2005 Rhode Island State Little League® Tournament Results
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Rhode Island State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

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Rhode Island State Tournament
Host - Cranston Western (District 1)
At John Chafee Sports Complex

Participating Teams
District 1 Champions Cranston Western
District 2 Champions Barrington
District 3 Champions Warwick Continental
District 4 Champions Lincoln

Click here to view 2005 district tournament results for Rhode Island.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Cranston Western 1, Lincoln 0
Barrington 5, Warwick Continental 2

Elimination Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain):
Warwick Continental 7, Lincoln 3 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
Cranston Western 5, Barrington 1

Elimination Bracket Finals (three teams remain):
Warwick Continental 4, Barrington 3 (elim.)

Championship Game:
Cranston Western 13, Warwick Continental 0 (4 innings; TITLE)


Peter Parrella threw a two-hitter and hit a grand slam home run to lead his Cranston Western Little League all-star team over Warwick Continental Little League, 13-0, in the Rhode Island state championship game at the John Chafee Sports Complex in Cranston.

With the win, Cranston Western earned its first state championship in the major baseball division since 1998, and its fifth overall. Cranston advanced to the New England Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut.

"We were due to break out," said Cranston Western manager Gary Bucci after the championship game win. "But I didn't anticipate scoring thirteen runs."

Cranston had scored only six runs in its two earlier victories at the state tournament, but needed less than two innings to exceed that total and end any suspense in the championship game. The District 1 champions capitalized on a pair of Warwick errors to score twice in the first inning, then added five more runs in the second. Cranston scored twice on bases-loaded walks, then Michael Tomaselli scored on a passed ball and Michaelk Marinelli delivered a two-run single to right field.

In the third inning, Parrella launched a towering home run that nearly landed on Hope Road well beyond the center field fence. Michael Hayden followed with a solo homer of his own, and Christopher DiStefano later scored on a fielder's choice.

The offensive fireworks were more than enough for Parrella, who struck out five in the mercy rule-shortened championship game.

"He's incredible," said Bucci of his ace pitcher. "And he's as hard of a working kid as he is talented. He does anything you ask him to."

Parrella had struck out sixteen and thrown a perfect game in Cranston's District 1 championship game victory over Johnston American, then shut out perennial Rhode Island powerhouse Lincoln Little League earlier in the state tournament.

"He was wild, just enough to keep you off-balance," added Warwick manager Lou D'Abrosca. "We have seen kids who throw just as hard, but he threw just wild enough to intimidate you. The kids never got a toehold ... you have to give (Parrella) a lot of credit."

DiStefano and Parrella each reached base four times with two hits and a pair of walks to pace Cranston Western's offense. Stephen Lapatin added a pair of hits, and Cranston took advantage of four Warwick errors.

"Our defense let us down a little bit," said D'Abrosca. "But you have to give all of the credit in the world to that Cranston ballclub ... They are a well-coached ball club and a great bunch of kids. They are going to represent the state very well in Bristol."

Cranston Western reached the title game with wins over the two other state tournament qualifiers, Lincoln and Barrington. Parrella struck out nine and held Lincoln to three hits in a 1-0 opening round victory. The game matched two leagues that had won eight of the most recent nine Rhode Island championships entering the 2005 international tournament.

Parrella keyed the game's only run with a two-out single in the third inning. Matt Hayden followed with a double that got past Lincoln's right fielder, and special pinch runner Matt Davey came around to score from first base.

Lincoln loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth, but couldn't convert the threat into the tying run. Lapatin, the Cranston shortstop, helped record the first out with a throw to the plate from his knees after making a diving stab of a grounder. Parrella's ninth strikeout and a ground out then sealed the win.

"It was one of those 1-0 games where we came out on the short end," said Lincoln manager Randy Hien. "You have to tip your cap to their pitcher. He was excellent ... for the first three innings, he just dominated us."

Parrella's effort was just enough to overcome the work of Lincoln pitcher Ryan O'Dell, who also threw a three-hitter.

"He just battled out there and threw an absolute gem," said Hien of his eleven-year-old pitcher's effort.

The next day, Cranston Western downed Barrington, 5-1, to move into the championship game. Cranston broke open a scoreless game with a four run rally in the fourth. Parrella, Hayden, and DiStefano all reached on singles, and after Lapatin's grounder was misplayed, Nick Mattiello capped the rally by delivering a two-run single.

The rally was all that Cranston would need, as DiStefano struck out eight and scattered five hits while turning in his team's second strong pitching performance in as many days.

"When you have a one-two combination like that, you just have to ride it as long as you can," he explained. "There is just a sense of comfort you cannot explain."

Warwick Continental, which dropped an error-filled opener to Barrington, bounced back with a pair of victories to reach the championship game. The District 3 champions began their climb with a 7-3 victory over Lincoln, which had defeated Warwick in the 2004 state championship game. Lincoln led early in the game, but Warwick rallied back to eliminate the two-time Little League World Series qualifier.

"They have been a good program, and it's nice to beat the giants," said D'Abrosca of the win. "They have had one of the best programs over the last five or six years, and it is nice to take that next step."

Warwick scored three times with two outs in the fourth, then added three more runs on only one hit in the fifth. Hien used four different pitchers in the inning, as Lincoln issued four walks, including two with the bases loaded.

"There was no quit in us," said Hien of his team. "But the better team won."

Warwick followed the win with a late rally that topped Barrington, 4-3. Barrington carried a 3-1 lead into the top of the sixth inning, but Continental opened the frame with four consecutive hits to tie the game, then took the lead on a bases loaded walk. Barrington's Justin Finan led off the bottom of the inning with a double, but was stranded at third when a pair of ground balls ended the game.

The next day, Parrella continued his dominating ways, and Cranston Western's offense sealed the title, and advanced to region tournament competition for the fourth time in ten years.

"They worked extremely hard," said Bucci of his Cranston Western team. "And they are just a joy to be around."

Cranston Western started fast at the New England region tournament, winning its first two pool games by a combined 24-1 margin. The Rhode Island champions defeated New Hampshire's Beford Little League in the semifinal round before falling, 7-2, to Westbrook (Maine) Little League in the region championship game.

Follow Cranston Western at the New England Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Elimination Bracket Semifinals 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Lincoln 0 1 0 1 0 1 3 7 1
Warwick Continental 1 0 0 3 3 x 7 7 1
  Winner's Bracket Finals
Barrington 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 -
Cranston Western 0 0 0 4 1 x 5 - -
  Elimination Bracket Finals
Warwick Continental 0 0 0 0 1 3 4 - -
Barrington 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 - -
  Championship Game
Warwick Continental 0 0 0 0 0 2 4
Cranston Western 2 5 6 x 13 11 1

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Last revision: 06/11/2006