2015 Rhode Island State Little League® Tournament Results
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Rhode Island State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

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Rhode Island State Tournament
Host - Warwick Continental (District 3)
At D'Ambrosca Field

Warwick Continental Little League is located at 200 Crossings Boulevard in Warwick.

Participating Teams
District 1 Champions Cranston Western
District 2 Champions Portsmouth
District 3 Champions South Kingstown American
District 4 Champions Lincoln

Click here to view 2015 district tournament results for Rhode Island.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Lincoln 5, Portsmouth 4
Cranston Western 14, South Kingstown American 4

Elimination Bracket Semifinal (four teams remain):
Portsmouth 7, South Kingstown American 6 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Final:
Lincoln 7, Cranston Western 2

Elimination Bracket Final (three teams remain):
Cranston Western 21, Portsmouth 4 (4 innings; elim.)

Championship Series:
Cranston Western 14, Lincoln 0 (4 innings)
Cranston Western 14, Lincoln 0 (4 innings; TITLE)


Slowing down the 2015 Cranston Western Little League all-star team was one thing. Stopping them altogether was a much taller order.

Cranston Western responded to a defeat in the winner's bracket final of the Rhode Island state tournament by reeling off three mercy rule-shortened victories by a combined 49-4 margin. The last of these victories, a 14-0, four inning victory over Lincoln Little League in the tournament's 'if' game, gave Cranston Western its eighth state championship in the major baseball division and a berth in the New England Region tournament.

"I've been fortunate enough to have gone to Bristol (Connecticut, the site of the region tournament) and win state championships," said Cranston Western manager Gary Bucci after the tournament. "And I can tell you this... I think this is the best-hitting team I've ever had. It's a tremendous comfort level."

By the end of the summer, Bucci could add another itinerary to his coaching resume: the Little League World Series. Cranston Western shook off an opening round loss at the New England Region tournament, and won four consecutive games to claim the title and return to South Williamsport for the first time since the league's 1996 United States championship team.

Cranston opened the tournament with a 17-4 victory over South Kingstown American Little League, but its bats were unusually quiet against Lincoln in the winner's bracket final. Alex Ferrati slammed a three-run homer to right field in the top of the first inning, and Vaun Larissa added a two-run shot in the second to give Lincoln an early 5-0 advantage. Ferranti then proceeded to shut down the Cranston Western offense into the sixth inning, allowing only Jared Olson's two-run homer in the fifth while striking out seven batters.

The decision lifted Lincoln into the state championship game for the second time in three years, and the tenth time since 1998.

"We played our best game tonight," said Lincoln manager Charlie Hien. "This was an A-plus performance by Lincoln."

Cranston Western, meanwhile, dropped to the bottom bracket and faced a trek through three games, including a pair against Lincoln, if it hoped to emerge as the tournament champion.

The District 1 winners got back on track immediately in the next game, scoring ten runs in the top of the first inning and going on to overwhelm Portsmouth Little League, 21-4 in four innings. The win reinforced Bucci's confidence in his team.

"How can you ask for a better start?" asked the Cranston manager. "You can't describe 10-0 in the first inning. But they can hit. That's why I feel pretty good going into (the championship series)."

Cranston Western homered four times in the win, and collected 17 hits. Jake Bender delivered a solo home run in the first inning, and Caleb Harris later added a run-scoring single. Olson capped the rally with a grand slam that extended Cranston's lead to double-digits.

Cranston added three runs in the second inning, and then three more in the third on home runs by Cam Adamec and Dylan Demers.

The big early lead was a potent formula, and Cranston Western would reprise it the next evening, when they scored ten times in the bottom of the first inning en route to a 14-0, four inning victory over Lincoln. The win forced the tournament to a deciding game.

Demers and Olson each had three-run homers in the first inning of the win, with Demers' shot giving Cranston Western a 7-0 lead seven batters into the inning and Olsen's pushing the advantage to 10-0.

Harris had three hits and scored two runs for Cranston, while Demers added a pair of hits. Nick Mason added a two-run homer in the second inning, and Bender drove in two runs.

"I just have to tip my cap to Cranston Western," said Hien after the game. "They came out and swung the bat well."

"I didn't know what to expect -- I really didn't," remarked Bucci. "I thought we'd come out and play well, but you never know. They're kids."

The big early lead meant that Cranston could pull Demers, their starting pitcher, as he reached the 20-pitch threshold in the second inning. Demers would return to the mound in the tournament's final game the next evening, and this time he went the distance. The right-hander threw a two-hit shutout and struck out four batters as Cranston Western closed out the tournament with a second consecutive 14-0 four inning victory over Lincoln.

"We had everybody ready in the event that we ran into trouble," said Bucci, who ended up needing only his starting pitcher. "Dylan is just a tough kid -- mentally tough (and) physically tough."

Cranston Western again jumped to an early lead, this time scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. Three walks and an infield error scored two runs, and Adamec's line double off the left center field fence made it 4-0 before the inning's first out was recorded. Jason Patalano later added a run-scoring single to right center field.

Cranston added two more in the second on Olson's two-run homer, then closed out the game with a seven run burst in the fourth. Five walks opened the inning, and Jake San Antonio chipped in a two-run single as part of the rally.

Cranston drew ten walks in the game. Larissa's two doubles were the only hits Demers allowed in the win.

"The kids just hit and hit," said Bucci after the game. "We practiced 45 days in a row (after all-star teams were announced), and every day, they'd hit. They're talented, make no mistake about it. They're very talented."

"They're a really good team," said Hien of the new Rhode Island champion. "You have to tip your caps to Cranston Western. Lincoln's going to root for Cranston to go all the way, and we're going to support them as much as we can."

Cranston Western ended up going all the way to South Williamsport as Rhode Island's eighth-ever Little League World Series qualifier following a 10-4 victory over Bedford (New Hampshire) Little League in the New England Region championship game. The Rhode Island champions won one of their three games at the Little League World Series, and finished tied for fifth place in the United States bracket.

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


  Winner's Bracket Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Lincoln 3 2 0 2 0 0 7 - -
Cranston Western 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 6 -
  Elimination Bracket Final
Cranston Western 10 3 3 5 21 17 1
Portsmouth 0 0 0 4 4 6 3
  Championship Series Game 1
Lincoln 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Cranston Western 10 2 2 x 14 9 1
  Championship Series Game 2
Cranston Western 5 2 0 7 14 5 1
Lincoln 0 0 0 0 0 2 3

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Last revision: 06/05/2016