2023 Father/Son Central

2023 Father/Son Central

Rhode Island Red Sox 12, Terre Haute 4

The Rhode Island Red Sox Father-Son baseball team overcame a life-threatening on-field medical event and subsequent injuries to earn a come-from-behind win in the MSBL National World Series! Just seven days to the day after off-duty Warwick firefighter and team catcher Doug Barlow provided life-saving CPR to a teammate having an on-field heart attack at their practice, the Red Sox Father-Son baseball team overcame a 2-run deficit in the bottom of the sixth, sending 14 men to the plate, with all ten starters reaching base and nine scoring, leading to a 12-4 MSBL World Series championship win over Terre Haute, Indiana.

“At our last practice in Arizona before the Series began, I told the team that if Doug and John (Tedder) can beat death, then we, as a team, can overcome anything and beat anybody,” said Red Sox Manager Jim Cooney. “Then they went out and did it!”

“Dad” Pitcher Joe Hicks (first 4 IP, 2 earned runs) fought through serious arm and foot injuries, and “Son” Ace Nick Rioles (5 IP, 0 runs, 3 hits, 5k’s) combined for the Sox Championship. Severely shorthanded to begin with following the nearly fatal cardiac event at their last team practice before flying to Phoenix, during which “son” catcher Doug Barlow, along with a team of North Providence Fire Department EMTs, literally saved teammate John Tedder’s life.  Also, due to a severe upper arm injury to Ace “dad” pitcher Joe Hicks, this gritty group of Sox, under Manager Jim Cooney and coaches Domenic Coro and Paul Rioles took home the first National Father-Son tourney title in the 34-year history of the Rhode Island Men’s Senior Baseball League.

The Sox dedicated their series to long-time Father-Son teammates John Tedder and #2 Son pitcher and #5 batter Jack Tedder who could not attend because of John’s medical emergency and subsequent emergency procedure, along with a work-related injury to Jack.  But they were both with the team in spirit throughout their improbable World Series win, while the team took the field to the battle cry “For the Tedders!” before every game. A miraculously fast recovery after emergency treatment and an implantation procedure at Miriam Hospital allowed John Tedder to speak with the team by phone right before they took the field in the title-clinching game this past Sunday in Scottsdale. During the first game of the series against the Cal Conn Silverbacks, Doug Barlow was faced with another on-field medical emergency, putting an opponent’s severely dislocated shoulder back in place after an errant slide into second base had caused the dislocation.

Sox leadoff hitter Joe Coro was 4 for 5 with a double, run scored, and four RBI in the championship game. He hit .545 for the 5-game series with six runs and 10 RBI (2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR). Nick Coro hit .444 for the Series with two runs scored and four RBI, Elijah Brown had a .300 BA and .500 OB% with six runs scored, Matt Capone was at .411 with six RBI, and five runs scored, ‘life-saver’ catcher Doug Barlow hit .533 (5RS, 4 RBI),) PJ Rioles was at .428 (3RS, 2B, 3B), and Hunter Cooney hit .454/.643 OB%, with five runs and four RBI.

The Red Sox dads, hitting against dads and some very tough sons alike, held their own led by Jason Brown .350 BA (6 RS, 3 RBI), Dom Coro .300/.364(2RS,1 RBI), Joe Hicks .270 BA/.421 OB% (4 RS,2RBI), Tony Catalano with a .453 OB% (3RS,3 RBI) and Jim Cooney with a .429 OB% with two runs scored (both in the Championship game) and one RBI.

On the mound, “Son” Nick Rioles earned the championship game win with five strong innings of 3-hit/shutout ball. He had a .000 ERA and a .179 opponents BA in two appearances in the Series. His brother PJ Rioles had three appearances and a 3.00 ERA while dads Joe Hicks (2.25 ERA/2 appearances) and Tony Catalano (2.25 ERA) were both 1-0. As a pitching staff, the Red Sox combined for the third-least amount of runs allowed by all teams, surrendering just three extra-base hits in the 5-game series, only one of which was allowed by the dad pitching rotation of Joe Hicks, Tony Catalano, Paul Rioles, and Jason Brown, over 20 innings.

“Every year when we get down there before the first game, I remind the team that the most important part of the trip is that we get to spend time playing the game we love with our Fathers, Sons, family, and friends, which not everybody gets to do, on major leagues training fields, during MLB World Series week, and that everything else beyond that is gravy,” concluded Cooney.

“But this year I also told them a story about an 11-man team of destiny the year that three RI teams made the national semi-finals in the 40’s division and how that team beat both of the other RI teams with much larger rosters and “better” players to win it all. I said that we could be that team this year and that it was our turn at the table to taste some of that extra gravy finally and that we needed to do that for the Tedders,” continued Cooney.

“That’s exactly what happened. It’s a great feeling and I am so proud of the way they all stepped up to the plate to a man and did exactly what they had to do to help bring that title home to Rhode Island on behalf of John and Jack! It was just incredible and I will never forget this team or how they literally all stepped up to the plate, to a man, as long as I live!”