Amer­i­can elim­i­nates Woonsocket

CALL gets an­other shot at Lin­coln in district final

Woonsocket Call - - SPORTS - By BRAN­DEN MELLO bmello@woonsock­et­call.com

WOONSOCKET — The Woonsocket Ma­jor Di­vi­sion all-star team fi­nally got to ex­pe­ri­ence a District 4 tour­na­ment night game at La­joie Field Wed­nes­day.

Woonsocket played its first three tour­na­ment games on the road be­cause the left-field grass was burnt fol­low­ing a fire­works in­ci­dent last month that made the field un­playable. Thanks to the hard work of Woonsocket De­part­ment of Parks & Re­cre­ation De­part­ment, the field was avail­able for Wed­nes­day’s losers’ bracket final against reign­ing state cham­pion Cum­ber­land Amer­i­can.

“I was very ex­cited about play­ing a game here,” Woonsocket coach Michael Cin­quan­tini said. “The kids were pretty pumped for that, maybe they were a lit­tle too ex­cited.”

That was about the only good news for Woonsocket be­cause Cum­ber­land Amer­i­can made sure it would make a third con­sec­u­tive trip to the District 4 final to face Lin­coln. Lefty starter Anthony Martin III and ace righty Jack LaRose com­bined to throw a one-hit­ter, while CALL re­ceived two hits and three runs scored from out­fielder Andy Ray and a fourth home run in as many games from LaRose to se­cure a 10-0 mercy-rule win in five in­nings.

“The kids played great, this was prob­a­bly the best game we’ve played all dis­tricts,” Cum­ber­land Amer­i­can coach Anthony Martin said. “It was a com­plete game. We hit the ball, we played great de­fense and our pitch­ing was very good. [Martin III] mixed it up and threw mul­ti­ple pitches to keep kids off-bal­ance. He also throws his pitches for strikes.”

The good news for CALL is that they will go into to­mor­row night’s 7 o’clock final at Smith­field’s Whip­ple Field with ev­ery pitcher avail­able. Martin pitched into the third in­ning and LaRose didn’t al­low any hits in his out­ing. Be­cause CALL needs to beat Lin­coln twice to re­tain the ti­tle, Martin didn’t in­di­cate if he would start his ace Satur­day or save LaRose for Sun­day.

In the teams’ first meet­ing at Hien Field ear­lier in the month, LaRose al­lowed three runs on six hits in a 3-2 de­feat, but none of those hits came af­ter the third in­ning. Lin­coln, which has only played two games, will throw ei­ther Ryan Thompson or Don­avon Lopez to­mor­row. The two com­bined to beat CALL.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to the challenge and it should be a fun week­end,” Martin said. “We have to play per­fect base­ball be­cause they’re a good team. No mat­ter who [Lin­coln] pitches, we have to hit the ball be­cause both of those kids are great pitch­ers. We have to bring the bats and make sure we’re play­ing de­fense.

“The kids love this. They fought all the way back af­ter los­ing the se­cond game in dis­tricts and com­ing all the way back to the cham­pi­onship game. It’s a good ac­com­plish­ment, but I think they want more.”

Martin III, who has been the win­ning pitcher in three District 4 games, set down KJ Lopez, Shayne Godin and Mar­i­ano Lopez in the first be­fore Godin al­lowed a Ray double in the last of the first. Ray, who along with LaRose is the only player back from last sum­mer’s Bris­tol squad, scored on a passed ball.

Woonsocket had the game-ty­ing run on se­cond in the se­cond in­ning af­ter Connor Thibault walked with one out and Isaiah Figueroa sin­gled with two outs, but Michael Cin­quan­tini Jr. grounded out to end the threat.

“We were hit­ting the ball early in the game, but we kept hit­ting the ball right to kids,” Cin­quan­tini said. “They caught us off-bal­ance with the off-speed stuff, but the kids weren’t ready for it. We pre­pared the kids from some­thing a lit­tle bit faster. Their pitcher threw strikes.”

Martin moved LaRose to the top of the or­der to max­i­mize his at-bats and the move paid off with a home run to start the third in­ning. Ray fol­lowed with a double and scored on a double by Diego Ben­itez. Ben­itez, Martin III (walk) and catcher Luke Plumer (walk) all scored later in the in­ning. Ben­itez dou­bled in the next in­ning and scored on an er­ror. Martin also scored to put CALL up seven.

An­drew No­cera, LaRose and Ray scored in the fifth in­ning to end the con­test an in­ning early.

While CALL is on its way to its third straight District 4 final, Woonsocket (2-2) came up a win short of reach­ing its first District 4 final in 15 years.

“I’m ex­tremely proud of these boys, they worked their tails off,” Cin­quan­tini said. “They worked very hard. I’ve had some of these kids since tee-ball, and they’ve grown into re­spected kids. They were upset, ob­vi­ously, but they stayed in the game. They gave it all they could. I can’t ask for any­thing more than that.”

Fol­low Bran­den Mello on Twit­ter @Bran­den_Mello

File photo

Shayne Godin and the Woonsocket Lit­tle League Ma­jor Di­vi­sion all-star team suf­fered a 10-0 loss to Cum­ber­land Amer­i­can Wed­nes­day.

File photo by Jerry Sil­ber­man / risport­sphoto.com

Cum­ber­land Amer­i­can Ma­jor Di­vi­sion all-star Anthony Mart­ing im­proved his record to 3-0 with Wed­nes­day’s 10-0 win over Woonsocket. CALL will face Lin­coln in to­mor­row’s District 4 final.

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