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Champions! Davies belts Central for Div. III softball title

June 10, 2012

PROVIDENCE — Immediately after the Davies Tech team bus arrived at the Rhode Island College diamond at approximately 4:30 p.m., Sunday, skipper Scott Cooper strode up the aluminum stands to the press box for a coin flip with Central High's mentor, Michelle Rawcliffe.
That toss would decide the home team for this Rhode Island Division III Tournament championship series' “rubber” tilt.
When Rawcliffe chose “tails” and won the flip, choosing to bat in the bottom half of each inning, Cooper silently said a prayer.

Crusaders slow down Villa Novans

June 10, 2012

EAST PROVIDENCE — It was a great irony, how Woonsocket High sophomore hurler John Flynn allowed only two hits – and a mere six batted balls to leave the infield dirt – but still dropped a crazy 3-1 decision to Prout School at Pierce Field on Sunday afternoon.
“It's a funny game,” sighed skipper John Marsella from his third-base dugout after his Villa Novans suffered the defeat in this, the initial game of a R.I. Division II Final Four best-of-three semifinal series.

Clippers’ Patrick holds Rebels at bay

June 10, 2012

Contributing writer
WEST WARWICK — If there is a margin of separation between the Cumberland Clippers and the South Kingstown Rebels, it doesn’t appear to be a very big one.
Yesterday, behind a shutout pitched by Justin Patrick, the Clippers beat the Rebels 1-0 to send the series into a third game. In seven innings, Patrick gave up just two hits while striking out six batters with only one walk.
Cumberland’s head coach Paul Murphy could not have asked for more of his starter in a critical elimination game.
“He’s been absolutely fantastic in the playoffs,” Murphy said of Patrick.

Avengers walk all over Villa Novans

June 9, 2012

PROVIDENCE — After posting three straight victories in post-season action, Woonsocket High head coach Dan Belisle had every reason to believe his club had the makings of posting an upset over top-seeded East Greenwich.
That thought process fell by the wayside rather quickly, as the Avengers tallied five runs each in the first and second frames and rolled to an elementary 11-0 “mercy rule” drubbing of the seventh-ranked Villa Novans in the R.I. Division II Tournament's winners' bracket final at Rhode Island College on Saturday night.

Lions take care of Titans, earn berth in Division I finals

June 9, 2012

PROVIDENCE — For the better part of this spring campaign, Lincoln High mentor Dick Ryan has had to field sports writers' post-game queries concerning the amazing statistics compiled by his stellar hurler, junior righthander Lindsay Mayer.
He did so again Saturday afternoon, after Mayer allowed six hits (without a walk) and whiffed 15 in the Lions' 5-0 victory over Toll Gate in a R.I. Division I Tournament semifinal at Rhode Island College.
Ryan, however, couldn't stop praising the defensive play of his outfield, or the clutch hitting produced by senior third baseman Sarah Albanese.

Patriots fight back, force decisive Game 3

June 9, 2012

PROVIDENCE — Minutes after Davies Tech survived a stunning 13-12, nine-inning epic over Central High at Rhode Island College on Saturday afternoon, head coach Scott Cooper sighed, then stated, “It’s all or nothing now, Central knows it can be beaten.”
In this second game of the R.I. Division III Tournament best-of-three championship series, the Patriots took advantage of 12 hits and eight Knights miscues to not only raise their overall mark to 17-2, but also force a decisive title tilt at this same diamond at 5 p.m. today.

Lavarnway’s catching on as PawSox's primary backstop

June 8, 2012

PAWTUCKET — There was Ryan Lavarnway the other day, sitting in PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler’s office along with Chad Epperson, the Red Sox minor-league catching coordinator. The seating arrangement resembled that of an atypical boardroom meeting, with Beyeler staring directly at Lavarnway from his behind-the-desk vantage point while Epperson occupied the plush leather couch to the right of 24-year-old.

Former pitching coach Cather weighs in on Bard

June 8, 2012

PAWTUCKET — Mike Cather was Daniel Bard’s pitching coach in Double-A Portland when Bard made the conversion from starting pitcher to reliever.
What does Cather, currently the minor-league pitching coordinator for the San Diego Padres, recall about watching Bard undergo said conversion in 2008? Let’s just say that experience is something that the struggling Red Sox pitcher should think long and hard about drawing upon during his stint with the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Lincoln answers Coventry’s challenge, grabs 5-2 win

June 8, 2012

PROVIDENCE — Constant success can be bad for the psyche.
So claimed Lincoln High head coach Dick Ryan after his Lions posted an unusual, come-from-behind 5-2 victory over Coventry in a state Division I Tournament quarterfinal at Rhode Island College late Friday afternoon.
In 12 of its initial 18 contests, Lincoln registered seven or more runs, and six of those were of the 10-run “mercy-rule” variety.

Will, belief drive Mark Prior's comeback

June 6, 2012

The question cut right to the heart of the matter and can only be answered by Mark Prior himself.
Why?
Why keep revisiting what has been a torturous comeback trail in the same manner where in the past, injuries played a significant part in removing the luster of this onetime pitching star?
Why not come to terms that the last major-league start you made occurred August 10, 2006, take comfort in knowing you gave it your best shot and realize that at age 31, you still have an entire life ahead of you?

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