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“I feel amaz­ing,” Tarara said af­ter pick­ing up his sec­ond vic­tory of the tour­na­ment over Western. “I can not wait un­til I get to Bris­tol.”

“This is just in­cred­i­ble. It’s a first for me – ob­vi­ously not for our town – but the kids are com­pletely elated,” Cum­ber­land Amer­i­can coach Tony Tarara said. “The kids are awe­some, they played their hearts out and did us proud. It means every­thing. 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.”

For the third time in seven sea­sons, Cum­ber­land Amer­i­can will make the trip to Bris­tol, Conn. to par­tic­i­pate in New Eng­lands. On each of the squad’s pre­vi­ous two vis­its, they’ve won the New Eng­land ti­tle and gone on to Wil­liamsport, Penn. for the Lit­tle League World Se­ries.

This sea­son’s edi­tion of CALL state cham­pi­ons will open play next Sun­day night at 7 p.m. against the New Hamp­shire cham­pion Cur­rently, Con­cord leads Goff­s­town 1-0 in the best-of-three ti­tle se­ries.

“I didn’t re­ally ex­pect that we’d go to Bris­tol, but I al­ways wanted to go,” catcher J.J. Sanzi said. “That’s go­ing to be awe­some. That’s go­ing to be so fun to play there.”

Cranston Western, the 2015 state and New Eng­land cham­pi­ons, stayed alive in the tour­na­ment Fri­day night by scor­ing the game’s fi­nal seven runs in a 9-6 vic­tory. The win came at a huge cost though, be­cause ace Perry Gau­dreau and No. 2 hurler Colby Kuz­man were both needed to se­cure the win.

CALL’s strat­egy Satur­day night was to get to the Western bullpen as quickly as pos­si­ble. Starter Jack Snowl­ing used 46 pitches to record three outs in the open­ing in­ning, as Tarara, Cote, LaRose and An­drew Mastin all scored runs.

Af­ter Gau­dreau hit a two-run sin­gle in the sec­ond to tie the game, CALL went back to work against Snowl­ing. With Cote on first base fol­low­ing a fielder’s choice, LaRose smacked his third home run of the tour­na­ment to give the Dis­trict 4 cham­pi­ons a lead they would never re­lin­quish.

“It was a fast­ball low and away, so it wasn’t a good pitch to swing at,” LaRose said. “I got good bar­rel on it, hit it the other way and it went out.”

Tarara, who took the loss in Fri­day’s game, set­tled down af­ter la­bor­ing through the first two in­nings. The righty al­lowed just one hit – a Mar­cus Chung bunt sin­gle – over the fi­nal two in­nings. He fin­ished the evening with two strike­outs and two walks.

“Af­ter last night I just said we bet­ter beat this Cranston team be­cause I was so mad,” Tarara said. “I did every­thing I was sup­posed to. I took my vi­ta­mins and I was ready. I just said to my­self be­fore the game I’ll sing my song and I’ll be fine.”

Tarara came through at the plate, as he lined a two-run dou­ble to cen­ter off of re­liever An­thony Vel­tri to score Eli­jah Cinieri and lead­off hit­ter Scotty Pen­ney in the third. Sanzi met re­liever Sam Lu­cas with an RBI sin­gle be­fore Figueira drew a bases-loaded walk and Andy Ray hit an in­field RBI sin­gle to in­crease the lead to 12-4.

Af­ter giv­ing up a one-out sin­gle to Tarara in the fourth, Masse sim­ply lost com­mand of his pitches. He is­sued walks to Cote and LaRose be­fore hit­ting Sanzi to score Tarara.

Af­ter a failed squeeze bunt pro­duced the sec­ond out at home, Figueira was hit with the sec­ond pitch he saw to score LaRose and send Cum­ber­land Amer­i­can to Bris­tol.

“Go­ing to the Lit­tle League World Se­ries is my dream and now we’re one step closer,” Cote said a day af­ter crack­ing two home runs.

“This is crazy, it’s a dream come true,” LaRose said. “I’ve al­ways watched the older kids on TV, now it’s me.”

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

For the third time in the last seven sea­sons, Cum­ber­land Amer­i­can Lit­tle League is headed to Bris­tol, Conn. to play in New Eng­lands. This sea­son’s squad, which crushed Cranston Western 14-4 Satur­day, joins the 2011 and 2014 ti­tle teams. Both of those...

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

Cum­ber­land Amer­i­can’s Dante Figueira (14) drove in the game-end­ing run in Satur­day’s 14-4 mercy-rule win over Cranston Western in the state fi­nal when he was hit by a pitch to plate 11year-old Jack LaRose (42). LaRose belted a home run and scored three...

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