2010 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 - Rumford (District 2)
At Kimberly Ann Rock Athletic Fields

Participating Teams
District 1 Champions Elmwood
District 2 Champions Portsmouth
District 3 Champions Central Coventry
District 4 Champions Cumberland National

Click here to view 2010 district tournament results for Rhode Island.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Portsmouth 9, Elmwood 1
Cumberland National 4, Central Coventry 3

Winner's Bracket Final:
Cumberland National 7, Portsmouth 4

Elimination Bracket Semifinal (four teams remain):
Elmwood 2, Central Coventry 1 (elim.)

Elimination Bracket Final (three teams remain):
Portsmouth 7, Elmwood 6 (7 innings; elim.)

Championship Game:
Cumberland National 4, Portsmouth 3 (TITLE)


When the chips were down, Cumberland National Little League proved it had the fortitude to push forward.

Facing the possibility of its first loss in the international tournament and being forced into a potential winner=take-all contest, Cumberland rallied from a 3-0 fifth inning deficit, and edged Portsmouth Little League, 4-3, in the Rhode Island state championship game at Kimberly Ann Rock Athletic Fields in Rumford. The win -- Cumberland's second come-from-behind effort in three state tournament games -- gave the Blackstone Valley league its first-ever state championship in the major baseball division. Cumberland National advanced to the New England Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut, where it eventually finished as the regional runner-up.

Cumberland National steamrolled its way into the state tournament, breezing past six opponents in the District 4 tournament by a combined 87-4 margin. But the eventual champions found things a bit tougher in the state tournament, where Cumberland trailed or was tied at the midway point in each of its three state tournament wins.

Their biggest test came in the title game, where Portsmouth scored three runs in the third inning, and stranded eight Cumberland baserunners through four frames to maintain their early advantage. But Cumberland responded, narrowing the deficit with a line drive two-run homer from Ty Calabro in the fifth, and then pushing across two more runs in the sixth that reversed the deficit.

Eighth-place hitter Nick Provost sparked the sixth inning rally with a sharp single that glanced off the shortstop's glove. Ryan O'Neill and John Brodeur both then beat out bunt singles, before Justin D'Abrosca punched a single that scored Provost and O'Neill with the tying and go-ahead runs.

"We have been down before, but never this late in a game," said Cumberland manager John Brodeur. "It shows the kids can battle and have the heart to come back."

Cumberland had threatened several times earlier in the game, including when it left the bases loaded in the second inning. The rallies didn't dent the scoreboard, but did help to drive up the pitch count of Portsmouth starter Evan Moore, who eventually had to depart the mound due to pitch count restrictions in the fifth. Cumberland had depleted much of its pitching staff while rallying from a 6-0 deficit in a 7-6, extra inning win over Elmwood Little League in the elimination bracket final, and Cumberland capitalized by scoring all four of its runs against Portsmouth relief pitchers.

"I was just thinking we had some good at-bats (in the early innings)," said John Brodeur. "We were making contact. The hits weren't dropping, but we weren't going to panic. We knew they went through a lot of pitchers in their last game."

"We knew coming in, it would be tough with our pitching," said Portsmouth manager Mark Manning. "Evan did great. He was a little nervous at the beginning, but he had five-plus innings. That's not bad."

"(Moore) did a remarkable job," agreed John Brodeur. "He just ran out of gas."

Calabro, the Cumberland starter, limited Portsmouth to four hits over 5-1/3 innings. O'Neill then earned the save by retiring the only two hitters he faced.

Cumberland National reached the title game by rallying past Central Coventry Little League, 4-3, and then topping Portsmouth by a 7-4 margin in the winner's bracket final. Anthony Andriole's two-run homer in the second inning gave Central Coventry an early 2-1 edge, and after Cumberland tied the score, Gordon Irish drilled a solo shot in the fourth to again pull the District 3 champions in front.

Cumberland reclaimed the lead in the fifth. Justin D'Abrosca lined a one-out double off the base of the left field fence, and though a Cumberland baserunner was picked off on the play after rounding too far off third base, Dante Baldelli kept the rally alive with a game-tying double to right field. Baldelli moved to third when Calabro reached on an error, and then scored the deciding run on a wild pitch.

The next day, solo home runs by Jax Domonte and Nate Paine helped Cumberland to a 3-0 lead in the second, but Portsmouth roared back in the third when Nick Cipriani slammed a mammoth three-run home run that cleared the left field fence, a berm, and two rows of parked cars. Domonte registered a pair of strikeouts to end the inning, and Cumberland regrouped with two-run rallies in the fourth and fifth innings to pull away.

"Jax took the lead (in Cumberland's resurgence), striking out two to end the inning," explained John Brodeur. "When he came back to the dugout, he told the guys not to worry because we were going to score again. He's one of our leaders, and coming from him after giving up the homer, it meant a lot to the team. He kept his composure, which was key."

Nick Provost sparked the fourth inning rally by lining a double down the left field line, before coming around to score when Josh Brodeur's liner to center field eluded the diving Portsmouth outfielder. Brodeur later scored on the play following a throwing error at third base. In the fifth, Provost drove in a run with a single, and Cumberland added a second tally on a wild pitch.

The District 4 champions escaped a jam in the bottom of the fourth. Domonte recorded two outs, then walked the next two hitters. Reliever Mike Bogolawski ran the count to 3-1 on the next Portsmouth hitter before inducing a harmless grounder that ended the threat. Most importantly, the grounder kept Cipriani -- who had homered three times to that point in the tournament -- stranded on deck.

"They had their big hitter on deck, and if Mikey hadn't come back from that 3-1 count and walked him, he would have been up there with the bases loaded," noted John Brodeur. "That would have been a really dangerous situation."

Cipriani added his fourth home run when he led off the fifth inning, but Bogolawski kept Portsmouth off the scoreboard over the next two innings to close out the win and lift Cumberland National into the title game.

"It's a good position, but we're not done," said John Brodeur after the game.

"These are very talented teams, and we still haven't won anything yet," added the Cumberland manager. "That Portsmouth team is (scary), and if we face them again, we'll have to stay focused if we want to get to Bristol."

Cumberland soon closed out the tournament with its second victory over Portsmouth, and advanced to Bristol for the first time in the league's history. Once there, Cumberland National swept to victories in all four of its pool contests, and extended its winning streak to fourteen consecutive games by eliminating Shelburne (Vermont) Little League, 5-4, in the semifinal round. In the New England Region championship game, Nick Nardone's third inning solo home run provided the only scoring as Fairfield American (Connecticut) Little League topped Cumberland National, 1-0, to earn a berth in the Little League World Series.

Follow Cumberland National at the New England Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Winner's Bracket Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Cumberland National 0 3 0 2 2 0 7 10 0
Portsmouth 0 0 3 0 1 0 4 6 1
  Championship Game
Cumberland National 0 0 0 0 2 2 4 - -
Portsmouth 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 4 -

Toward the past

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