Archive - Sports Article
May 24th, 2015
PAWTUCKET – George Patrick Duffy reportedly was watching the Angels-Red Sox game on Saturday night when he passed away at age 94.
In many ways, it was a fitting ode for one of the city’s legendary sports figures. Duffy spent over seven decades as a coach, mentoring countless youngsters who probably went forward in life remembering the messages or words of wisdom he imparted.
WOONSOCKET – With just a few games left on the schedule, the competition has been heating up along with the weather, as local teams jockey for position during the final stretch in Division I-North softball.
All five teams were in action on Saturday, with division leader Tolman High showing how they got there with a 10-0 mercy-rule win over Mount St. Charles Academy.
CUMBERLAND – For five-plus innings, this Division I-B affair between Cumberland and East Providence highs was defined as a premier pitchers’ duel.
It sure didn’t end that way.
Guarding a skimpy 1-0 advantage entering the back half of the sixth, the Clippers exploded for six runs on six straight hits – four for extra bases – to coast to a 7-0 blowout triumph over the Townies before perhaps 70 fans at Tucker Field on Friday afternoon.
PAWTUCKET – More so than at any other position, for big league catchers, playing high-level defense isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity.
Such is the lot of young Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart. The highly-touted rookie found himself in the majors after a series of injuries to Boston’s catchers, with a mandate to get his mitt-work up to MLB standards.
“In order to stay there, that has to be the priority,” said PawSox hitting coach Rich Gedman earlier this week.
BARRINGTON – St. Raphael’s magical postseason ride continued Thursday as the fifth-seeded Saints stunned top seed Providence Country Day, 4-3, in the Division III semifinals.
The win pushes SRA into Saturday’s title match, which will take place at Slater Park. The Saints will take on the winner of the other semifinal-round match that took place Thursday at Barrington High School, Coventry vs. Scituate.
PAWTUCKET – In a back-and-forth affair, Tolman outlasted Lincoln, 6-5, on Thursday at Slater Park’s Al Bailey Field.
The Tigers, who are in the midst of stretch of four games in four days, broke a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the sixth behind a two-out double by senior Leiandra Wilson. The Lions, who held leads of 2-0 and 4-1, didn’t threaten in the seventh.
NORTH SMITHFIELD – North Smithfield High hadn’t played up to expectations for the better part of this Division II-North campaign, so veteran head coach Paul Mercier held a 30-minute team meeting after Tuesday afternoon’s practice.
He felt his Northmen were better than their 6-6 league record, and weren’t getting along as well as they could be.
EXETER – St. Raphael Academy earned a trip to the Division III semifinals with their 4-2 win over Exeter/West Greenwich on Wednesday.
The clinching match came from Saints No. 2 doubles tandem Justin Jackson and Andy Li. The duo earned a marathon victory, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, and came back from love-40 in the final game of the third set.
The first doubles team of Santiago Durango and Auston Gillis also earned a hard-fought win, staging a third set comeback. After trailing 2-5, they won the last five games to get the win.
LINCOLN – Unlike its past few games, Cumberland High made a 3-0 lead in the first frame hold up.
After sustaining three consecutive defeats, the Clippers utilized a fine three-hitter from freshman lefty Jocelyn Bodington to snag a much-needed 5-3 Division I-North victory over archrival Lincoln at Sullivan Field on Tuesday night.
Bodington also mustered 10 strikeouts as CHS improved to 8-7 in league play.
PAWTUCKET – Jim Skeffington may be remembered by some as the businessman who wanted to move the PawSox out of McCoy Stadium. That’s unfortunate because most of all, he was a fan with a lifelong passion for sports and the benefits they can bring a community.
Skeffington died suddenly Sunday night after a three-month stint as team president of the PawSox. His fandom was a side that not everyone got to see, as his brief tenure was marked by a busy process of transition and planning for the future.
Three months after orchestrating the team’s purchase and expressing a strong objective to move the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium to a downtown Providence location, PawSox President James J. Skeffington has died.
PROVIDENCE – In basketball, as in life, timing is everything. That’s why PC Friar fans should take note of the addition of Jeff Battle to Ed Cooley’s staff – it comes at an intriguing juncture for the program.
It’s hard to avoid associating Kris Dunn’s return to PC for his redshirt junior season and Battle’s arrival as an assistant. Dunn has NBA point-guard pedigree, and who better to educate the talented youngster than a coach who knows a thing or two about working with top-tier college point men.
NORTH PROVIDENCE – There’s no room for confusion or interpretation when you’re that sure about something. Make no mistake … Dante Baldelli has already made up his mind regarding his college-baseball destination.
PAWTUCKET – The door swing wide open when the Red Sox cut ties with Juan Nieves has officially closed after they settled on new pitching coach Carl Willis.
It got me thinking about Rich Sauveur, the former PawSox pitching coach who resigned last season following a successful seven-year stint with the Triple-A ballclub. Had Sauveur still been with Pawtucket, might he have finally received the big-league summons that proved elusive during his PawSox tenure?
Alas, we’ll never know the answer.
CRANSTON – Despite a dominant showing from Smithfield, several area athletes successfully turned in noteworthy performances at the Girls’ Northern Division Championships, held Wednesday at Cranston West High.
Smithfield ran away with the team title as the Sentinels’ 197 points was 52 more than runner-up Cumberland. Woonsocket came in fourth place (44) followed by Mount St. Charles (26), Lincoln (23.5) and Burrillville (13).
PAWTUCKET – Long before his rise to All-Star status and subsequent fall that resulted in him getting sent to the minors, Allen Craig was a part-time player for the St. Louis Cardinals.
As a 26-year-old with St. Louis in 2011, Craig logged 219 plate appearances in 75 games. He certainly made the most of his limited exposure, producing a triple-slash line of .315/.362/.555 along with 11 home runs and 40 RBI.
Congratulations and best wishes to Pawtucket’s Jean-Daniel Roussel, who is in Green Bay this weekend on a tryout deal with the NFL’s Packers. A product of St. Raphael and Sacred Heart University, Roussel was one of a reported 26 players that the Green Bay front office invited on a tryout condition.
At Lincoln High School, officials want to continue playing Rhode Island interscholastic girls’ hockey despite recently learning that their co-op partner Cumberland will drop the sport.
If the Lions are to keep playing, they’ll need a new partner, as they lack the numbers to field a team on their own.
One potential candidate is Mount St. Charles Academy, a program that bears a proud history in the sport but has seen declining participants in recent years.
WOONSOCKET – Cruising to wins by nine points or better in their last four games, the Clippers achieved another easy triumph on Thursday, this time 16-7, at Mount St. Charles.
In a Division II-North clash at Wheeler way back on April 24, Cumberland High allowed 10 goals in the first half and eventually suffered a 17-15 defeat. Head coach Scott Carpenter called that the turning point of his team’s Division II-North campaign.
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