Riverside 9-10 All-Stars Take LL Championship - Stings Rumford 15-0
The Riverside minors all-stars slugged their way to a 15-0 win over cross-town rival Rumford little league in the District II Little League 9-10 year old All-Star Championship. The title game was played Sunday July29th at Forbes Field in Riverside, RI. District II is the largest of the states four Little League districts. Teams participating in the double-elimination tourney were from East Providence Central, Riverside, Rumford, Tiverton, Barrington, Warren, Portsmouth, Newport, King Phillip, Pine View and Darlington Americans. The eleven teams coming from across the East Bay and Pawtucket began tournament play on July 2nd. When the dust settled, two East Providence teams, Rumford and Riverside, emerged to play for the championship.
The tournament has a double elimination format. Rumford started strong with three consecutive wins over King Phillip, Pine View and Warren to reach the finals. The 3-0 start kept the Rumford team solidly atop the winner's bracket. Rumford coach Eddie Wencis recalled his team come from behind over a pesky Warren squad. "These boys continue to work hard. It was a great effort by the team in the Warren game. We were down 5 - 1 heading into the 5th inning, but the team came back to tie the game and went on to win 6 - 5 in extra innings. There were great plays in the field and clutch at bats for both teams. We really benefitted from timely pitching also. On to the championship this weekend," said coach Wencis. "Our kids are having a great time."
Riverside had a little different ride to reach the finals. Thrown into the loser's bracket with an opening round loss to Warren on July 2nd, Riverside stormed back to reach the finals with 5 impressive wins over Barrington, Portsmouth, Pine View, Darlington and a 10-1 win over Warren, avenging that opening round loss. "These boys continue to work hard. A great 10-1 win over Warren, the team that sent us to the losers bracket in game 1. They have worked hard and not given up," said Riverside coach Kris Hallene.
On Saturday, July 28th, Rumford and Riverside faced off in a semi-final game. A Rumford win would have crowned them the undefeated District II champion. Riverside had to win to reach the finals on Sunday. The game was played at Kim Rock Memorial Little League field in Rumford. The game, played before a packed house at Kim Rock field, was won by Riverside in a 4-0 game. However the score was not indicative of the closeness of the game. Rumford was always in the game and had opportunities to score right through to the final inning.
With no score in the top of the 2nd inning Riverside had the bases loaded but Rumford escaped the inning with no damage. Little by little Riverside managed to get on base and built up a 4-0 lead. Rumford threatened on several occasions to score but Riverside's Lefty Hallene was sharp on the mound as he tossed a complete game shutout for the eventual win. Riverside also played a crisp defense with many key fielding plays. At a key juncture of the game Rumford was once again close to scoring. With two runners on base Rumford's Isaiah Brooks lofted a deep drive for a hit to left field. With most fans expecting a run or two to score, Riverside's Owen Richards threw to the cutoff man, shortstop Jonathan "JJ" Renaud at the edge of the outfield grass and Renaud threw a perfect strike to catcher Aiden Martins for the out at the plate. The unlikely play brought Riverside fans to their feet cheering. For Rumford fans the play seemed to signify that the two rivals were destined to play one more time this weekend.
"Another great game by both teams," said Rumford's Eddie Wencis after the Saturday semi-final game. "It seems to come down to Rumford and Riverside all the time. Both teams are ready, it should be a great game on Sunday," he added.
Riverside quickly set the tone in the championship game. After Rumford batters were set down in order by Riverside pitcher and eventual winner of the game ball, Jonathan "JJ" Renaud in the top of the first, Riverside scored 4 runs in their half of the first. Renaud slammed a double to left field and soon scored on a pass ball with the bases loaded. Jose Figueroa had a single scoring Aiden Martin who was hit by a pitch and Jacob Duarte then knocked in Figueroa. Peter Pereira hit a triple and Rumford was down 4-0 in the first inning.
Rumford could not catch up with Riverside throughout the game. After two quick outs in the second inning, Rumford's Jayson Pacheco reached on a single. Dave Murphy reached base on a ball batted to right field but Pacheco was thrown out at home on a nifty relay throw from Riverside's Nick Rhea to first baseman Lefty Hallene who then fired the ball to catcher Aiden Martins.
Riverside hit the ball hard and often and seemingly ran at will stretching singles to doubles and doubles to triples, etc. JJ Renaud kept Rumford at bay while accounting for Riverside's second consecutive complete game shutout by a Riverside pitcher. In the top of the fourth inning, Renaud made all three of his team's defensive outs. Renaud snared a Cole Beathe comebacker and threw to first for the out. On the next play the Riverside pitcher went to his knees to grab a sharply hit ground ball by Jamison Sidney and fired to first for the second out and thenstruck out the next batter.
The Riverside onslaught continued as they got a triple from Nick Rhea, a single from Isaac Rodriguez and a single from Jacob Stover. Next JJ Renaud singled and after an Aiden Martin hit, Renaud scored from first base to seal the victory with the 15th run for Riverside. Riverside won the tournament for the second consecutive year.
"I have to congratulate a great team over there," said Rumford coach Eddie Wencis at the post game ceremony. "You guys played so well and deserved the win. You've been good for a couple of years now and we have enjoyed playing you. We look forward to getting back to this game in the coming years. I am also proud of my team," Wencis told his players and fans. "You played hard and came out of the winners bracket on top, but this is a great Riverside team."
Riverside coach Kris Hallene while praising his players also congratulated Rumford. "You guys had a great tournament, coming out of the winners bracket with no loses. I know we'll be seeing a lot of Rumford in the future," added Hallene.
District officials awarded the championship banner to Riverside and tournament pins to both teams. "It is very significant that two East Providence teams reached the finals out of some 14 little leagues in District Two." After the game, Jonathan Renaud with two hits and a strong pitching performance was awarded the game ball.
Spring RI High School All-State Athletes
Matt DaSilva: The Townies key player when they needed a point. DaSilva had 245 kills and 149 digs for EP. “Matt was the guy we looked for when we really needed to score to stay alive," said Coach Dan Cabral.
Dan Forsythe: "Dan was our all-around player," said Coach Cabral. "He helped lead us to the Division I final four with 283 assists, 203 digs and 147 kills." Forysthe also won the Kenneth Reall Male Athlete of the Year award at the Townie senior Athletic banquet .
Ben Sears: The Gatorade R.I. and Providence Journal Player of the Year. The most dominant pitcher in high school baseball and a feared hitter with a batting average of .485. He only allowed 13 runs against EP all season. Sears amassed 87 strikeouts while only walking 12 batters.
Seth Daly, second team.
Coaches All-Division I North First Team:
Seth Daly, EPHS
Zach Fanara, EPHS
Cole Poissant, EPHS
Coaches Player of the Year:
Ben Sears, EPHS
Girls All-State Outdoor Track:
Hasna Badji: For the 300 Hurdles. The state’s top distance hurdler as she rolled to the 300-meter title by more than a one second margin of victory. Her time of 45.06 was a full second better than her time at the Class A Championships. Badji also won the Gini Duarte Memorial Scholarship Award at the Townie Senior Athletic banquet.
Aliya Barrows: One of Rhode Island's top runners winning the 200 and 400 meter state titles. Barrows won the 200 with an impressive time of 25.52. She also won the 400-meter title. All-State Outdoor Track & Field, Class C Champions, Most Valuable Sprints Performer, 1st Team All-Division 400m and 200m, 3rd Team All-Division 4x400m relay, 1st Team All-Class 400m, 4x400m relay, 2nd Team All-Class 4x100m relay and 200m.
Clara Cruz, 1st Team All-Class 4x800m relay.
Townies Ben Sears Donates Back
East Providence High School recent graduate, Ben Sears continues to represent his now alma mater with class. Sears, the 2018 Rhode Island baseball player of the year, donated his charitable award money of $1,000 to the local "Project 106" fund. After middle school sports were eliminated in East Providence in 2011-12, many in the city joined a group spearheaded by school committee member Jessica Beauchaine and others to help fund middle school sports. Middle school sports were eventually re-instated but continue to have the need for adequate funding.
"We lost middle school sports, including baseball, but I did get to play at one point," said Ben Sears. "My middle school ball enabled me to have a great tenure at the high school. I'm very grateful for everyone who has helped," said the state's best baseball player. "I don't think I would have ever made Gatorade Player of the Year without my middle school years," Sears added.
Gatorade gives its award recipients $1,000 to a charity of their choice. For Sears, the choice was obvious. He picked the Project 106 group which is still on record in case middle school student-athletics falls short. The 6'4" pitcher not only dominated Rhode Island baseball from the mound but was also one of the state's leading hitters his senior year for the Townies. Sears will attend Wheaton College in September.
EP Youth Soccer Lauds Teams
"Our competitive EPYSA Dragons program is coming off another very successful Spring Super Liga season that saw many teams qualify for the Super Liga Playoffs. In our competitive program we still focus on teaching the fundamentals but introduce more advanced drills and games to simulate real game experiences," said league president Bob DaSilva.
"We have a growing recreational program that focuses on teaching the fundamentals of the sport. We are preparing for our Fall recreational season and have already had a large enrollment of young players. The recreational program focuses on fun and development of basic skills. At the recreation level players play at least 50% of each game to allow for maximum game time experience," DaSilva added in a league press release.
"We congratulate all of our teams who made it into the playoffs and all those who have placed in tournaments. We thank our volunteers and parents for supporting our programs and contributing to its continued growth.
Competitive registration is still open. Register today and we will set you up for a tryout with one of our coaches. Visit our page at www.epyouthsoccer.org to register for both competitive and recreational soccer."
Ron Silva Memorial 9-10 Minors Little League Tournament:
As of press time, Riverside and Rumford all-stars will play each other for the tournament championship. The tourney is composed of mostly East Bay are teams. The ReporterToday.com will give an update at the conclusion of the tournament final.
Area Teams Compete in LL All-Stars
East Providence Central, Rumford and Riverside Little Leagues all participate in District Two of Rhode Island Little League baseball. Here are tournament results to date for the Major Division:
Tournament Results: 11-12 Major Division
Barrington 2, Darlington American 0
Riverside 2, Newport 1
Pineview 9, Fairlawn 0
Portsmouth 7, Warren 0
Tiverton 6, Middletown 4
Winner's Bracket Quarterfinals:
Barrington 8, East Providence 0
Riverside 4, Rumford 2
Portsmouth 5, Pineview 2
Tiverton 7, King Philip 4
Elimination Bracket - Round 1 (thirteen teams remain):
Fairlawn 14, Warren 13 (elim.)
Elimination Bracket - Round 2 (twelve teams remain):
Middletown 18, Rumford 0 (elim.)
Pineview 16, Darlington American 4 (elim.)
Newport 9, King Philip 1 (elim.)
East Providence 8, Fairlawn 5 (elim.)
Winner's Bracket Semifinals:
Barrington 9, Riverside 0
Portsmouth 1, Tiverton 0
Elimination Bracket - Round 3 (eight teams remain):
Middletown 12, East Providence 0 (elim.)
Pineview 3, Newport 1 (elim.)
Winner's Bracket Final:
Barrington 2, Portsmouth 1
Elimination Bracket Quarterfinals (six teams remain):
Riverside 5, Pineview 4 (elim.)
Tiverton 13, Middletown 3 (elim.)
Elimination Bracket Semifinal (four teams remain):
Tiverton 6, Riverside 1 (elim.)
Elimination Bracket Final (three teams remain):
Tiverton 2, Portsmouth 1 (elim.)
Barrington 6, Tiverton 1
These teams vie for the 2018 RI Major Division State Championship:
District 1 Champions: Cranston Western
District 2 Champions: Barrington
District 3 Champions: Coventry
District 4 Champions: Lincoln