The Cranston Western Little League cemented it place as one of the premier programs in the state last week, as all three teams took home District 1 Championships.
The CWLL 12’s fell behind 3-0 early in their match against North Providence, but would come back in the final three innings to wrap up the 6-3 win and take home the title.
The 12’s rolled through the tournament, cruising past Mt. Pleasant 19-0, and getting wins by double-digit scores again over Fox Point and North Providence in their first matchup. CWLL 12’s manager Gary Bucci felt that his team facing some adversity in the title match was a good thing prior to the state tournament.
“After it was all said and done, yes, it was a good thing. While it was going on it wasn’t, it was a little nerve wracking, but now that it is over, I can say that without a doubt that it was a good thing. The kids were pretty good, better than I anticipated, so I was impressed by the way they handled it,” said Bucci. “It was good that (starting pitcher) Jack Schmiedeknect went out and calmed down and threw more strikes in the second and third inning, I think that really helped the team.”
Bucci credited the CWLL parents for helping make the league arguably the strongest in Rhode Island.
“Maybe we’re a little ahead of the curve. The parents have learned from the prior success of our league and that it is a competitive league. The parents have committed to doing the extra training, the extra workouts in the winter, there is something to be said about the parents buying into the league,” said Bucci.
The CWLL 11’s took on crosstown rival Cranston East in the District 1 Championship, and won each game by scores of 2-1 and 4-1.
After falling to East in the opening round of the tournament, CWLL would catch fire and win the next three including the two title games.
“We were a little sluggish the first game, but once we lost, we turned it around and rolled off a few wins and went 3-0. We just had to blow the dust off, the kids got into a rhythm and played the way that they could play,” said CWLL 11’s manager Wayne Jacques. “We have a well-rounded team, many of these kids played together last year. We hit well; our pitching is key though. We have two, three kids that can really throw. We’re in good shape.”
Jacques believes that the league’s success this summer stems from the players’ enthusiasm for the game.
“We have a very good, strong league. We always have a good influx of players that come in and we develop … I guess we just get a good group of athletes that love to play the game,” said Jacques.
The CWLL 10’s cruised past North Providence in a 15-8 win at the Varrato Field on Saturday afternoon, completing the sweep of District 1.
The two clubs battled back and forth in the early going, and North Providence took a 5-2 lead in the second inning. However, CWLL won the battle of attrition and cruised in the later innings to take home the big win.
“It’s an outstanding group. North Providence is also an outstanding group, it’s a great league, but we have a special group. If they continue to work as hard as they have, we have a real chance at this thing,” said CWLL 10’s manager James Sweeney. “Every day is a grind and you need to be hungry … this team has that, and as long as they continue to be hungry and play their best this week, then we’ll have a shot at states.”
Sweeney also feels the CWLL boasts the top Little League program in the state.
“There is nothing like Cranston Western Little League,” said Sweeney. “I have coached at the high school level, have won a state championship at the high school level, and nothing comes close to this. The team that we have here is phenomenal, nothing can match it.”
Members of the CWLL 12’s include: Ethan Madden, Giacomo Caliri, Devin DeAngelis, Christopher Melise, Brayden Nebus, Andrew Soscia, Michael Parks, Jack Schmiedeknect, Adam Stoloff, Jared Patalano, Jack DePalma, Jack Fontaine and Marcus Almada.
The CWLL 11’s are: Adalino Aceto-kun, Ryan Antonucci, Michael D’Ambra, Brendan DiNezza, Petr Grammas, Felix Henderson, Jayden Marcello, Joseph Nardolillo, Michael Nunez, Josiah Nyahkoon, Ethan Parent, Matthew Parenteau, Gianni Santo, Luca Testa.
The CWLL 10’s are: Matt Gomez, Ezra Small, David Cavalloro, Shane Gaudreau, Jeremy Silverio, Nico Testa, Chase D’Ambra, Dylan Gugliette, DJ Malloy, Josh Albizu, Max Muschiano, Nate Izzi and Nathan DiZoglio.