PAWTUCKET â€” Hideki Okajima kicked off his second tour of duty with the PawSox Thursday, admitting that McCoy Stadium was the last place he expected to set foot in. Such sentiment can be linked to the events of last Friday, when Boston designated the 35-year-old reliever for assignment.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Theo Murray was ready to talk suicide squeeze with Brandon Gagne. It didnâ€™t take long for Murray to recalibrate his expectations for the Tolman High junior after Gagne voiced he was in no mood to lay down a bunt.
Swing away then, insisted Murray. With the onus now on Gagne to deliver the goods on his confident promise, the leadoff hitter came through with arguably the biggest hit of the season for the Tigers.
LINCOLN â€“ Cranston East sure didnâ€™t play like a No. 14 seed, nor did Lincoln High look the part of a state title contender.
So while Wednesdayâ€™s result at Chet Nichols Field could certainly be described as unexpected, it wasnâ€™t exactly a shock.
Fresh off a 14-4 regular season that produced a Division I-North crown and the third overall seed in the 16-team, double-elimination state tournament, Lincoln endured a collective struggle in dropping a 4-2 decision to Cranston East, an 8-10 team out of Division I-Central.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The banner to the left of the scoreboard at the Donaldson Gymnasium signifies the last time that Tolman High has earned a state title in Division II volleyball. It was 2003, a mere three years after it captured its first in the program history.
Longtime head coach Neil Nachbar isnâ€™t predicting his Tigers will be able to add another year to that banner, but itâ€™s certainly possible.
WOONSOCKET â€“ Kristen Rodrigues spun a complete game four-hitter as Mount St. Charles climbed back over the .500 mark courtesy of Tuesdayâ€™s 4-1 win over La Salle Academy.
The Mounties improve to 9-8 in Division I-North with one game remaining, Saturday at home against Smithfield.
Rodrigues collected four strikeouts while walking no one. Taylor Messier finished 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored while Emily Hendricks went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Hannah Gardella delivered a RBI double in the second inning.
La Salle 010 000 0 -1-6-1
Mount St. Charles 011 200 x â€“ 4-8-1
The high school baseball outfits hailing from Lincoln, Tolman and Woonsocket find themselves in an enviable position â€“ at home, serving as the higher seed in the opening round of the double elimination, regional playoffs, which cuts four ways with four teams comprising each group.
The real key as baseballâ€™s second season gets under way is not specifically tied to home-field advantage. In the case of a double-elimination format, itâ€™s about starting out on the right foot. Win on Wednesday and wait until Friday before resuming the March to McCoy Stadium. Thatâ€™s called the easy road.
LINCOLN â€“ Jillian DeSimone stood anxiously on the rain-soaked Ferguson Field sidelines, her teamâ€™s perfect season hanging in the balance.
If ever there was a time for Lincoln High to prove it was more than a one-player show, this was it.
Playing without DeSimone for most of the second half after the stateâ€™s leading goal scorer picked up her yellow card of the game, the Lions rode Ashley Moreauâ€™s five goals and Nina Fournierâ€™s goalkeeping to a 12-9 victory over Cumberland High School on Monday.
It didnâ€™t take long for the Boston Red Sox to climb out of that impossible hole all the doomsayers had put them in after they started the season with two wins in their first 12 games. After Sunday nightâ€™s win over the Cubs, Bostonâ€™s record stood at 25-21 and the Sox were just one-half game out of first place in the American League East.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Needing at least one win to feel good about its playoff chances, St. Raphael Academy went out and grabbed a pair of victories over the weekend. On Sunday SRA climbed over the .500 mark for the first time this season courtesy of a 2-0 win against La Salle Academy. That coupled with Saturdayâ€™s 9-4 win against Cumberland High leaves the Saints at 9-8 in Division I-North heading into Mondayâ€™s regular season finale against Moses Brown.