PAWTUCKET â€“ The type of season Ryan Lavarnway is enjoying tends to open the door to possibilities down the road, one being a September call-up.
Right now Lavarnway prefers to let his bat do the talking. The power-hitting catching prospect went 3-for-4 with two home runs Sunday as the Pawtucket Red Sox ended the unofficial first half of the season with a 4-3 win against Buffalo.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The PawSox players and staff couldnâ€™t vacate the McCoy Stadium grounds fast enough Sunday evening.
After holding on for a 4-3 win against Buffalo, the PawSox put the unofficial first half (91 of 143 games) behind them and will use the next three days to regroup mentally. Baseball, a staple for all involved parties since the start of spring training in mid-February, plans take a back seat to vacation getaways and family reunions.
LINCOLN â€” The Lincoln All-Stars have dominated pool play the first three games of the season, outscoring their rivals by a 31-1 margin.
When his unbeaten squad finishes up its slate in Pool A on Saturday night, Lincoln coach Matt Netto isnâ€™t expecting similar results against equally-unbeaten Smithfield (3-0) at Randy Hien Memorial Field.
CUMBERLAND â€“ A week off did nothing to cool down Cumberland Americanâ€™s scorching bats. Nor did the steady rain that fell at Garvin Field throughout Fridayâ€™s pool play finale against North Smithfield.
Next up for manager Dave Belisleâ€™s team: the District IV tournament semifinals.
Conor Lavallee and Steve Dugas belted home runs for Pool B champion Cumberland American (4-0), which collected its third mercy-rule victory of the tourney, a 12-1 thumping of North Smithfield (1-3).
LINCOLN â€“ Cumberland exacted revenge against Lincoln in the best way possible: with a victory in the District IV softball championship game.
After dropping a one-run decision to Lincoln last Friday, its lone loss of pool play, Cumberland used a five-run fifth inning to separate itself in Thursdayâ€™s title bout and held on for a 9-7 win at Sullivan Field.
WOONSOCKET â€” After missing the first month of the season, Cumberland Post 14 outfielder Christian Spader was having a little trouble adjusting to the wooden bats that have been instituted into the American Legion baseball season this year.
But the Cumberland High product broke out of his mini slump in a big way on Thursday night against Navigant Credit Union Post 85. Spader collected four hits, including a game-winning two-run single in the top of the 11th inning as Post 14 outlasted Navigant, 2-0, in a three-hour marathon at Renaud Field.
PAWTUCKET --- Mercy-rule winners last week. Lopsided losers on Wednesday night.
Darlington American was unable to ride the momentum from last Thursdayâ€™s District II Major Division tourney-opening rout of Riverside into its winnersâ€™ bracket quarterfinal-round contest against Barrington at Slater Park, and the visitors were able to come away with a resounding victory.
Barrington used a seven-run rally in the top of the second inning and a 13-hit attack that featured a half dozen extra-base hits to produce a 14-4 triumph over DALL that dropped the Pawtucket All-Stars into the losersâ€™ bracket.
CUMBERLAND â€” The stakes were clear for both teams entering Wednesdayâ€™s matchup at Garvin Field.
For Cumberland National, a win would punch its ticket to the semifinal round of the District IV tournament. For Bernon, a win would allow it to stave off elimination.
In a vintage pitchersâ€™ duel that featured more than four times as many strikeouts (26) as hits (6), Cumberland National rode ace right-hander Brandon Croteau to a 2-1 victory, clinching the second-best record in Pool B.
Bruce Foster loves an adventure. The tougher, the better.
In past years, Foster has rode his bike 300-plus miles from his Lincoln residence to the Canadian border and back a few times. Heâ€™s also participated in the Sunday River Mountain Epic trail running challenge, a handful of Odyssey Adventure Racing multi-day expedition adventure races, and a few other over-the-top challenges to test his personal boundaries and push himself to the limit.
But none of his past experiences came close to measuring up to the challenge he endured two weekends ago.