Saturday, August 6, 2016

LEGION NORTHEAST REGIONAL: Cumberland, R.I. players very familiar with Bristol

This week, several players on the Cumberland, R.I-based Upper Deck 86/14 American Legion team have made their return to the city of Bristol.
When would Rhode Island baseball players have been in Bristol, you may ask?
Well, a whole bunch of them were on the Upper Deck team that reached the Regional last year in Bristol. A search online showed that Ryan O'Neill, Jake Petrin, Josh Brodeur, Tyler Calabro, Alex Levin, Jason Doris, Tyler Walsh and Ryan Brehio were all on last year's squad.
Even more intriguing: A handful of these guys also played on Little League teams that took part in the New England Regional, which is based at the Eastern Region Headquarters on Mix Street. 
Go back to 2010, and there's Tyler Calabro, who pitched for the state champion Cumberland National Little League team. Calabro's Cumberland squad reached the final, where it lost to Fairfield American from Connecrticut.
Also on that 2010 team were Michael Bogolawski, Ryan O'Neill and Josh Brodeur.
The 2011 Cumberland American Little League team not only won Rhode Island and got to Bristol, but it advanced to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. On that team was Christopher Wright.
In 2013, Dominic Cunha helped Lincoln Little League get to the championship game in Bristol, where it lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Westport Little League of Connecticut. Also on that team was Stephen Andrews. 

Quick side note: I covered the Regional that year for the local paper. That championship game was terrific, from the duel between Cunha and Westport's Chad Knight, to the SRO crowd that packed Leon J. Breen Field. It was awesome, and Cunha pitched his heart out that night.

Upper Deck draws its players from Cumberland, Lincoln, North Providence and Central Falls.
Cumberland beat defending regional champion RCP of Connecticut 9-7 on Friday night. Cumberland will play Shrewsbury, Mass., tonight at 7 o'clock at Muzzy Field. These players from Rhode Island are hoping to make this Bristol trip another magical one.

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