Archive - Sports Article
April 4th, 2014
CUMBERLAND â Juliet Nelson supplied some heat on a chilly 41-degree afternoon.
The Cumberland ace pitcher also brought her âAâ game to her teamâs home opener on Friday against visiting Toll Gate, as she struck out nine batters and allowed just two batted balls to reach the outfield grass in a masterful one-hit gem and a 2-0 victory that took just 80 minutes to complete.
PAWTUCKET â After a dismal previous 13 offensive frames to open this 2014 campaign, the Pawtucket Red Sox finally broke out of their collective offensive funk on drizzly Friday night..
Lehigh Valley had seemed destined to record another âcrooked numberâ triumph after jumping out to a 4-0 cushion, but the PawSox manufactured eight runs in the back half of the fifth and cruised to a 9-4 victory before a sparse crowd of 2,652 at McCoy Stadium.
Umpires had halted the game after the top of the eighth due to rain, but the tilt was quickly called official after a 15-minute delay.
PAWTUCKET â It had all the pageantry of Opening Day, from the introduction to the teams to Boston bullpen cop Steve Horgan tossing out the ceremonial pitch to the unfurling of an American flag in center field and a cannon salute that sounded off at the conclusion of the national anthem.
PAWTUCKET â If eight PawSox players show up late to McCoy Stadium this afternoon, donât fret. Their potential tardiness has already been taken under advisement.
âIt will be okay,â smiled manager Kevin Boles. âOpportunities like this donât come around too often, so youâve got to take advantage of them.â
At this point of the high school baseball season, the main topic of discussion doesnât pertain to the depth of the pitching staff or whether thereâs enough offense to carry the day.
After the brutal winter and wet early spring Rhode Islanders have endured, the burning question pertains to the status of the local diamonds. Are they ready to come to life following a deep slumber?
PAWTUCKET â The 2014 season for the PawSox is upon us, and with it brings the promise of intrigue and discovery. Who will produce enough to get summoned to Boston? The answers will start to reveal themselves beginning with Thursdayâs season and home opener against Lehigh Valley.
Until the answers begin to trickle in, here are five items one scribe plans to closely monitor in the early going:
1). A spin-off of Threeâs Company
PAWTUCKET -- A year after reaching the Governorsâ Cup finals, the Pawtucket Red Sox are looking to come back even stronger with a veteran Triple-A squad that will boast more than just a ring of familiarity.
Eight players on the PawSox opening day roster will be at Fenway Park the following afternoon to receive the World Series rings they earned as contributors to last yearâs champion Boston Red Sox. Among the âElite Eightâ is Pawtucketâs opening day starter, Allen Webster.
Veteran Mount St. Charles head coach Cliff Matthews couldn't help but pitch a bit of levity when asked how his girls' softball team should fare when Division I fast-pitch action begins this week.
âIt's not about Lincoln or Cumberland, La Salle or Coventry; it's all about the Mounties!â he laughed. âTell (Lions' mentor) Dick Ryan we're coming after them.â
Naturally, he was joking. How could he not? Lincoln hasn't lost a game since 2011.
PAWTUCKET â âChampions Riseâ is once again en vogue at McCoy Stadium. This time, though, the popular slogan is not directly paying homage to the buildingâs primary tenants.
Last year, âChampions Riseâ was synonymous with the Pawtucket Red Sox and the franchiseâs 2012 Governorsâ Cup title. As patrons passed through the main entrance at McCoy, they were greeted by a colossal banner that proved a fitting salute to a fitting champion.
PAWTUCKET â As Kevin Boles discovered this spring, the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of managing the Pawtucket Red Sox will come in good time.
Reached over the weekend from Fort Myers, Boles noted that he and PawSox coach Bruce Crabbe remained with the parent club until the near completion of Grapefruit League play. Keeping the Triple-A manager around the big-league atmosphere is a fairly common practice for the Red Sox, as Boles recalled that his PawSox predecessor, Gary DiSarcina, reported to the minors just as camp was set to conclude.
In a recent conversation with former Central Falls basketball standout Rob Alers, he was asked the whereabouts of fellow C.F. alumnus and his roommate at Lyndon State, George Carle.
With immediate confidence â the kind that comes when youâre pretty sure about something â Alers ventured a guess as to his good friendâs location on the Vermont-based campus.
âHeâs probably in the gym as we speak,â was what Alersâ senses were telling him.
As always before each practice session, head coach Lisa Bessette addressed her Pawtucket Pacers on Tuesday night, detailing what four groups of athletes would be doing for the next 75 minutes to prepare for the upcoming Special Olympics Rhode Island's Northern Area Games, those slated for Saturday, May 3 at Bryant University.
She stood in the middle of the Francis J. Varieur Elementary School's cafeteria/gymnasium, laying down the groundwork not only for that competition but also the SORI's State Games at the University of Rhode Island beginning May 30.
CENTRAL FALLS â Up until the final four-plus minutes, it had been a tight contest between two fierce combatants, each hustling up and down the court to muster a victory.
No one wanted that âWâ more than Central Falls High senior Yeire Cepeda. Honestly, it couldn't have been more obvious.
During the course of this hoop contest against Mount Pleasant inside the Warriors' jam-packed gym on Wednesday afternoon, Cepeda looked disgruntled at times with several turnovers, failures to snatch a critical rebound or inability to drop a necessary basket.
PAWTUCKET â Immediately after the Tolman High girlsâ squad had finished its routine at these New England Regional Competitive Cheerleading Championships, held as always at Lawrence (Mass.) High on Saturday afternoon, head coach Jessica MacLaughlinâs crew seemed rather subdued.
At least thatâs the way she viewed it.
âThe girls already seemed, like, deflated,â she recalled. âThey thought there was no way they would place in the top five, that it was over and done with, and they had failed. They were just sitting there, waiting to see who had won.â
PROVIDENCE â Based on Mondayâs discussion amongst the Rhode Island Interscholastic Leagueâs Principalsâ Committee, there appears to be growing concern with regard to fan behavior at boysâ high school hockey games.
âWe feel that weâve seen and heard of more issues happening at the rink. Not really players, but parents and students in the stands,â expressed Tom Mezzanotte, RIIL executive director.
KINGSTON â With 5:22 remaining in the R.I. Division II Tournamentâs championship final, and top-seeded St. Raphael Academy trailing 48-30, superb senior co-captain Becca Gonzalez found an opening in the lane, drove through it and put up an easy lay-in attempt.
It hit the back of the rim, then the front, and fell out.
Gonzalez turned to no one in particular, put her hands out as to make a plea then hustled back down the floor.
PROVIDENCE â As much as Ed Cooley probably wishes he could sit back and enjoy the magic carpet ride his Providence Friars have ridden this month, he knows the importance of pressing forward. Reflections will come in due time.
SAN ANTONIO â In the end, the 20th and 21st offensive rebounds that the Providence Friars surrendered proved to be their undoing.
Two free throws by James Michael McAdoo in the final 3.5 seconds helped snap a 77-77 affair and propel North Carolina to a 79-77 victory over a heartbroken bunch of Friars Friday night in the Eastern Regional portion of the NCAA Tournament.
Bryce Cottonâs final game in a Providence uniform was the stuff of legends, the senior netting a career-high 36 points while doling out eight assists.
For full story, see Saturday's print edition of The Times.
SAN ANTONIO â While the point-guard matchup between Providenceâs Bryce Cotton and North Carolinaâs Marcus Paige has been the talk de jour leading up to Fridayâs NCAA Tournament contest, thereâs a frontcourt bout that could prove as important in deciding the outcome.
SAN ANTONIO â Letâs remove all the tradition and corresponding subplots from the equation.
Instead, letâs delve into how Providence and North Carolina arrived at this particular juncture â a second-round matchup in the NCAA Tournament thatâs on tap Friday night (7:20 tip) at the AT&T Center. The two schools may have arrived at the same destination, yet itâs safe to say that the steps taken to get here were vastly different.