Rumford vs. Riverside for 9-10 All-Star Championship Today
Title Game Today at 5:45pm Forbes Field in Riverside. All East Providence Final.
The District II 9-10 year old All-Star Championship will be decided today (Sunday July29th) at 5:45 PM 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.
Teams follow Little League rules and each player must be in the field for at least 6 outs and have at least 1 at bat regardless of the number of players on the roster. The tournament is named the Ron Silva 9-10 District Two Tournament for long time Riverside Little League volunteer and District Two official.
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 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 defensive 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.
The two East Providence teams will meet at the Forbes Field Little League complex accessible by the Wampanoag Trail in Riverside on Sunday July 29th at 5:45 PM.
"Another great game by both teams," said Rumford's Eddie Wencis. "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.