Cumberland U10s rule Smithfield tourney

Cumberland U10s rule Smithfield tourney

The scoreboard tells the story as the players on the Cumberland Youth Baseball/Softball League’s U10 all-star baseball team show off their championship shirts after trouncing Narragansett in Sunday’s title game at Whipple Field. The members of the team are, in front from left, Leonardo Chavez, Colby Pare, Matthew Poitras, Cameryn Tejada, Pedro Cardoso, Timothy Bradley, and Paxton Chenevert, in back, coach Ken Cardoso, manager Gary Lamora, Tyler Lamora, Evan Vitti, Ryan Amaral, Cameron Slack, Dylan Slack, and coaches Eric Slack and Mike Chenevert. (Breeze photos by Eric Benevides)
All-star club outscores three opponents, 49-6

CUMBERLAND – Sunday afternoon’s U10 championship game in the Smithfield Little League’s “Last Summer Swing” Tournament at Whipple Field should have been a close encounter between two outstanding baseball teams that played extremely well in their two pool play victories.

Instead, it was the complete opposite, as the Cumberland Youth Baseball/Softball League all-stars made quick work of its opponent, the Narragansett Little League all-stars, and needed just 85 minutes to produce a 19-1 win that was halted after 3½ innings by the mercy rule.

The triumph was the third in as many days for Cumberland, which also defeated Lincoln, 13-5, last Friday night and Rumford, 17-0, less than 24 hours later. And all those victories had the same three things in common: solid hitting (a total of 45 hits), strong defense (just three errors in the field), and exceptional pitching (only nine hits allowed in 14 innings of work).

It would have been interesting to see how Cumberland would have fared this summer had the District IV and state tournaments taken place, but the COVID-19 pandemic canceled those events. Nevertheless, Cumberland treated Sunday’s victory as if the team had won the district banner, especially after the players and coaches posed for a joyous post-game team picture underneath the scoreboard in left field.

“This is quite an accomplishment for the boys,” said Cumberland manager Gary Lamora, who is also the vice president of the CYBSL. “We’re super appreciative of Smithfield for doing something like this. Myself, (president) Mike Colucci, and (player agent) Ed Rigano were adamant of trying to have a season for the kids. Then we were pushing strong to have the all-stars and give the boys that experience, and (Smithfield) did a really great job hosting this tournament.”

Cumberland also did a great job in Sunday’s game battling back from an early deficit to score five runs in the bottom of the first and second innings and nine more in the third.

Starting pitching Tyler Lamora ran into trouble when Narragansett’s first four batters reached base on a leadoff single, infield error, and two walks, but amazingly, only one unearned run scored. A double play on a line drive that Lamora caught and doubled off a runner that strayed too far off third put a huge dent in Narragansett’s rally, and catcher Dylan Slack ended the inning by throwing out a runner trying to steal third.

Cumberland then went to work in its half of the inning. Cameron Slack led off with a sharp single to center field, and Lamora followed with an inside-the-park home run to center. A walk to Dylan Slack and base hit to right by Evan Vitti was then followed by a long triple to right by Ryan Amaral, and he crossed the plate moments later on a wild pitch.

Speaking of those five players, they provided plenty of pop in Cumberland’s 17-hit attack. Amaral ended the contest by going 3-for-4 with four runs batted in and three runs scored, and Dylan Slack went 3-for-3 with a ground-rule, two-run double to center in the second, a run-scoring single in the third, and three runs scored.

Lamora went 3-for-3 with two stolen bases and three runs scored; Vitti went 3-for-4 with an RBI single in the third, and Cameron Slack added two hits and scored four times. Also driving in runs with base hits were Pedro Cardoso and Matthew Poitras.

“Our top four or five bats are extremely strong,” said the Cumberland manager. “Three of those boys have been playing up (a division) for the last couple of years, but you can see how deep we are. All 12 boys can put the bat on the ball, which is outstanding.”

Lamora, meanwhile, exited the game after two innings, and Cameron Slack and Amaral each pitched an inning; those three teamed up to throw a two-hitter that included six strikeouts and only one batted ball to reach the outfield grass.

In Cumberland’s lopsided win over Rumford, which was also cut short after 3½ innings by the mercy rule. Lamora, who pitched the first two innings, teamed up with Dylan Slack and Amaral to deliver a masterpiece on the mound – a perfect game that featured seven strikeouts and five groundouts.

Cumberland, which scored seven runs in the home half of the first inning and nine in the third, had 15 hits in the game, with Paxton Chenevert going 3-for-3 to lead the way and Cameron Slack and Lamora each collecting a single, double, and walk and scoring three times. Vitti also singled, doubled, and walked, and Dylan Slack added two hits and three RBIs.

Cumberland’s victory over Lincoln saw the winners benefit from four-run rallies in the bottom of the first and fifth innings. Dylan Slack had a big night at the plate, as he went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBIs; Cameron Slack crossed the plate three times, and Leonardo Chavez, Vitti, and Amaral also socked two hits each.

Lincoln, meanwhile, bounced back from its loss to Cumberland to roll past Rumford, 12-2, and in Sunday’s third-place consolation game, Lincoln blanked Smithfield, 11-0.

In the U9 tournament that simultaneously took place with the U10’s action, Lincoln posted a 1-2 record that saw the locals drop its tournament opener to East Bay, 5-0, blast Burrillville, 15-0, and fall to eventual champion Smithfield in its tourney finale, 11-4.

The tournament will continue its play this weekend at Whipple Field, with the U11 and U12 all-star teams taking center stage.

Cumberland, Lincoln, and Smithfield will field teams in both tournaments; Scituate/Foster will have a representative in the U11 tourney, and Burrillville and Woonsocket will also send teams to the U12 tourney.

Cumberland’s Tyler Lamora did a little bit of everything to help his team roll past Narragansett in their title game. On the mound, he picked up his second win of the tourney by pitching the first two innings, striking out two batters and allowing a hit and an unearned run, and at the plate, he went 2-for-3 with a two-run inside-the-park homer, two stolen bases, a walk, and three runs scored.
Cumberland manager Gary Lamora, left, reaches out to fist-bump Ryan Amaral after he belted a two-run triple to right field during the bottom of the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s championship game against Narragansett at Whipple Field. Amaral went 3-for-4 with four runs batted in and three runs scored to help his team cruise to a 19-1 victory.