April 17th, 2015
(Editor's note, this article appeared in the April 11, 2015 edition of the Pawtucket Times)
When it comes to synopsizing this spring’s Division II teams and what they hope to accomplish, there’s no better place to start than North Smithfield High.
In 2014, head coach Paul Mercier’s Northmen rode senior standout Karissa Carlton’s golden arm to a perfect 16-0 II-North slate and the top seed in the D-II state tournament.
PAWTUCKET – The PawSox won their home opener on Thursday, 8-7 over Rochester thanks to a walk-off home run by Bryce Brentz in the ninth inning.
PawSox starter Steven Wright was tagged for seven runs (just three were earned) in five innings. He received a no decision after Pawtucket tied the game at seven in the bottom of the seventh behind back-to-back home runs by Deven Marrero and Sean Coyle, the number eight and nine hitters in the lineup.
PAWTUCKET – The finished product had to be something that embodied the 2014 Governors’ Cup title the Pawtucket Red Sox won.
After discussing the anatomy of a championship ring – a glittery reminder of what was achieved – with PawSox outfielder Bryce Brentz, it became clear why so much time and energy was put into coming up with the perfect keepsake.
PAWTUCKET â€“ While the president of the Pawtucket Red Sox on Wednesday unveiled plans for a proposed riverfront stadium in downtown Providence that would serve as the teamâ€™s future home, Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien believes the city is not ready to throw in the towel, even if the teamâ€™s long-term future at McCoy Stadium is looking less likely with each passing day.
Grebien said his reactions to Wednesdayâ€™s press conference, at which the stadium proposal was unveiled, were multifaceted.
PAWTUCKET – Last week, Quintin Berry found himself situated behind Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bryce Brentz in the PawSox’ outfield pecking order.
On Thursday night, Berry was the first Pawtucket hitter to dig into the batter’s box as Triple-A baseball officially resumed at McCoy Stadium.
With Castillo on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, Boston’s organizational depth was placed under a microscope. Who would hold down the fort during Castillo’s absence from the lineup?
PROVIDENCE â€“ Plans for a proposed 10,000-seat, $85 million dollar riverfront ballpark that will look to serve as the future home of the Pawtucket Red Sox were unveiled Tuesday.
Pawtucket Red Sox President James Skeffington at a press conference at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Tuesday afternoon said that if approved, the objective would be to begin construction on the ballpark in December with a targeted opening in April 2017.
PROVIDENCE – It’s been long rumored the Boston Red Sox were extremely interested in purchasing the Pawtucket Red Sox since owner Ben Mondor passed away in 2010.
A prominent player in Boston’s ownership cabinet is Larry Lucchino, whose official title is President/CEO. He added another title in February when he officially became the chairman of the PawSox.
CUMBERLAND – It wasn’t the prettiest one-hitter ever produced, but that meant little to Cumberland High freshman southpaw Jocelyn Bodington.
Already a household name on the youth softball circuit in town and around the region, Bodington hurled six innings of hitless ball, finally closed with that one allowance – courtesy of eight walks and nine strikeouts in seven full frames – and dominated Westerly, 9-2, in a Division I crossover tilt at Tucker Field on Wednesday afternoon.
CENTRAL FALLS â€“ A four-alarm fire tore through a garage on Washington Street Tuesday morning, with its thick smoke prompting the cancellation of classes at a nearby middle school, fire officials said.
The fire was reported prior to 6 a.m. Tuesday at the small, one-story garage at 96 Washington St., Fire Chief Robert Bradley Jr. said. Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy brown and black smoke emanating from the garage.
With the boys’ volleyball season in full swing, here’s an early-season lookout relating to our local entries.
CUMBERLAND â€” The townâ€™s historic Nine Men's Misery monument drew visitors to the Monastery property on Sunday, including Kathy and Michaela Crawley.
Kathy Crawley, wife of town Recreation Director Michael Crawley, said she had never had a chance to stop at the monument until Sundayâ€™s Spring Festival at Monastery. Michaela said had she had spotted the stone monument several times while running on the Monasteryâ€™s trails, but didnâ€™t know that much about the site.
LINCOLN – Given the brutal winter and rainy early spring, neither Lincoln High nor Mount St. Charles had spent much time practicing outside. In fact, both programs have seen their fair share of several disappointing postponements.
Yet it sure was hard to tell on Monday afternoon, as the two teams seemed happy to finally take Sullivan Field for their Division I-North season opener.
Editor's note: This column appeared in the Friday, April 10 edition of The Times
BOSTON â€“ Being affiliated with the Big East Conference and having all their games televised, Providence College menâ€™s basketball is one of biggest windows into the institution.
People tend to focus on Ed Cooleyâ€™s program more than any other sport to the point that it becomes the barometer about how fans and alumni alike feel about PC.
ALLENTOWN, Pa – Pawtucket left Coca-Cola Park late Sunday afternoon with an opening-weekend series in their pocket.
However, their last game certainly wasn’t easy.
The PawSox had what appeared to be a comfortable 3-1 lead in their grasp at the top of the seventh inning, and a series sweep appeared inevitable. Starter Eddie Rodriguez had just left the game with an impressive 84-pitch showing in which he retired the final 11 batters he faced.
PAWTUCKET – “I’m preparing in spring training to be a starter,” stated Matt Barnes in February, not long after the official report date for Red Sox pitchers and catchers.
When reminded of what the hard-throwing right-hander said during follow-up phone interview late last week, Barnes came across as open-minded individual.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Gov. Gina Raimondo says the state is leaving millions of tourist dollars on the table and missing an opportunity to create thousands of jobs by clinging to an ineffective strategy of promoting tourism through regional districts at the expense of a unified, statewide campaign.
No other state in New England dedicates nearly as much of its statewide tourism budget to regional districts, yet Rhode Island has consistently been losing its market share of the nationâ€™s tourism dollars to competing states, the governor says.
PAWTUCKET – Pawtucket Red Sox officials have traveled down many different roads to bring in top-flight radio broadcasters. To fill the most recent vacancy, you might say they’ve gone home again.
CENTRAL FALLS â€“ With only about three percent through the entire square-mile city, Central Falls ranks last in the state with the least green space. However, a group of students on Friday aimed to change that figure by planting an urban arboretum at Calcutt Middle School.
PAWTUCKET – Tolman High head coach Craig Giarusso admitted he’s never seen such a horrendous winter, one that has so greatly affected his ability to practice with his girls outside.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The City Councilâ€™s Ad Hoc Committee on Public Safety Wednesday night voted to send a resolution requesting the reinstatement of the Pawtucket Police Departmentâ€™s Special Response Unit for the next fiscal year to the councilâ€™s Finance Committee.
The three-member public safety committee voted 2-1 in favor of sending the resolution to the Finance Committee, with At-Large Councilor and Committee Chairman Thomas E. Hodge and District 5 Councilor Mary E. Bray voting in favor, while District 3 Councilor Terrence E. Mercer cast the lone dissenting vote.