Archive - Sports Article
April 23rd, 2014
PAWTUCKET â If Will Middlebrooks is indeed activated by Boston on Friday night, he will have the good fortune of facing a pitcher that has much less zip on his fastball than the one that stymied the PawSox on Wednesday night.
Touching 99 miles per hour on the radar gun, Rochester starting pitcher Alex Meyer slowed the Pawtucket bats to a virtual crawl. Meyer struck out 11 in 6.2 innings and got Middlebrooks to go down swinging in all three of his at-bats.
PAWTUCKET â Will Middlebrooks can relate to Daniel Nava.
A year ago, Middlebrooks scuffled so badly that the Red Sox were left with little choice but to send the starting third baseman to Triple A. Looking back at his minor-league penance, Middlebrooks says that he was able to weather a turbulent stretch thanks to his ability to quickly put the grief behind him.
âIt's a fine line of pressing and coming down here and working hard and trying to get your work in. It took me a good week to get over the disappointment of it,â said Middlebrooks prior to his second rehab game with the PawSox.
PROVIDENCE â Shea High head coach Christina Daily explained she really wasnât in the mood for a mini-postgame press conference early Wednesday afternoon.
Really, who could blame her?
Her Raiders had looked pretty solid in a first-game victory over Division II crossover foe Central High, but â slowly â unforced errors, points with little or no communication and serves gone awry became more commonplace.
In the end, the Knights celebrated a 3-1 victory at the Providence Career & Technical Academy field house â and it came via scores of 15-25, 25-14, 31-29 and 32-30.
PAWTUCKET â On a Tuesday night when Brandon Snyder crushed two dingers and righthander Rubby De La Rosa assembled a mound masterpiece, the Pawtucket Red Soxâs bullpen collapsed.
The result: An emotionally-draining â not to mention truly sad â 7-5 loss to the Rochester Red Wings before a bummed crowd of 3,070 at McCoy Stadium.
De La Rosa had been hurling a gem, yielding only three hits, an earned run and a walk while fanning seven.
The bib numbers in the 30,000s and high 20,000s look awfully strange.
And the newly created fourth wave wonât start until at least 85 minutes after the first wave has crossed the starting line in Hopkinton.
But to Lincolnâs Poyee Oster, Pawtucketâs Linda Bachand, and the nearly 5,700 runners that did not finish last yearâs Boston Marathon because of the terrorist attack, that means very, very little.
Getting another chance to return for the 118th running of this legendary race, and this time, finishing what they started, is the only thing that matters.
PAWTUCKET â Never once did the thought of becoming the Red Soxâs everyday center fielder cross Shane Victorinoâs mind. He was committed to playing right field, meaning someone else was going to have to fill the void created when Jacoby Ellsbury signed with the Yankees.
Initially, the plan coming out of spring training was to have Victorino flanked by newcomer Grady Sizemore with Jackie Bradley Jr. holding tight in the minors. Of course, those best-laid plans went awry when Boston placed Victorino on the disabled list prior to the first game of the 2014 season.
If youâre looking to follow the Boston Marathon online today and keep track of the top residents from the Blackstone Valley, keep the numbers 319, 1991, and 5934 in mind.
They are the bib numbers that will be donned by Cumberlandâs Jason Reilly, Pawtucketâs Brendan Doyle, and Cumberlandâs Dave Constantino, who will be among the runners scattered in the first wave and looking to complete the 118th running of this legendary race in under three hours.
PAWTUCKET â To PawSox manager Kevin Boles, Shane Victorino passed his first rehab test.
Playing six innings in the first game of Saturdayâs doubleheader at McCoy Stadium, Victorino went hitless in three at-bats and did not record a play in right field. He was replaced in the top of the seventh inning by Alex Hassan.
âThe game-plan was five to six innings and three at-bats,â noted Boles.
PAWTUCKET â The learning curve is steep and slippery for Tolman Highâs talented but inexperienced squad.
The Tigers, who started off this breakthrough Division I campaign with four wins in their first five league games, hit a wall over the past two days. First they dropped an 11-2 verdict to unbeaten North Kingstown on Thursday and then on Friday they fell to Toll Gate by an 8-5 score in eight innings.
While most New Yearâs Eve revelers were wearily trudging out of Boston on the morning of Jan. 1, Lindsay Amherst and a few friends were strolling into the stateâs capitol.
The 30-year-old Pawtucket native, along with a few members of the Tuesday Night Turtles running club, ran the entire Boston Marathon route, beginning in Hopkinton at 6 a.m. and arriving in Boston less than four hours later.
WOONSOCKET â For Lincoln High junior Mason Palmieri, it doesnât get much better these days.
On Monday, Palmieri verbally committed to join the Bryant University â9â beginning in the fall of 2015. On Wednesday, the pitcher with the towering mound presence tossed a complete-game five-hitter in Lincolnâs 4-2 victory over Woonsocket at Renaud Field.
PAWTUCKET â The right shoulder tenderness that grounded Matt Barnes for the majority of spring training has subsided to the point where the Red Sox pitching prospect believes itâs only a matter of time before he departs Fort Myers.
When Barnes will be officially granted exile so that he can take the mound for the PawSox âŠ letâs just say thereâs a cloak and dagger element in play.
âI donât know when Iâm leaving, but all I know is that I feel real good right now,â said Barnes from Florida earlier this week. âIâll let the people who are in charge make the important decisions.â
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â Itâs still April and high school baseball teams continue to search for their identity while Mother Nature struggles to find her own winning form.
On a blustery Wednesday afternoon at Vets Park field, a flock of geese looked for food in the barren outfield as Cumberland and St. Raphael Academy squared off, each seeking a badly-needed victory.
LINCOLN â Avid readers of this newspaper may remember the graphic photo tucked into the upper left corner of the front page back on Nov. 10, 2013.
Photographer Ernest A. Brown captured the shot of Lincoln High goalie Jack Bacon laying in front of his own net, obviously pained at the devastating occurrence seconds before.
There on the Rhode Island College soccer field in the championship tilt of the R.I. Division II Tournament, the Lions and Toll Gate High were involved in a dramatic shootout, and â with it knotted at 3-3 â it was up to Bacon to stop Zach Bromage's final attempt.
CUMBERLAND â The keys to the Clippersâ football program have been handed to a 27-year-old first-time varsity head coach.
The lack of experience when it comes to leading young men, or his age, should not yield shrugs of disbelief. Thereâs plenty of pigskin knowledge tucked inside the mind of Josh Lima, the choice to replace departed Cumberland mentor Chris Skurka, who in January accepted a coaching position that specifically entails overseeing the linebackers and special teams at Dean College.
PAWTUCKET -- A bright new era has begun for Tolman Highâs fast-pitch softball program. The Tigers, who finished 3-13 in Division I last year, have advanced to contender status this season, thanks to an infusion of freshman players who honed their skills in the Darlington Girls League and on travel teams.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â Woonsocket play a crisp baseball game befitting the cool April afternoon on Thursday, rolling to a convincing 9-1 victory over St. Raphael Academy at Veterans Park field.
The Villa Novans got six strong innings of three-hit pitching from Miguel Raymond and backed their junior right-hander with a 12-hit offensive splurge that featured two perfect hit-and-run plays.
LINCOLN â Itâs over.
Lincoln Highâs incredible and season-spanning winning streak can officially mentioned in past terms after Tolman staged a 6-2 victory over the two-time defending state champs Thursday afternoon at Saylesvilleâs Sullivan Field. It officially goes into the record books as a 44-game winning streak for the Lions.
PROVIDENCE â Scratch off the biggest need on Ed Cooleyâs off-season âto-doâ list.
Shoring up the point-guard spot for next season as well as future ones has been a top priority for Cooley and the Providence Friars since the moment the 2013-14 campaign came to an end. With the verbal commitment expressed by Compton (Calif.) High School senior Kyron Cartwright, PC now has a second floor general to pair with Kris Dunn, who has missed significant time in each of his first two collegiate seasons.
PAWTUCKET â Itâs always nice to put on a good show when the brass is in town.
With Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington and Director of Player Development Ben Crockett checking out the action, the Pawtucket Red Sox thumped Syracuse, 7-1, Tuesday night before 2,675 fans. Allen Webster rebounded from a sub-par first start to his season with six shutout innings while Justin Henry and Ryan Lavarnway stoked the offense with back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning.