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Rain halts starts of Legion "Elite Eight"

July 26, 2011

WEST WARWICK --- They will try this again today.
Tuesday’s start to the American Legion Senior Division “Elite Eight” double-elimination tournament only reached a few innings before inclement weather rained on most of the state and suspended both opening-round doubleheaders at McCarthy Field in West Warwick and Pierce Field in East Providence.
No. 5 seed Collette Vacations Post 79, which was taking on No. 4 seed Hurd Auto Mall of Johnston in the first game of a twinbill at McCarthy, managed to take a 1-0 lead before a bolt of thunder, followed by rain, delayed the game in the top of the fourth inning.
After a delay that lasted a little more than an hour and a couple of meetings in the middle of the diamond with Collette manager Ray Ventura, Hurd manager Mike Cantone, and the four-man umpiring crew, the game was suspended and the nightcap of the doubleheader pitting top-seeded Cumberland Post 14 and No. 8 seed Shoreline of North Kingstown was postponed.
“We wanted to play, and you know I wanted to play,” added Ventura. “I think if they waited another half hour, we’d be able to play, and I’m telling you, the sun’s going to come out by the time we get back (home).”
Collette’s contest with Hurd Auto will resume this afternoon at 5 p.m. back at McCarthy, and the Cumberland-Shoreline game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
As for the rest of the playoff schedule, everything has been pushed ahead one day. The winners from today’s games will head to Pierce tomorrow for the 7 p.m. game of another twinbill, while the losers will look to keep their seasons alive by battling in the 4 p.m. opener.
The tourney’s other four teams who tried to play last night at Pierce will also return to action today. No. 3 seed Gershkoff/Auburn Post 20 will continue its game with No. 6 seed New England Frozen Lemonade/Shields Post 43 at 4 p.m., and No. 2 seed R&R Construction of Portsmouth will play No. 7 seed West Warwick Post Two at 6 p.m.
Tourney action will continue everyday until Sunday at Rhode Island College, when the championship games are scheduled for noon and (if an extra one is necessary) 3:30 p.m.
In Collette’s game with Hurd, Post 79 had scored its without the benefit of a hit off Hurd pitcher Brendan Cabral.
With one out, Nathan Patch worked a walk, and after he advanced to third on consecutive passed balls, Max Perry walked and C.J. Lapierre followed with a grounder to second.
Hurd was able to get Perry out at second for the second out, but unable to get off a strong throw to first to complete the double play, allowing Patch to cross the plate.
The first three innings featured some excellent pitching by Perry and Cabral, who each didn’t allow a runner to reach third. Perry scattered three hits and struck out two, and Cesino only surrendered a pair of one-out singles to Zach Mitsmenn and Dom DiSano in the first inning.
“I was very happy with the way Max was pitching,” said Ventura. “I’m going to see how Max feels tomorrow, but he threw about 70 pitches, so it’s tough. I might come back with Joe Brooks, which was my intention anyway, so we’ll see what happens.”

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