By ALEX SPONSELLER The Warwick PAL 13-year-old baseball team won the Rhode Island Babe Ruth state title last week when it topped host North Providence 5-2 in the championship game. PAL was led by its pitching staff, including Carlos Gonzaga and Michael
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Warwick PAL 13-year-old baseball team won the Rhode Island Babe Ruth state title last week when it topped host North Providence 5-2 in the championship game.
PAL was led by its pitching staff, including Carlos Gonzaga and Michael Bryson who allowed no earned runs in the final.
Strong pitching and quality depth were important factors in PAL’s championship run, according to manager William Piccirillo.
“Michael Bryson and Carlos Gonzaga pitched very well, the two runs North Providence scored were unearned. Our pitching staff and defense (were the strength of the team). We were also fortunate to get all 14 kids on our roster in. A lot of other leagues like AAU, it’s tough to play that many kids, but we were able to do that,” said Piccirillo.
A longtime PAL coach, Piccirillo took last season off during the pandemic but returned to the sidelines this season. He was impressed by the team’s maturity this summer and its resiliency in tough moments.
“These kids are only 13 so it’s their first year on the big field. I like coaching the 13 year olds because they haven’t already had that experience and have not been coached by someone else, so I focus on teaching them the basics. These kids showed a lot of fight, they cared for each other, and they should be commended for their sportsmanship as well as North Providence,” said Piccirillo.
The team will now head north to Westfield, Mass. to compete in the regional tournament. Playing sound fundamental baseball will be the focus.
“We need to play errorless ball, get good pitching, good defense and timely hits,” said Piccirillo, who will remember this team for having great chemistry and trust in one another.
“They care for each other and they genuinely like each other. That’s rare at that age,” Piccirillo said. “There is a friendship and they enjoy being with each other. We also have some talent, we’re well-balanced. We’ve got some good ballplayers here.”
Bryson was named MVP of the championship while Derek Asciolla earned the Sportsmanship Award.
Members of the Warwick PAL 13-U champs included: Manager William Piccirillo, coach Jeremiah Mullane, coach Michael Mullane, coach Tom McMullen. Players Carlos Gonzaga, Dominick Berry, Jude Monti, Carter Robbins, Paul Doyle, Jack Cirelli, Jackson Monte, Anthony Stroker, Justin Tourgee, Michael Bryson, Michael Mainelli, Kyle Renaud, Derek Asciolla, Shane Moro.