Riverside Three-Peat over Rival Rumford in 9-10 Little League Tourney
Riverside Stays Undefeated in Tournament
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 3rd 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, fielded the ball and made a long accurate throw to first-baseman Alex Enright, 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 his 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.
Rumford players: Cole Beattie, Dave Murphy, Jamison Sydney, Max Correiro, Gerry Gagnon, Beckett Keough, Ryan Chaves, Brent Baxter, Sean Black. Manager Dale Murphy, coaches Bill Keough and Phil Chaves.