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After last year’s All Star success (4 Cal Ripken State Championships and 2 New England Championship Finalists), it would have been very difficult for a repeat performance by the players and coaches of the West Warwick Cal Ripken League. Although they did not sweep each age group this year, the West Warwick Cal Ripken League had much to be proud of. For the record, West Warwick captured two State Championships (10 and 12 year old divisions), finished as State Runner Up twice (9 and 11 year old divisions), and for the second straight year they had one team reach the New England Championship (10 year old division).West Warwick 12 Year Olds: State Champions and New England Regional Semi-Finalist
Despite losing the opener of the New England Regional to Nashua, New Hampshire after leading 5-2 after four innings, West Warwick fought its’ way through the loser’s bracket and made it to the semi-finals of the region before losing 5-2 to Brookfield, Connecticut.
West Warwick, which found ways to come from behind and win close games in capturing their second straight State Championship, jumped ahead of Nashua in the first game of the New England Regional by scoring three runs in the first inning on three hits (Ryan O’Kelly, Matt Masse, and Chris Stafford). After adding two opportunistic runs (O’Kelly and Masse) in the third inning, it looked as though West Warwick would cruise to an opening game victory. That thought, however, did not last as Nashua scored six times on three hits (single, double, and home run), two errors, and two walks.
West Warwick bounced back in their second game by defeating the Vermont State Champions, 9-5. Contributing to the win were Troy Lavoie (2 for 4, one home run and two runs scored), Matt Peterson (2 for 4, two runs scored), Ryan O’Kelly (1 for 3, two runs scored), Ryan Goddard (2 for 2, one double), R.J. Leso (one run scored), Kyle Beck (1 for 3, one double), and Dan Chambers (one run scored).
In their third game of the tournament, West Warwick was involved in an old fashion pitcher’s duel with the host team, Kingston, Massachusetts. Led by the combined pitching gem of Matt Peterson and Matt Masse, West Warwick was able to edge Kingston, 3-1. The dynamic duo allowed only three hits and struck out seven batters. Offensively, West Warwick received runs from the legs of Troy Lavoie, Ryan O’Kelly, and Matt Masse. Getting the only hits for West Warwick were Matt Masse and Ryan Goddard.
In their final game of the regional, West Warwick could not manage a timely hit with runners on base and Brookfield, Connecticut did. Offensively, West Warwick received hits from Ryan O’Kelly, Matt Masse (two run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning), and R.J. Leso.West Warwick 11 Year Olds: State Runner-Ups
The West Warwick 11 Year Old All Stars, who garnered an allegiance of support from the league, were this year’s biggest and pleasant surprise. With a grit and strong will to succeed, the 11 year olds bounced back from a walk off opening game loss and courageously reached the State Championship.
The fact that this group, which had several new faces participating in All Star competition, managed to reach the State Championship was attributed to the resiliency that the players displayed throughout the tournament. This resiliency and the ability to overcome adversity, which was developed and instilled by their coaches (Ron Roy, Al D’Ambrosca, and Craig St. George), is something that did not go unnoticed as West Warwick won three consecutive games in the loser’s bracket.
In their opening loss to Cranston, West Warwick took an 8-5 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning. Cranston, however, scored four times on three hits, two walks, and one error. For the game, West Warwick received offensive contributions from Ben Roy (1 for 4, one runs scored), Kurtis Quinn (two runs scored), Evan Barrera (2 for 4, one double, and two runs scored), Jake Roy (1 for 3, one run scored), Greg D’Ambrosca (1 for 3, one run scored), Oliver Daras (2 for 3, one double, one triple, one run scored, and player of the game), and Josh McAllister (clutch sacrifice bunt late in the game).
Led by player of the game, Greg D’Ambrosca, West Warwick cruised to a 10-4 victory over Apponaug. D’Ambrosca, who allowed only three hits in four innings of pitching, struck out eight batters. Offensively, West Warwick received a plethora of support from Ben Roy (1 for 4, two runs scored), Kurtis Quinn (1 for 2, two runs scored), Evan Barrera (1 for 3, one double and two runs scored), Jake Roy (1 for 3, two runs scored), D’Ambrosca (one single and three r.b.i.’s), Seth St.George (2 for 4, two doubles), Jake Woodside (r.b.i. single), and Oliver Daras (2 for 2, one double, and one run scored).
Led by the hitting and relief pitching of Jake Roy, West Warwick took their second step toward a rematch with Cranston by defeating Coventry, 7-3. Roy, who was simply unhittable in four innings of relief, struck out four batters. Down 3-0 after three complete innings, West Warwick took a cue from the “never give up” approach by their coaches and exploded for seven runs in the next two innings. Offensively, West Warwick received key hits in the fourth and fifth innings from Ben Roy (double), Jake Roy (single), and Josh McAllister (bases loaded single).
In the loser’s bracket final, West Warwick broke open a scoreless game by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and advanced to the State Championship with a 7-2 victory over Darlington of Pawtucket. In the fifth inning, West Warwick scored their seven runs on hits by Ben Roy (r.b.i. double), Kurtis Quinn (r.b.i. single), Jake Roy (bases loaded walk), and Greg D’Ambrosca’s Grand Slam over the right field fence. D’Ambrosca, who was given the player of the game, combined with Seth St. George in shutting down a decent Darlington nine. St. George, who picked up the victory, allowed no hits thru the first four innings.
Although it is possible, it is often difficult for teams to fight through the loser’s bracket of tournament and win two games on the day of the championship. This fact, unfortunately, was evident for the All Stars who displayed an abundance of character during their week long trek in the State Tournament. In the top of the third inning, West Warwick jumped ahead 2-0 with two runs on hits by Evan Barrera (double), Jake Roy, and Seth St. George. That lead, however, was short-lived as Cranston scored four times on two hits, two walks, and one error. West Warwick scored another run in the fourth inning on back to back hits by Mike Carley and Ben Roy, but could not keep Cranston off the scoreboard as they dropped a 6-3 decision.West Warwick 10 Year Olds: State Champions and New England Regional Finalist
The words which describe the roller coaster ride of emotions which the 10 year old All Stars from West Warwick felt over the course of the 2008 Ten Year Old New England Regional this past week would certainly be filled with emotional filled adjectives and adverbs. West Warwick, which lost last year’s Nine Year Old New England Championship to New Milford (Connecticut), were in position to do something that no other Rhode Island Cal Ripken (formerly known as the Bambino Division of Babe Ruth Baseball) team had ever done – advance to a World Series. West Warwick, however, saw their hopes come to a disappointing end when a talented and determined nine from New Canaan, Connecticut bounced back from an earlier loss to West Warwick (Last Tuesday) and won three consecutive games, including two straight games against West Warwick to advance to the Ten Year Old World Series in Abbeville, Louisiana.
Although West Warwick came up short in the New England Championship, the majority of this group has put up a 19-5 record in district, state, and regional play. Considering that four of the losses were to New Milford (Connecticut) and New Canaan (Connecticut), West Warwick is already looking toward taking the final step in next year’s Eleven Year Old New England Regional which will be held in Waterville, Maine.West Warwick 9 Year Olds: State Runner Up
With only three members of the team with All Star experience, West Warwick, first, traveled to Rehoboth and participated in the 2008 Summer Slam. After gaining precious playing experience, members of this year’s team (Alex Cabral, Hunter Dean, Michael DeFusco, Tyler Dipretillo, Tommy Doran, Allen Flyntz, Alex Hernandez, Ryan Johnson, Jonathan Leach, Anthony Moretti, Travis Caddick, and Kyle Murphy) participated in the State Tournament, finished with a respectable 3-2 record, and advanced to the State Championship where they lost to tournament host, Cranston.
In their opening game, West Warwick lost a tough 4-2 decision to Coventry. Pitching well for West Warwick was southpaw Tom Doran. Doran, who pitched four complete innings, struck out eight batters. Offensively, West Warwick received contributions from Mike DeFusco (single), Ryan Johnson (single and run scored), Hunter Dean (two singles and one run scored), Tom Doran (two walks), Alex Cabral (three walks), Anthony Moretti (one walk), Alex Hernandez (one walk), Allen Flyntz (one walk).
In their second game, West Warwick took advantage of every scoring opportunity and defeated Apponaug, 11-1. Hunter Dean, who pitched the first four innings, picked up the victory by allowing no runs on four hits while striking out nine batters. Offensively, West Warwick received help from Mike DeFusco (two singles and three runs scored), Tom Doran (double and two runs scored), Hunter Dean (single, double, and two run scored), Ryan Johnson (one walk), Kyle Murphy (one run scored), and Alex Cabral (one run scored).
Led by the strong pitching of Tom Doran, Hunter Dean, and Matt DeFusco, West Warwick was able to defeat Darlington, 6-2. Tom Doran continued his sold pitching by striking out eight batters in three innings. In middle relief, Hunter Dean took over and struck out five batters in two innings. Matt DeFusco closed the game by striking out the last two batters of the game. West Warwick jumped ahead early, 2-0, when Defusco singled, move to second on a walk, and scored one batter later when Hunter Dean reached on an infield single. After relinquishing the lead, West Warwick scored four runs in the last two innings. Receiving key this for West Warwick were DeFusco (single), Ryan Johnson (single), Alex Hernandez (single), and Travis Caddick. Scoring runs for West Warwick were DeFusco (two runs), Johnson (one run), Kyle Murphy (one run), and Travis Caddick (one run).
In the loser’s bracket final, West Warwick turned the tables on Coventry to advance to the State Championship where they lost a 4-2 game to Cranston. Pitching well, once again, for West Warwick were Tom Doran and Hunter Dean.
The following selections were made by members of the KCUA and the official scorekeeper of the tournament. Feel free to download a certificate (handouts section - WW Cal Ripken League) and type in the player's name and team (First Team, Second Team, or Honorable Mention).
Congratulations to all of the players who participated in this year's New England Regional.
Good Luck to New Canaan, Connecticut as they represent New England in the Ten Year Old World Series which will be held in Abbeville, Louisiana from August 7th to August 15th.
New England Championship – Game One:
New Canaan, Connecticut 11 West Warwick, R.I. 5
After being upset by West Warwick, 5-4, in the Loser’s Bracket Tuesday night, New Canaan’s dream of traveling to Abbeville, Louisiana became more difficult, but still a reality to the tournament favorites. With a little help from Mother Nature, New Canaan was able to get two extra days of rest for their pitching ace, Zach Allen. Because Wednesday night’s game was suspended after three innings due to rain, the game was completed on Friday night. Allen, who had pitched three solid innings on Wednesday, received two additional days rest for Saturday – rest which meant trouble for the West Warwick nine.
Led by Allen’s two hit pitching and an offensive blitzkrieg of 13 hits (seven of their nine starters had hits), New Canaan jumped out to an 8-0 lead after three innings and coasted to an 11-5 victory in game one of the championship.
Allen, who had given up two runs on three hits, two walks, and one hit batsmen on Tuesday night, was sharp on Saturday morning. The burly right hander allowed only two hits (Matt Grenier and Kyle Henseler), struck out five and did not walk a batter during the first three innings of the game.
While Allen was keeping West Warwick off the scoreboard, New Canaan opened up the game in the top of the third inning by scoring seven runs on five hits and three walks. Providing the hits for New Canaan were Zach Smith (two run single), Thomas Williams (r.b.i. double), Jimmy Fahey (r.b.i. double), David Giusti (two singles and 1 r.b.i. in the inning).
In the bottom of the fifth inning, West Warwick rallied for two runs when Ray Zincone reached on an error, Matt Grenier doubled to left center, and Tyler Boisclair doubled to right center.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, West Warwick rallied for three more runs on hits by Andrew In (single), Kyle Henseler (single), Ray Zincone (r.b.i. double), and Matt Grenier (two run single). The rally, however, fell short as reliever, Thomas Williams, got the last two batters of the game on a groundout and strikeout.
Offensively, West Warwick was led by Kyle Henseler (2 for 4, one run scored), Ray Zincone (1 for 4, one double, two runs scored, and 1 r.b.i.), Matt Grenier (3 for 4, one double, one run scored, and 2 r.b.i.’s), Tyler Boisclair (1 for 4, one double, and 2 r.b.i.’s), Joe Maynard (1 for 2), Andrew In (1 for 2, one run scored).
New Canaan was led by the hitting of Harry Molloy (1 for 2), Kyle Levasseur (1 for 3, two runs scored), Zach Allen (1 for 3, one run scored), Zach Smith (2 for 3, two run scored, and 3 r.b.i.’s), Justin Clark (2 for 3, two doubles and one run scored), Thomas Williams (1 for 4, one double and 1 r.b.i.), Jimmy Fahey, 1 for 3, one double, one run scored, and 1 r.b.i.), David Giusti (3 for 4, two runs scored and 1 r.b.i.), and Liam Lisec (1 for 1).
New England Ten Year Old Regional Tournament:
New England Championship - Game One
New Canaan, Connecticut 11 West Warwick, R.I. 5
New England Championship - Game Two
New Canaan, Connecticut 6 West Warwick, R.I. 2
Players of the Games: Zach Allen & Zach Smith (New Canaan)
Matt Grenier & Mitchell Moore (West Warwick)
Zach Allen, who pitched three innings in both games, allowed three hits, no runs, struck out eight batters, and walked one. At the plate, Allen, who had struggled with four strikeouts, made up for it in clutch fashion with a three home run in the bottom fourth inning of the second game.
Zach Smith (4 for 6) had four singles, two runs scored and five r.b.i.'s in the two games.
Matt Grenier (4 for 6) had three singles, one double, two runs scored, and two r.b.i.'s in two games. Also, Grenier, who threw 57 of 86 pitches for strikes, struck out five while allowing no earned runs on five hits in five innings of solid pitching in the second game.
Mitchell Moore, who had West Warwick's lone hit against Zach Allen in game two, played two games of errorless ball in left field.
Loser's Bracket Finals
New Canaan, Connecticut 11 South Weymouth, Massachusetts 6
Players of the Game: Kyle Levasseur (New Canaan) & Neal Vittelo (South Weymouth)
Winner's Bracket Finals
West Warwick, R.I. 5 New Canaan, Connecticut 4
Players of the Game: Joe Maynard (West Warwick) & Thomas Williams (New Canaan)
Loser's Bracket Semi-Finals:
South Weymouth, Mass. 6 Messalonskee, Maine 2
Players of the Game: Eric Keefe (South Weymouth) & Noah Caret (Messalonskee)
South Weymouth, Mass. 5 Cranston, R.I. 4
Players of the Game: Jason Davern (South Weymouth) & Matt Sweeney (Cranston)
Messalonskee, Maine 6 Keene, New Hampshire 0
Players of the Game: Jared Cunningham (Messalonskee) & Isaac Segal (Keene)
Cranston, R.I. 5 Hartford, Vermont 4
Players of the Game: David Cushman (Cranston, R.I.) & Connor Brooks (Hartford)
Messalonskee, Maine 8 Milford, Mass. 6
Players of the Game: Nick Mayo (Messalonskee) & Kevin Valentine (Milford)
New Canaan, Connecticut 9 Keene, New Hampshire 3
Players of the Game: Alex LaPolice (New Canaan) & Isaac Segal (Keene)
West Warwick, R.I. 12 South Weymouth, Mass. 10 (7 innings)
Players of the Game: Tyler Boisclair (West Warwick) & Alex Rosario (South Weymouth)
New Canaan, Connecticut 16 Hartford, Vermont 0
Players of the Game: Zach Allen (New Canaan) & Austin Snyder (Hartford)
Keene, New Hampshire 6 Cranston, Rhode Island 0
Players of the Game: Lucas Lower (Keene) & Ryan Bell (Cranston, R.I.)
South Weymouth, Massachusetts 3 Messalonskee, Maine 1
Players of the Game: Nick Mayo (Maine) & Brian Urmano (South Weymouth, Mass.)
West Warwick, Rhode Island 10 Milford, Massachusetts 0
Players of the Game: Kyle Henseler (West Warwick, R.I.) & Drew Wilde (Milford, Mass.)
Connie Mack Baseballs