Saturday May 18th featured some of the best talent in Rhode Island baseball’s Interscholastic League. This talented group of incredible athletes and baseball players from Divisions 1, 2, and 3 was on display at Rhode Island College’s Pontarelli Field, a gorgeous baseball complex located in the Fruit Hill section of North Providence. All Star teams for each Division were created and played to enthusiastic friends, family, and area scouts. It was a beautiful weather day – light breeze, blue skies, birds chirping, bright and sunny. I had the greatest seats in the house for all three games and got to meet some of the Rhode Island College baseball staff, including Head Coach Frank Holbrook and Assistant Head Coach Pete Olsen. Here are some photos and recap from yesterday’s game.

I arrived at Pontarelli Field around 11 to catch the tail end of the first game. The first game had started around 9am and featured Rhode Island’s Division 2 All Star teams. Some great baseball – hard hit balls, excellent pitching, and the game ended with the bases loaded, and a 6-6 tie. Teams represented in this game included:

  • Team A
    • Barrington
    • Juanita Sanchez
    • Middletown
    • Mt. Hope
    • Narragansett
    • Prout
    • Tiverton
    • Tolman
    • West Warwick
  • Team B
    • Classical
    • Mt. Pleasant
    • Mount St. Charles
    • North Providence
    • Scituate
    • St. Raphael
    • Westerly
    • Wheeler
    • Woonsocket

I took a stroll around the baseball field and was able to access views from behind the plate, third base bleacher section, the bullpen area in right field, the first base line, short right field, as well as the press box. Coach Olsen invited me up to meet Coach Holbrook and his staff. They were in the process of evaluating players not yet signed, especially underclassmen, as well as to serve as the hosts for the event. Special thanks to Coach Olsen for letting me hang out in the press box and talk baseball. That was fun.

Game Two featured Rhode Island’s Division 3 All Stars. This game started around 12 noon, after the RIC coaching staff and grounds crew worked on the mounds, the baselines, and the infield. It was a hot, dry day so the infield needed a good soaking in between games. When they finished their work, the playing conditions were absolutely ideal for baseball and the crew did a phenomenal job on the field. Here are the teams for Game 2:

  • Team One
    • Exeter West Greenwich
    • Rogers
    • Central Falls
    • Times 2 Academy
  • Team Two
    • Hope
    • Paul Cuffee
    • Shea
    • Davies

Game 3 featured Rhode Island’s Division 1 teams. The game started just before 3pm. Once again, Coach Holbrook and his grounds crew staff expertly prepared the field for play. Players mingled with each other as the grounds crew lined the basepaths from home to first and home to third, as well as the batter’s box. I found this part of the game fascinating to watch. Rival teams, who will most likely face each other in baseball playoffs in just a few short weeks, were talking baseball, maybe their upcoming proms, Red Sox, Yankees, Patriots, whatever. Baseball players love to talk, I should know because I’m the loudest player/coach/parent at every baseball game I go to. It was great to see the player positively interact with each other. Here are the teams for Game 3:

  • Team A
    • Chariho
    • Coventry
    • Cranston East
    • Cranston West
    • Cumberland
    • East Providence
    • Hendricken
    • Johnston
    • Moses Brown
    • Smithfield
  • Team B
    • Central
    • East Greenwich
    • LaSalle
    • North Kingstown
    • Pilgrim
    • Ponaganset
    • South Kingstown
    • Toll Gate

Here are the players who participated in the All Star games:

I walked around Pontarelli Field and took in the game from just about every angle that was accessible. I got to watch bullpen sessions for relief pitchers about to go in the game. I watched scorching line drives hit. Runners stealing bases. Catchers expertly blocking baseballs in the dirt. Pitchers throwing gas on the mound. Routine plays were made in the infield and outfield. Players encouraged teammates and teammates that are normally inter-divisional rivals. Coaches mingled with each other and swapped baseball stories. All three games were really well played, well pitched, and well managed. Everyone got an opportunity to have their game on display. It was an incredible Rhode Island Baseball Experience all around.

Congratulations to the players, their families, their coaches, and their schools for being selected as a 2019 Rhode Island Baseball Coaches Association All Star. For more photos of the games, you can check out my Facebook page at Rhode Island Baseball Experience.