Elmwood Senior All-Stars claim state title over Rumford

Champions break open close game late en route to victory

By Mathew Galvao
Posted 7/12/19

PAWTUCKET — The Elmwood Little League Senior All-Stars claimed their second straight state title on Thursday night, July 11, with their 7-0 win over the Rumford Senior All-Stars in the championship …

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Elmwood Senior All-Stars claim state title over Rumford

Champions break open close game late en route to victory

Posted

PAWTUCKET — The Elmwood Little League Senior All-Stars claimed their second straight state title on Thursday night, July 11, with their 7-0 win over the Rumford Senior All-Stars in the championship round at Daggett Field.

“They’re (Elmwood) a tough team. We’re a fighting team. I told them. ‘Rumford, I’m so fiercely proud of the way they attacked every game and every practice,’” said Rumford manager Steve McDonald. “We may not have won the states but they won our respect in a big way because they’re a great group of guys who gave everything they had.”

After a scoreless top half of the inning for Rumford, Elmwood was able to string together two runs in the bottom half of the opening frame to take the early lead. Diego Ramirez got things going for Elmwood as he ripped a deep shot for a double on their first at-bat. Jose Serinna then hit a deep sac fly that drove in Ramirez for the run giving Elmwood the 1-0 lead.

Elmwod would add an insurance run later in the inning as Jose Sierra blasted a home run into left field to put his team up 2-0 after one inning of play.

On the Rumford side it was all about staying the course and keeping focus on the task at hand which was playing a tight defensive game along with solid pitching to keep a talented Elmwood team from extending their lead further.

“It seemed like 2-0 felt almost like 5-0 but then you look and say, ‘Hey we got off pretty cheap. We can do 2-0.’ It wasn’t unmanageable,” McDonald explained. “As the innings went on I think everybody knew we could play with these guys. I think we always felt like we could do it.”

Innings two through five remained scoreless before Elmwood broke through in the sixth inning with five runs to eventually put the game out of reach. With the bases loaded Aiden Rohm was charged with a balk that sent a runner in making it a 3-0 game in favor of Elmwood.

Anthony Fernandez then hit an RBI line drive that scored two more runs to put his team up by five runs, 5-0 with one out in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Ramirez drove in two runs late in the inning to put Elmwood up 7-0 and crown them with the 2019 Little League Senior state championship.

“It’s like a dam I guess. They’ve got so much ability and they’re a really talented team that it’s like the water is coming up and you’re holding it back and holding it back and eventually some water is going to get through,” said McDonald on Elmwood’s sixth inning breakthrough. They got some big hits and scored some runs but that’s nothing against us, that’s all for them. They’re a good team and we wish them the best going forward.”

As the season comes to an end for the Rumford side, McDonald said he couldn’t help but feel a big sense of pride for his club and what they were able to accomplish during this tournament to be one of the last two teams standing in the state of Rhode Island.

“Every kid knows that we appreciate them. We really appreciate the work they put in and the effort and the care. They cared about it. They wanted it and they were willing to pay the price to go get it,” explained McDonald. “These kids weren’t looking for anything to be given to them. They wanted to go take it. Two teams left in the state of Rhode Island and they were one of them. That’s pretty good stuff.”

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.