Riverside Three-Peat over Rival Rumford in 9-10 Tourney
For the third consecutive year Riverside Little Leaguers have defeated cross-town rival Rumford, for the District Two Ron Silva Tournament Championship. In the title game on Monday, July 29th, Riverside came out on top in a 7-3 victory at Forbes Field. The tourney which includes teams from Newport, Tiverton, Pineview, Darlington, Barrington, Middletown and EP Central has featured an all East Providence final once again.
With Rumford being the home team, Riverside batted first and scored right away. With two outs, Riverside pitcher Jonathan "JJ" Renaud laced a base hit and then stole second base. Renaud would score on a ground ball by Gavin Quinn for the 1-0 Riverside early lead.
Rumford wasn't about to lie down quietly. Cole Beatte hit a soft slow line drive just off the mound but Riverside pitcher Renaud dove to the ground to make the catch. After a strikeout Jamieson Sydney got a base hit and would move to 2nd base on a pass ball. Rumford shortstop Gerry Gagnon got a two out double plating Sydney and Max Correiro who had walked earlier. On the play Rumford showed aggressive base running as Gagnon scored. Renaud recorded his second strikeout and the inning ended with Rumford ahead 3-1.
The game remained tight for a couple innings as Renaud settled down and shut down Rumford's batters. Riverside threatened to score in the top half of the 3rd after two walks but Rumford pitcher Jamison Sydney held off Riverside with two strikeouts and a pop up to 1st base. JJ Renaud continued his mound dominance with two more strikeouts and a pop-fly to Gavin Quinn at 2nd base.
Trailing 3-1 going into the 4th inning, Riverside's Renaud lead off with a double to deep left field. The speedy Renaud quickly stole 2nd base and then scored when team mate Owen Richards doubled. Riverside loaded the bases and Richards scored on a walk. A nice bunt by KJ Levesque was snuffed out by a good Rumford play to cut down a run at the plate. John Wooten would score on a walk and Riverside almost broke it open when Jose Figueroa's sharp grounder to 2nd ended the inning on a throw to shortstop with the bases loaded. When the inning ended, Riverside had taken the lead 4-3.
The bottom of the 4th saw Renaud strike out two more Rumford batters and the pitcher also recorded the third out when he fielded a ground ball and threw to 1st for the out. In their half of the 5th, Riverside's Alex Enright lead off with a walk but was erased on a fielder's choice by Renaud. Owen Richards' base hit moved Renaud to third and scored on a Gavin Quinn sacrifice to shortstop. On an infield hit by John Wooten, Richards then scored and Riverside jumped to a 6-3 lead.
Rumford was set down in order in the 5th inning and Riverside never looked back. After loading the bases once again in the 6th inning, Jacob Sousa scored the 7th run for Riverside. Trailing 7-3, Rumford had one last chance to rally. However their chances seemed slim with JJ Renaud on the mound. The Riverside pitcher quickly recorded two outs on a strikeout and a comebacker to the mound. Reaching a mandatory pitch count ceiling, Renaud had to leave the mound, to an ovation from the fans. Owen Richards got the last out when Rumford's Max Carreiro laced a sharply hit grounder deep in the hole at shortstop. The game's final out was appropriately made by Renaud who ranged to his right and made a long accurate throw to first, a step ahead of Carreiro.
Rumford played well but they couldn't break through the hold on them from 9-10 rivals, Riverside. "Our team played great, giving it all they had," said Rumford Manager Dale Murphy. "You should be very proud of yourselves. You fought back and made it to the championship game," Murphy told his team. "Congratulations to Riverside. You had an excellent tournament and deserved this win," Murphy added.
For his part, Riverside Manager Vin Enright congratulated Rumford. "It always seems to come down to the two of us. Rumford did a great job." Enright thanked his players for a well rounded team effort. "Everyone of our players contributed, both at bat and in the field. Staying undefeated throughout was a big accomplishment," said Enright. Enright heaped praise upon hi young pitcher. "Also I may be prejudiced, but I think JJ Renaud is the best 9 year old pitcher in New England," added Enright. When Renaud wasn't pitching he was an all-star catcher and fielder.
Both teams took different paths to reach the championship game. Rumford had successfully battled back strongly to reach the title game after losing its opening game in the Ron Silva All Star Tourney. They lost in a very close 8-6 defeat to Newport in an away game on June 29th. Facing tourney elimination, in the double elimination format, Rumford has roared back with five impressive wins. The Rumford team came back with a strong 12-1 victory over Fairlawn of Pawtucket on July 7th in Pawtucket. They next played the always competitive Darlington team from Pawtucket on July 10th and came away with a well played 9-6 win. Continuing their winning ways, Rumford next defeated Barrington 6-1. The winning streak continued as Rumford defeated Warren on Wednesday July 17th 2-1 in a game at Kim Rock Field in Rumford. On July 20th the Rumford stars beat back Pineview 7-2 and a 6-0 shutout of a previously unbeaten Bristol team (Riverside gave Bristol their first loss) projected Rumford to the championship game against tough nemesis Riverside. "The club from Riverside has had our number recently and we look forward to challenging them for the championship," said Rumford LL president Eddie Wencis.
Riverside 9-10's have had an easier road to the championship game as they have remained undefeated in the winner's bracket. The team has relied on superb pitching, good defense and timely offense. Riverside was impressive with an 8-0 opening win on July 2nd over Darlington at Forbes Field in Riverside. The team next easily got by a pesky Pineview, Pawtucket team with a 13-4 victory on July 12th. The fast start by Riverside had matched them with the tournament's only other undefeated team at the time, Bristol. The highly anticipated game between those two undefeated teams was played Friday, July 19th at Forbes Field. Riverside came away with an 11-1 win. The game was shortened due to the 10 run little league mercy rule.
The Ron Silva 9-10 Annual Tournament is named for the long time Riverside Little League volunteer of the same name. Silva, in his 80's now, lives in Arizona. However Silva continues to assist the league with paperwork and with clearing volunteers for little league involvement. Silva has been an integral part of the District Two little league division, which is the state's largest.
The Riverside players are: Owen Richards, Jonathan JJ Renaud, Jacob Hallene, Jacob Sousa, KJ Levesque, John Wooten, Jose Figueroa, Alex Enright, Gavin Quinn, and Drake Silva. The manager is Vin Enright with coaches Kris Hallene, Jody Richards and Mike Sabourin.
Stoughton Invitational Tournament Taken By Riverside LL
The two-day Stoughton Invitational Tournament was played during the July 20-21 heat wave and was close to an hour drive from East Providence. The Riverside team, made up of 8 to 10 year olds, with only three aged 10, played 5 games in the tournament and won them all. They persevered the heat and travel to win yet another title.
On Saturday the team played East Bridgewater in game one and came away with a 5-4 win. After a lunch break and plenty of water and Gatorade, Riverside crushed Brocton Downey 16-1. "This was a well run tournament and our kids, although young, came out of pool play as the number one seed out of 8 teams going into Sunday's games," said assistant coach Kris Hallene. The tourney teams included Riverside, Abington, East Bridgewater, Stoughton, Norwood, Whitman, Brocton Downey and Middleborough.
Riverside was now targeted as the team to beat and had to win three games on Sunday to take home the title. "We made sure the kids kept hydrated and rested between games and they came through big time," said manager Vin Enright. First up for the Riverside boys was Marlborough. They were no match and Riverside won the game easily 8-0. The next game was against a scrappy Norwood squad and Riverside took the game in a walk off win. With two runners on, Aiden Martins was walked to load the bases. With Riverside fans on the edge of their seats, Owen Richards delivered a single for the exciting win. Finally Riverside faced East Bridgewater again in the finals. The game was a nail biter with Riverside taking the championship with a 2-1 win as Alex Enright scored on a hit by Aiden Martins. Aiden Martins pitched 5 solid innings and Jonathan Renaud closed it out with the save in the 6th and final inning.
After the game, coaches said that "we were solid on the mound and defensively all tourney and everyone from the top to the bottom were getting on base. Most teams had mainly 10 year olds and our group ranged from 8 to 10 in age with just three 10's".
Riverside players were: Owen Richards, Jonathan JJ Renaud, Jacob Hallene, Jacob Sousa, KJ Levesque, Aidan Martins, Anthony Noelette, John Wooten, Jose Figueroa, Parker Andrews, Alex Enright and Drake Silva. The manager is Vin Enright with coaches Kris Hallene, Jody Richards and Mike Sabourin.
Annual Townie Baseball Camp
The ninth annual Townie Baseball Camp held at Pierce Field at the end of July was once again a crowd pleaser by all reports. The camp - open to boys and girls - from age 5 through high school, teaches baseball skills training in a fun yet competitive environment. The week-long camp has a high ratio of coaches to campers and is run by East Providence High School head baseball coach Bobby Rodericks. Campers come from any school, all little leagues and AAU teams, etc. and finishes with an awards ceremony for each age group.