The Rhode Island Rays 13U team’s run at the AAU National Championships in Orlando, Fla., was derailed with a tough loss to Atlanta, Ga., in the national semifinals. The Rays regrouped to win their next game, which gave them a third place overall finish.
The Rays rolled to three wins in pool play action, which earned them a spot in the 16-team single elimination tournament. There, the Rays defeated Midway, Ga., 9-2 before beating Gainesville, Fla., 3-1 in the quarterfinals. Chad Mansolillo got the win in the first game, while the offense was led by two hits each from Steven Salisbury and Kyle Beaulieu. In the quarterfinal game, Salisbury pitched six strong innings and Justin Gist had a clutch two-out single in the second inning. After Gainesville tied the game in the fifth, Kyle Tweedy ripped a double to score Bobby Bordieri. Tweedy then came on in relief in the seventh and struck out the last batter with the bases loaded.
In the semis, the Rays led 2-1 thanks to a strong performance on the mound from Tweedy. But Atlanta took advantage of three Rays errors to take the lead, and the Rhode Island club couldn’t recover.
In the third-place game, the Rays got strong pitching from Zack Pipa and Casey Carreau en route to a 12-2 win over Lakeland, Fla. Beaulieu had three hits and four RBI while Warwick’s Andrew Almonte reached base three times and drove in three runs.