Itâ€™s a 13.1-mile race. No matter how you look at it, it possesses some kind of challenge for anyone that attempts the distance.
But this one will be a little more fun. Actually, it could be a lot more fun.
On Sunday morning, Aug. 7, an expected 8,000 runners and walkers will invade the capital city for the inaugural Rock nâ€™ Roll Providence Half Marathon. The race is the latest of the popular Rock nâ€™ Roll Marathon series that has already made its way to 25 U.S. cities and an additional two more internationally.
Two-time regular-season champion Cumberland Post 14 and red-hot Collette Vacations Post 79 will be among the â€śElite Eightâ€ť teams that will play for the state championship this week when the R.I. American Legion Senior Division tournament moves into the double-elimination format.
In seasons past, the double-elimination portion of the postseason wouldnâ€™t get under way until four ballclubs were left standing after winning a best-of-three quarterfinal and semifinal-round series.
WARWICK â€“ Another day, another offensive explosion by Cumberland American.
Manager Dave Belisleâ€™s club moved within one win of claiming the Major Division state championship Sunday, throttling Cranston Western 15-0 in a four-inning mercy-rule affair at Warwick West Side Little Leagueâ€™s Abe Klitzner Field.
WARWICK â€“ A three-run deficit in the first inning? Just a minor inconvenience for Cumberland Americanâ€™s potent offense.
The District IV champions smacked three home runs Saturday in their Major Division state tournament opener, using an eight-run fifth to blow open a tie game en route to a 13-3 victory over Portsmouth at Warwick West Side Little Leagueâ€™s Abe Klitzner Field.
CUMBERLAND â€” Cumberland American Little League All-Star coach Dave Belisle has been this route before.
When his team, the recent District IV champions, takes to the field Saturday night for its opening-round game in the state tournament, it will be the second time that Belisle has made the trip.
Four years ago when his son Brian was on the squad, he was the coach when CALL also competed at the states after copping the district title with an exciting win over a very-talent Smithfield team in the finals.
GLOCESTER -- Glocester Little League captured the District IV championship with an 11-7 victory over Burrillville in a game that was suspended due to darkness after Glocester rallied to tie the contest in the bottom of the sixth inning.
When the game resumed last Tuesday, Glocester pulled away to its victory. Jimmy Greene got the hit that put Glocester ahead for good. Matt Taillon added a two-run single that drove in Greene and Drew Angell.
Relief pitcher Derek Faria pitched out of a jam in the seventh inning. Danny Keefe and Mike Wilkenson also pitched well in relief for the champions.
CUMBERLAND --- The Cumberland Major Division all-star teamâ€™s roads to the District IV and state championships were tough. The squadâ€™s next venture only promises to be a whole lot tougher.
Cumberland joined nine other ballclubs from the northern part of the country this weekend to take part in the Eastern Regional Tournament at Breen Field on the Bart Giamatti Complex in Bristol, Conn.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Plate discipline and strike zone recognition can be found on the first page of the hitterâ€™s manual. Knowing the pitches one can drive goes hand-in-hand with refusing to chase the ones that dance outside the strike zone, tempting as they may be.
One day Yale head baseball coach John Stuper passed along this nugget to Ryan Lavarnway, words of wisdom mentioned to him by Gene Tenace, a former teammate of Stuperâ€™s with the St. Louis Cardinals in the early 80s.
As a Hall of Fame second baseman blessed with the ability to influence the game's outcome with his bat and glove, Ryne Sandberg appreciates the intangibles that present day second sackers Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano bring to the ballpark.
To Sandberg, Lehigh Valleyâ€™s first-year manager, Pedroia and Cano are chips off the old block. For good measure, so is Chase Utley, who unlike Pedroia and Cano operates outside of the A.L. East caldron.
PAWTUCKET -- Hideki Okajima tossed two spotless innings Monday, his first appearance since July 8. The lefty lowered his ERA to 1.47 in 21 appearances, yet it hasnâ€™t been all fun and games, at least according to the pitcher himself.
â€śItâ€™s been very unsatisfying,â€ť said Okajima through interpreter Jeff Cutler when asked how he would quantify the season to date. â€śI havenâ€™t been able to enjoy baseball the way I would like to.â€ť