear as the rest of the playoff picture sorted itself out.
PAWTUCKET – Virtually every time Tolman High meets Mount St. Charles on the diamond, Tigers' mentor Theo Murray mentions his personal history with the Woonsocket Catholic school.
It seems back in 1992, when Murray represented Shea as a standout senior third/first baseman, his Raiders held a precarious lead over the Mounties in the R.I. Division II Tournament losers' bracket final. In the end, however, MSC prevailed with a late rally, 7-6, eliminating Shea from a berth opposite Westerly, the eventual state champion.
EAST PROVIDENCE – Tolman High erupted for five runs in the second and three more in the third, eventually coasting to a 10-0 mercy-rule triumph over West Warwick in the rubber game of a best-of-three R.I. Division II Tournament semifinal set at Pierce Field on Saturday afternoon.
PAWTUCKET – As an outstanding, three-sport athlete at Tolman High School in the early 1990s, Joey Wilson often would peer into the stands during the heat of competition, secretly hoping his mom and dad would surprise him by being there, witness him carry the pigskin into the end zone or hit a fastball over the fence.
It didn't happen, and it both hurts and irks him to this day.
Mason Williams is now a major-league outfielder for the New York Yankees, a move the team made official on Thursday.
The 23-year-old native of Pawtucket put himself on the radar by batting .318 with a .397 on-base percentage along with a .795 OPS. Serving as the leadoff hitter for both Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Williams has stolen 13 bases in 54 games.
WARWICK – This time, Tolman was determined not to let Warwick Vets back in the game.
Peter Microulis spun seven innings of two-run ball and came through with a clutch base hit as the Tigers held off the Hurricanes, 6-2, in the Division II Regional Pod I playoffs on Tuesday. The win places Tolman in the driver’s seat as either Warwick or West Warwick will have to beat the Tigers twice in order to advance to the Division II finals.