PROVIDENCE â€” Small ball was big trouble for Central Falls High.
Utilizing the bunt to perfection on Sunday afternoon, top-seed and unbeaten Central High captured the Division III state championship with a 13-3 six-inning, mercy-rule verdict over the second-seeded Warriors to complete a sweep of the best-of-3 series. Just a day earlier, the Knights withstood a late rally by C.F. to earn a 10-9 win in the opener at Rhode Island College.
The Warriors were looking for their first state title since copping a slow-pitch crown in 1997.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Whenever Central Falls junior Steven Vazquez competes in the high jump, he stays mentally focused by just recalling in his mind what heâ€™s done throughout the season.
â€śRegardless of what my other competitors do,â€ť he said, â€śI just blank that away and just think about what I did in practice and what I learned so far and use it in play.â€ť
Whenever Shea senior Freddy Gobewole toes the starting line of a sprint event, he incorporates a simple strategy, using a somewhat negative approach to ready himself for battle.
PROVIDENCE â€” Lincoln Highâ€™s perfect season came to an end at the hands of â€¦ a perfect season.
In Saturdayâ€™s clash between two unbeaten teams trying to etch their names into the Rhode Island Interscholastic League history books, it was Tiverton that emerged with an unblemished record â€” and the Division II state championship.
A late second-half comeback fell short for the Lions, who watched the Tigers celebrate a 12-8 victory at Rhode Island College to cap a 17-0 campaign.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The Donaldson Gymansium was rocking Friday night with droves of Tolman High fans coming out to witness the Tigersâ€™ Division II quarterfinal matchup with Pilgrim.
The host did not disappoint.
Tolman, a No. 2 seed from the II-North at 14-2, overcame a rare loss in the opening game by winning the next three en route to a 3-1 decision over the Patriots.
The win is the first in the postseason for the Tigers since their 2003 championship season. Itâ€™s also avenges back-to-back losses to the Patriots, a three seed for II-South, in opening-round matches of the last two playoffs.
PAWTUCKET â€” Division II-East champions. A division-leading 13 runs per game. One of three teams to lead the league with 14 regular-season victories.
A stunning first-round exit in the Division II playoffs.
These are the four things this seasonâ€™s Tolman High team will be remembered for doing. And while the first three are incredible accomplishments, the fourth was a cruel, disappointing way to end a sensational spring â€” one that had the promise of playing for a state title next week at Rhode Island College.
For two days in the hot sun, Cumberland High collectively played its best golf of the season at the RIIL State Championship.
Its efforts were amply rewarded.
Jamison Randall earned the individual title and, along with his teammates, the Clippers captured the team crown on Wednesday afternoon with a four-stroke victory over Portsmouth and North Kingstown at the Cranston Country Club.
CRANSTON â€” Wearing pink shirts to signify Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Cumberland High stood out on the golf course.
By the time the first round of the RIIL Golf State Tournament was finished Tuesday afternoon at a sun-drenched Cranston Country Club, the Clippers also stood out on the leaderboard.
Jamison Randall tied medalist honors, firing an even-par 71. Behind the talented senior, the rest of the Clippers didnâ€™t do so badly either. Senior teammates Mike Ray and Jack Andrade each carded a 79 and sophomore Brendan Guerin posted an 83.
WOONSOCKET â€“ It was the first game of the season â€“ a loss to Johnston -- when Woonsocket High baseball coach John Marsella knew he had a team that could do some damage in Division II.
â€śWe lost to Johnston 2-1 in our opener,â€ť Marsella was saying on Monday. â€śEveryone had told me before the season that Johnston was the class of the division. After that game, we knew we could play with them. That gave confidence to everyone on the team.â€ť
CUMBERLAND â€“ Steve Gordon has been coaching wrestling at Cumberland High for 42 years.
He has seen a lot of people come and go during his more than four-decade career. But every long, wintry season, he knows one face will always be there and volunteering countless hours to add to the success of his program. Itâ€™s a person that has missed fewer matches than the fingers on your hand, his wife Judy Gordon.