PAWTUCKET â Itâs often viewed as the last frontier for young hitters to conquer, that of strike-zone recognition. In Alex Hassanâs case, the promising Red Sox outfield prospect is well ahead of the curve, so much so that some of his peers could stand to benefit from his calculated attack.
PAWTUCKET --- Alex Wilson knows all about the rags-to-riches tale of Kurt Warner, the former Super Bowl-winning St. Louis Rams quarterback and NFL MVP, who just a few years prior to his breakout â99 season, had worked part-time as a stockboy at a supermarket during his climb to stardom.
Thatâs because from October to December, the Boston Red Sox prospect had spent his weekday mornings making a few extra bucks by stocking shelves at a Loweâs home improvement store near his Hurricane, W.V. residence.
PAWTUCKET â There are going to be nights when the teamâs leading scorer struggles. How does the rest of the team react when something like this happens? Are they going to be able to pick up the slack?
Tolman head coach Mike Kayata got all the answers he would need on Thursday night. With top dog Juan Velez mired in a dreadful funk and showing no sign of clearing the fog, Kayata opted to sit the junior down and place the outcome of this crucial contest against Barrington into the hands of the likes of Samb brothers, Seny and Mamour, along with senior Justin Zetina.
By all accounts, January is the slowest month on the baseball calendar. Itâs the month that follows the hustle and bustle of the player acquisition crunch and the month prior to spring training with the backdrop of warm, picturesque conditions in Florida and Arizona.
PAWTUCKET --- United, they stand. Divided, who knows if the St. Raphael Academy hockey team and the Providence Country Day/Wheeler School co-op squad would have fallen from existence after last season?
For the Saints, they struggled mightily with numbers a season ago, as only 14 players (three of them goaltenders) made up their roster.
Because of their lack of depth, they staggered to a 3-15 mark that included a handful of losses that saw them fizzle from fatigue during the last period and watch leads slip away from them.
CUMBERLAND --- Steve Gordonâs Cumberland High wrestling program has reached the enviable point where the Clippers donât have to rebuild âŠ they just reload.
After losing two multiple state champions (the Lariviere twins) to graduation last June, Cumberland might have expected a slight regression this season. There is no regression to be found, at least not yet. (The season still hasnât reached the halfway point.)
Cumberland improved to 7-0 in Division I with a 56-24 rout of South Kingstown on Wednesday night. The Rebels are one of those good programs that does have to reload.
PROVIDENCE â Mount St. Charles, Cumberland and Lincoln swept their opponents on Monday night in a Northern Division meet.
Mount swept Shea and St. Raphael while Cumberland rolled over Ponaganset and Woonsocket. Lincoln topped Central Falls and Tolman.
Several of the usual suspects stood out with strong performances. Woonsocketâs Jalen Evans swept the 55-meter dash (6.6 seconds) and 300-meter race (38.0). Tolmanâs Homlin Taylor won his sprint in 6.7 seconds.
WOONSOCKET â On a night the offense struggled mightily, East Providenceâs defense rose to the occasion, especially at the end of the opening half, and fetched the Townies an important Division I-North victory over Woonsocket on Tuesday night.
The Towniesâ âDâ forced the Novans to commit the bulk of their 20 turnovers and played a big role in an 18-point run in the first half by keeping their hosts scoreless for eight-plus minutes, and in the process, helping produce a 54-39 triumph.
PAWTUCKET â With the game and an undefeated league record hanging in the balance, the Saints of St. Raphael Academy rose to the occasion, playing like the state champions they are.
Locked in a serious tussle with a determined and feisty bunch from Central High, St. Raphael made enough winning plays down the stretch to waltz out of the Wellness Center with a hard-fought and most satisfying 57-54 verdict. The Saints now own the distinction as the last remaining unbeaten team in Division I at 6-0 while the Knights suffer their first league loss at 5-1.
Thereâs a different aura surrounding Scott Atchison and fellow relief pitcher Michael Bowden â the kind that goes with the territory of having the baseball phrase âout of optionsâ stamped on their respective professional careers.