PAWTUCKET â Matt Spring is a career minor-league catcher who gets it.
You wonât find his name mentioned in the same way as acclaimed youngsters Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart, two under-25 prospects who are viewed by many as potential catchers-of-the-future for the rebuilding Boston Red Sox.
Meanwhile, Spring sits three months shy of his 30th birthday, and is in the midst of his first extended stay at the Triple-A level with the PawSox.
BRISTOL, Conn. – Lightning struck twice for the Cumberland American All-Stars on Monday night.
After pasting Massachusetts champion Barnstable, 25-5, in its opener on Saturday, the bat-savvy Rhode Islanders strolled to a 10-0 “mercy-rule” victory over Goffstown, N.H. in another pool-play contest of what is becoming a terrific Little League New England Regional Tournament at Breen Field.
LINCOLN – The association of Ken Ryan’s name and this particular dateline can only signify that KR Baseball Academy is officially coming to town.
Everything became certified this past Friday when Ryan signed a lease to occupy space for his indoor baseball facility on 100 Higginson Ave. located in the Lonsdale section of town. A Pawtucket native who pitched for both the PawSox and Red Sox, Ryan hopes to open the doors either the first or second week in October.
BRISTOL, Conn. -- On the evening of Thursday, July 24, after the Cumberland American All-Stars had clinched the R.I. Little League Major Division (11-12) Tournament championship with a thrilling 8-7 victory over gritty Cranston Western, manager Dave Belisle’s crew lined up for the usual post-game handshakes with its foe.
Gary Bucci’s players couldn’t have been all too happy with the loss, but both teams’ athletes were seen high-fiving each other. It was the consummate exhibition of sportsmanship at its best.
BRISTOL, Conn. – Cumberland American All-Stars mentor Dave Belisle received a phone call from pitching coach Matt Wright late Tuesday night, and it had everything to do with the Massachusetts Little League state championship game between Barnstable and Holden.
Wright had good reason to make the 75-plus-mile trek to Beverly; after all, he wanted to scout the contest, as the victor would face Belisle’s bunch in the opener of the New England Regional Tournament at 2 p.m., Saturday at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Training Center.
PAWTUCKET — While teammates in Double-A Portland, Matt Spring had the opportunity to catch many of Henry Owens’ day-after-he-started side sessions.
Mechanics and pitch repertoire aside, those informal bullpen outings allowed Spring to acquire a deeper sense of what makes Owens tick. Even in low-pressurized situations, the lanky left-hander still displayed a competitive zest that really wasn’t all that different when Owens took the ball for the Sea Dogs once every five days.
WEST WARWICK -- Just before the R.I. American Legion Senior Division Tournament championship tilt began late Wednesday afternoon, skipper Jim Mello huddled his troops outside the first-base dugout and issued a few simple thoughts.
“There is no tonight if we don’t take care of business right now,” he stated. “Think about this game and what you need to do. It’s do-or-die; now go out there and have some fun.”
WEST WARWICK – With Collette Vacations Post 79 facing their third-straight elimination game on Tuesday, Zach Mitsmenn dazzled the tournament’s top-seeded squad for nine innings, sending home the highly-touted Senerchia Post 74 and propelling Collette into the final day of play at the R.I. American Legion Senior Division Tournament.