Archive - May 2012 - Sports Article
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” His players were in great spirits on Thursday afternoon, taking some batting practice with wiffleballs beyond the left field fence and sharing a laugh or two, but North Smithfield coach Tom Bourgeois found himself with a few butterflies a half hour before his teamâ€™s Division II single-elimination playoff opener against Portsmouth.
NORTH PROVIDENCE â€” Fresh off of a 1-0 win in the 12th inning of its playoff opener against Middletown, No. 8 seeded Cumberland continued its impressive playoff run with a 6-2 upset win over No. 1 seeded North Providence on Thursday afternoon.
The Cougars had won the previous two meetings between these two teams -- 4-2 at home and 6-2 at Cumberland -- but the Clippers got the win when it mattered most, in the playoffs.
PAWTUCKET â€” If Ron Johnson had any doubts or reservations about his status among the baseball cognoscenti, a phone call from Dan Duquette quickly erased them.
It was a phone call that was straight to the point with Duquette taking a run at Johnson to gauge his level of interest in the managerial job with the Norfolk Tides. Sure, the two share a past, but what heightens the importance of this particular phone call is the timing of when it occured.
LINCOLN â€” There had been a fair share of dominant Division I teams during the past decade that ruled their regular seasons and captured state championships, but none of them were able to accomplish what Lincoln wrapped up on Monday afternoon.
For some high school sports like baseball and softball, the road to postseason glory begins this week. For other sports such as lacrosse, the action continues with teams setting their sights on reaching the finals, set for next weekend at Rhode Island College.
With the exception of softball, all of the brackets have been released. In an exercise geared toward setting the record straight, we present a brief overview of whatâ€™s in store for the local teams fortunate enough to still be competing in meaningful games at this time of year.
PAWTUCKET â€” A day earlier, Devan Dube and Ben Degrange earned a point without having to set a single foot on the courts at Slater Park. Less than 24 hours later under humid conditions, the No. 3 doubles team for North Smithfield found themselves in a position where the fate of the Division III championship rested on their slender shoulders.
Oh, the drama.
WARWICK â€” Dan Rhault knows that in order for a high school baseball talent to get noticed, one has to venture to where college coaches and recruiters gather.
The belief that if youâ€™re good, â€śtheyâ€ť will seek you out no longer applies. Recruiting has become such a cutthroat business that if you snooze, you lose, and if you snooze some more, you just might see your baseball career end at the high school level.
â€śWeâ€™re going to them,â€ť Rhault, a Lincoln native, said matter-of-factly.
WEST CHESTER, Pa. â€” Itâ€™s been quite the debut for Jad Prachniak, West Chester Universityâ€™s new baseball skipper.
Thanks to the tutelage of the former Lincoln resident, the Golden Rams closed their regular season with a stellar 42-10 slate, captured the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship and qualified for the NCAA Division II World Series after winning four straight games in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The Pawtucket Red Sox received some much-needed outfield help Thursday. Despite putting up impressive numbers with Double-A Portland, J.C. Linares was not the player the Red Sox organization chose to promote.
Instead, Ronald Bermudez was the one summoned to Triple A. Selecting Bermudez over Linares may be viewed in some corners as a curious decision, especially when taking into account that the 27-year-old Linares is leading the Sea Dogs in hitting (.311), RBI (25), on-base percentage (.406) while ranking second among regulars in home runs (six) heading into Thursdayâ€™s action.
LINCOLN â€” The large gathering of Woonsocket fans who drove down Route 146 to watch one of their own, super middleweight Joe Gardner, take on Julio Garcia on Thursday night at the Twin River Event Center received a low blow at what they witnessed in the four-round fight.
And speaking of low blows, that turned out to be the theme of the final three rounds. Garcia dealt them, Gardner received them, and the end result was an unpopular unanimous-decision victory by Garcia (by 40-34, 39-35, 39-35 scores) that left Gardner, his corner, and his many supporters seething.