Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 04-24-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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PROVIDENCE – After winning just four games last season, the Shea High baseball team is off to a 4-2 start in its Division III season, thanks to its back-to-back victories over RIIL new- comer Times2 Academy last week. After watching junior pitcher Brandon Ribeiro strike out 11 batters and end up tossing a three-hitter in their 6-2 victory last Tuesday, April 16, the Raiders came back two after- noons later to post a 6-3 win over the Eagles at Max Read Field. The Raiders, who are run by head coach Dino Campopiano and his staff of Wayde Labossiere and James Torres, have endured some rough seasons – Shea hadn't won more than five games since 2013 – but Campopiano said it seems like his team has built off the positive aspects of last season. "Unfortunately, last year, we didn't do well record-wise, but I think atti- tude-wise, as far as work ethic, I think our team did very well," he added. "We learned a lot, and I think we got better and better as the year went on, knowing that we were going to have a lot of guys back this year. What I really enjoyed was everyone's attitude and work ethic. It was enjoyable for us as coaches to coach them." Leading the way for the Raiders has been their pitching, Campopiano said. Their top three pitchers are also returnees who saw a lot of time on the mound last year, Ribeiro, senior Manny Ortiz, and junior Jacob Faria. Also returning is senior center fielder Giovanie Delgado, who brings a lot of speed to the lineup, and the Raiders have some new players as well, including two freshmen who are starting, Ian Montanez at third base and Josh Mello at second. Also listed on Shea's roster are senior outfielder Jah'lil Duffin, junior outfielders Jo-Ron Lewis and Zachary Pereira, junior infielder Sean Soares, sophomore outfielder Jayden Costa, and sophomore first baseman Natanael Gonzalez Ortiz. The Raiders started their season on a sour note on April 3 by losing to the Paul Cuffee School, 5-4. Campopiano said that they were up 4-1 going into the seventh inning, but the Navigators answered back by scoring four times with two outs. Right now, Hope has been the best team the Raiders have faced, as they suffered an 11-1 loss on April 10, but two days later, Shea picked up a 4-3 victory over Davies that saw Pereira win the game in the bottom of the 10th inning on a suicide squeeze bunt and Ortiz and Faria team up to strike out 13 batters in a five-hitter. The Raiders, who collected 11 hits in their 6-2 win over Times2, only had six in last Thursday's victory, but one was a two-run single by Pereira that highlighted a four-run rally in the fifth. Faria also had a solid game that saw him pick up the win on the hill and add two hits and two stolen bases. "We're pitching well and we're playing pretty good defense, but the one thing that we need to improve on is our hitting," Campopiano said. "We're not hitting the ball as a team at all. Maybe as the weather gets better, we'll start to hit the ball better, but it's not because of lack of effort. The kids are working hard at practice." The Raiders have had a long playoff drought that dates back to 2010, but Campopiano hopes they can break it. "What we would love to see as a coaching staff is (this team) to make the playoffs," he added. "It's been a while, but I would love to see this group make the playoffs. I think they deserve it." The Raiders, who were back in action on Tuesday with a game against Rogers, will host neighboring Central Falls on Thursday at 4 p.m. PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 24-30, 2019 SPORTS & RRECREATION 13 lot of people. Forty years of people have volunteered their time and expertise, and it's just phenomenal." She added, "Today's world is so different, and it's really amazing we've kept this league going year after year for these girls. I've seen life- long friendships built, and I've gotten a lot out of it, including years of pictures and cards from former play- ers that I'll keep forever." On Saturday, players will line up at the TLC Day Care's parking lot on Newport Avenue at 9:30 a.m., and the parade will begin at 10 a.m. The players will be escorted by a police and fire truck down Newport Avenue to Slater Park's Bailey Field. Once at the field, there will be different presentations. Minton said the league had lost a player in an accident and named a tournament after her, so they will present a banner for that. The two Pawtucket Red Sox mascots will be in attendance, as well as Mayor Donald Grebien, who has already signed a cita- tion congratulating the league on its 40 years of service. Minton said they will also hand out certificates to six volunteers who ran their U8 and U10 winter clin- ics. She noted that they volunteered all winter at Curtis Elementary School on Tuesdays and Thursdays with instructional softball and fastpitch. After the opening ceremo- nies, the league will have a DJ, face painting, a raffle, a bake sale, and hot dogs and drinks, as well as some games that will begin at noon. The Darlington Girls' Softball League consists of 11 teams from U8 to the Senior Division with 12 to 15 play- ers on a team. Minton said that the league probably has around 175 girls, even though numbers have gone down each year, with competitive softball, as well as lacrosse competing for players. The league has also boasted All-Star state champion- ship teams during the last two seasons. The U12's Darlington Rage team won its title in 2017, and the U10's Darlington Fury team cap- tured its championship last season. The league plays almost all its games at Slater Park, but has some crossover games with nearby Seekonk and East Bay, and the league's regular season runs until the second week of June. Former players who wish to take part in the Opening Day ceremony should contact Minton at contactmem31@ gmail.com for more informa- tion. From preceding page mature and ready to play. They understand the game and everyone knows what their role is, so we're kind of clicking." The Saints have a total of 12 players who refer to them- selves as the "Dirty Dozen" and include 10 returning players from last year and two transfers. Also among the 12 are seniors Devon White, Ryan Sutherland, Nathaniel Mottur, and Ivan Rosa, juniors Ayrton DiPina, Cameron Wilson, and Cayden Dupras, and sopho- mores Taylor Gaspar and Ben Force. While they're undefeated heading into the fourth week of the regular season, they're slowly getting used to the new division setup of facing the same school for a two- game series during the week. "I don't really like it," Sorrentine said. "I think it favors the bigger schools. I would want to pitch my best pitcher, against whoever the best team is to beat, twice. You can't do that anymore. You have to have that second and third pitcher." In last Thursday's vic- tory over the Northmen, the Saints' number two batter, Wilson, gave his team a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning with a two-run single that drove in LeFort and Gaspar for a 2-0 lead. The Saints scored three more times in that inning and their final run in the fourth. Wilson ended the game with two of the Saints' eight hits and three runs batted in, and Rosa and Gaspar also added two hits each. Sorrentine also highlighted the play of Mottur, who start- ed at third base. "Potter usually plays third, but he was pitching," Sorrentine said. "But Mottur played great at third. That was big. Everyone's getting the job done so far. It's going to get tougher as we go." Two days earlier at Vets Park, the Saints defeated the Northmen, 8-2, as White drove in three runs and LeFort pitched a six-hitter and helped his cause with a two-run single. The Saints, who have out- scored their opponents, 52-8, had their closest game of the season on April 12 when they topped Classical at home, 3-1. Gomes struck out eight batters and allowed just one hit to pick up the win, and Wilson's two-run single in the fifth broke a 1-1 tie. There are 13 games still left on their Saints' schedule, including Tuesday afternoon's matchup in Woonsocket against Mount Saint Charles Academy. On Thursday at 4 p.m., the Saints will host Scituate at Vets Park. SAINTS From Page 12 Stellar start: Shea improves to 4-2 in D-III Baseball team sweeps regular-season series with Times2 Academy By KAYLA PANU Valley Breeze Sports Writer kayla@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY KAYLA PANU Shea junior pitcher BRANDON RIBEIRO tossed a three-hitter in the Raiders' 6-2 victory over Times2 Academy last Tuesday, April 16, at Providence's Prete- Metcalf Field. Ribeiro struck out 11 bat- ters and walked three.

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