CALL headed to regionals for third time in 7 seasons
JOHNSTON — Cumberland American Major Division all-star Joey Cote expected to arrive to a somber, lifeless batting practice Saturday morning after CALL saw a four-run lead in the fifth inning of Friday’s state title game to Cranston Western devolve into a frustrating extra-inning defeat.
Instead, when Cote arrived at Garvin Field he saw something completely different.
“I thought when I got to practice everyone would be down on themselves and really nervous because of the game,” Cote said. “Instead, everyone was energetic and ready to play.”
After handing Cranston West a two-run advantage after the top of the first inning of Saturday night’s winner-take-all title contest, CALL delivered its finest offensive performance in its biggest game of the summer.
Winning pitcher Charlie Tarara scored three runs and drove in two runs, while 11-year-old lefty Jack LaRose smacked a two-run home run to put CALL on the precipice of the title. With LaRose on third base representing the title-winning run, Dante Figueira was hit with a Nick Masse bases-loaded pitch to earn the District 4 champions a 14-4 four-inning victory at Johnston’s Kennedy Field.
“This means so much to me. It’s huge. I just can’t wait to go to Bristol right now,” said LaRose, who was one of three new members to a team that won the 11-year-old state title in 2016. “Everyone was down yesterday, but everyone came back today positive. We had (batting practice) in the morning and everyone felt good.”
“I’ve been telling the boys since the beginning, ‘You’re the best boys in the state, the best baseball team in the state. That’s what I think, you have to go prove it.’ Today, they proved it to everyone. They’re the best baseball team in Rhode Island.” – CALL coach Tony Tarara