St. Raphael 3, La Salle 1 - June 21, 1951

On This Page: St. Raphael Academy Captures Baseball Championship
St. Raphael Academy Wins State Baseball Title
St. Raphael Clinches State Crown By Shading La Salle, 3-1
Box Score

St. Raphael Academy Captures Baseball Championship1

Saints Subdue La Salle In Two Straight Games

Fiore Sets Down Maroons on Four-Hitter, 3 to 1, for First Crown


Picture and caption from The Providence Journal newspaper, staff photo credited to Win Parks, Jr., 22 June 1951

By stopping La Salle, 3-1, yesterday at Aldrich Field for two straight in the best-of-three final series, St. Raphael Academy became R.I. Interscholastic League baseball champion for the first time in the 27-year existence of the school.

The brilliant battery of Paul Fiore and CHet Hanewich supplied most of the stuff responsible for establishing the Saints' supremacy.

Hanewich, besides backstopping excellently, as in previous playoff contests, slammed out the single which, combined with an outfield boot, produced all SR runs in the third.

Fiore, who as a find at midseason brought the new champions over some shaky spots closed an undefeated season yesterday with a flaming four-hitter.

The Master

Except for the fifth, when the La Sallians scored their run, the slender sophomore right-hander, who twice had whipped Westerly in the semi-finals, was their master.

Until Johnny Ferruolo singled to center in the fifth with one away and St. Raphael leading, 3-0, no La Sallian had reached first.

Nick Montecalvo followed with a smash to right that went for two bases when the ball bounced by Roy Guarino as he tried to scoop it up.

With the two-run squeeze on, Ferruolo scored on Bill Pearson's bunt as Fiore put the La Salle catcher out at first by pegging to Bill Kennedy, second baseman, who covered the bag.

When Montecalvo kept coming home, Kennedy, who played both games of the final series with his right arm frozen by ethyl chloride to deaden the pain of an injured sholder, gunned the ball beautifully to Hanewich and the sure-fingered catcher cut off the run at the plate.

Three Hits

Tom McAleer couldn't have come much closer to matching Fiore's exhibition without winning the game. The right-handed senior struck out nine, as compared to 13 for Fiore, and each walked two.

The Saints scored their three runs on three hits in the third, which opened with Joe Dragon walking. Fiore stroked a sharp single to center and that brought up the top of the order.

George Agostini, who once again shone at shortstop as he and his mates provided Fiore with perfect support, took a third strike after fouling off two attempted bunts. But when Roy Guarino rapped a single behind first base and just about a yard fair, the basses [bases] were filled.

Three Score

Hanewich responded to the pleas of Saint supporters by cracking a single to center and when the ball bounced off the glove of Tom Cahir, Dragon, Fiore and Guarino scored. Hanewich hustled to third on Lovett's ground out, but McAleer tossed out Kennedy on a slow roller.

Fiore, who hung up eight strike outs against the first 14 batters, survived a rather rocky sixth inning, his only other shaky session besides the fifth.

Fiore started the sixth by making Pete De Masi his ninth strikeout. But McAleer and Art Aloisio singled successively on first pitches in a change from previous custom of taking the first one. O'Rourke lined deep to Ralph D'Ambra in center and Aloiso was forced at second as Agostini gobbled up Laverty's grounder and pegged out [to?] Kennedy.


Like the opener on Tuesday, the windup yesterday was studded with fielding gems, several of which were contributed by the shortstops, Agostini and Aloisio.

In the third, Hanewich made a one-hand running grab of a foul hoist by McAleer and an inning later, Lovett reached up and held on to a high toss that nipped O'Rourke by a split second.

St. Raphael Academy Wins State Baseball Title2

Fiore, Hanewich Lead Champions Over La Salle


The final contest of the school year yesterday also was one of the finest as St. Raphael won the state baseball title for the first time by tripping La Salle, 3-1, for two straight in the final series.

Until Paul Fiore pitched his four-hitter, which was almost matched by the five-hitter of his opponent, Tom McAleer, the closest the Saints had come to being state champions occurred in 1928. Away back then when Andy Tucker, former Cumberland coach, was their pitcher and Donat Maynard, East Providence hockey coach, their backstop, the Saints copped the old interscholastic conference and were claimants to the state title, quite mythical at that time.

The faithful who turned out at Aldrich Field yesterday were rewarded with a sparkling 1:57 show in which the Saints supplied conclusive proof of their right to rule. The Saints had to overcome imposing odds in both the semis and finals.

Fine Comeback

They went one down to Westerly in the semis when blanked 1-0 on their home field by Dave Stenhouse but they shook off the shutout and beat the Bulldogs, 5-0, at Westerly.

Paul Fiore was the pitcher who blanked the Bulldogs and the same slender sophomore hurled another beauty as the Saints squeezed out the "rubber" game with Westerly, 2-1, in 12 innings.

One day after this tough semi-final series with the Bulldogs, the Saints had to begin the best-of three- finals with La Salle. which had earned a six-day rest by taking two-straight from Woonsocket.

But Bill Parenteau proved a rather surprising southpaw by zeroing the Maroons, 3-0, in the opener and that gave Fiore time to get ready for the clincher yesterday.

And Fiore was really ready as he fanned 13, walked two and was the Maroons' master except for the fifth when his shutout was spoiled by the single of Johnny Ferruolo, Nick Montecalvo's double and Bill Pearson's bunt.

Try Squeeze

Trailing 3-0, after the third, the Maroons tried a two-run squeeze but Montecalvo was rubbed out at the plate in trying to tally all the way from second.

Bill Kennedy, second baseman, playing with a doped up right arm to deaden a painful muscle injury, took Fiore's toss in covering first on Pearson's bunt. He threw to CHet Hanewich and the burly backstop rubbed out Montecalvo at the plate.

Hanewich delivered the hit responsible for all the Saints' runs. The subject of Hanewich's single points up the top twirling by McAleer, who, except for the third, was just as tough to touch as Fiore.

As the third opened, the Maroon moundsman gave Joe Dragon one of the two walks he allowed in the entire game. Fiore singled to center and George Agostini fanned. But Roy Guaino sliced a single behind first base for three on.

Bounces Off Glove

The husky Hanewich gave the SR rooters plenty to shout above by planking the second pitch to center for a single and when the ball rocketed off Tom Cahir's glove, Dragon, Fiore and Guarino all registered.

Fiore seemed headed for a stormy sixth when McAleer and Art Aloiso each parked first pitches in center for single after Pete De Masi had whiffed. But Ralph D'Ambra was stationed just right for Vin O'Rourke's deep drive and Aloiso was forced at second on Laverty's grounder.

. . .

Barney Garrity went for three bases in the second, when the ball was fouled off Jigger Higgins' bat handle. In insisting that the ball had hit Jigger's hand before his bat, Barney first presented his case to BOb Butler at the plate. Rejected, the Saints' strategist strode out to first base and appealed to Bill Halloran. Dejected, he took off for third, where Joe Lefebvre was equally unresponsive. But for his journey, Barney did draw a big hand from the stands.

The Saints' success gives Pawtucket its first state diamond title since 1934 and supplies SR with the first success over La Salle in a major sport since 1943 when the Saints defeated the Maroons in the basketnall state final.

Also giving Blackstone Valley a bog boost is Johnny Goryl, Cumberland's All-State third baseman, who has signed a Class B contract with the Braves. Until reporting to Bluefield, N.., next week, he'll be with the Hartford Chiefs.

St. Raphael Clinches State Crown By Shading La Salle, 3-1

Fiore Hurls 4-Hitter, fans 13; Hanewich's Hit Provides Margin


St. Raphael Academy brought Pawtucket its first R. I. Interscholastic League baseball championship since 1934 by defeating La Salle Academy, 3-1, in the second and final game of the best-of-three series yesterday at Aldrich Field. St. Raphael won the series opener by a 3-0 score Tuesday.

Right-hander Paul Fiore, who has just completed his sophomore year, and Chet Hanewich, a member of this year's graduating class, were the heroes for this most important victory of the 1951 season.

Fiore, a relief hurler until the second half of the schedule, baffled the Maroon batters just as he did Westerly in the semi-final series. Fiore limited La Salle o four hits, struck out 13 and walked but two.

Hanewich snapped out of a batting slump to pace both teams at the plate with two hits, one of them a ringing single to centerfield with the bases loaded in the third which led to all the St. Raphael runs.

Maroon Scores In 5th

Only once was Fiore in any trouble, this in the fifth when La Salle scored its only run. In the other eight innings onle one runner got as far as second base. Over the first four and one-third innings Fiore set down 13 batters in a row, while in the eight he struck out three successive batters.

Tom McAleer, La Salle right-hander, pitched a mights fine game as well, holding St. Raphael to five hits and striking out nine while walking three. However, McAleer hads the misfortune of giving up three hits in the third, which with an outfield error brought about his defeat.

In gaining the first Interscholastic League crown in te school's history, St. Raphael combined extraordinary pitching with some superb defensive play and timely hitting. In five playoff games, a total of 48 innings, St. Raphael hurlers gave up only three runs, no more than one in any game. In the two games with La Salle, the Saints played errorless ball.

Fiore Singles

St. Raphael's hitting never was more timely than in the third inning of yesterdat's game. Joe Dragon drew a walk to open the inning and Fiore dumped single into ceter. After bunting foul twice, George Agostini was called out on strikes. However, Roy Guarino dropped a hit along the line in short right to load the bases.

Hanewich, rated one of the league's outstanding catchers, promptly blasted a single to left center. Tom Cahir charged the ball but it got away from him and before he could get it back into the infield, Dragin, Fiore and Guarino had scored and Hanewich was on second. George Lovett and Bill Kennedy grounded out to retire the side.

So effective was Fiore in the early innings, not a ball was hit out of the infield until one out in the fifth. Then John Ferruolo dropped a single into center, Nick Montecalvo followed with a double to right, the ball dropping just out of reach of Guarino, putting runners on second and third.

Waging a big gamble. Coach Carl Toti of La Salle tried for a two-run squeeze. The bunt was good and the Saints conceded the first run but pulled off a double play to get out of the inning and wipe out La Salles's only threat of the day.

Montecalvo Nipped

Billy Pearson put down the bunt and Fiore threw to Kennedy, covering first, Ferruolo charged in from third and Montecalvo came on behind him. But Kennedy whipped the ball to the plate afte rmaking the play at first and Hanewich was waiting for Montecalvo for the third out.

It appeared Fiore might have some trouble in the sixth when McAleer and Art Aloiso singled with one out, but Fiore got O'Rourke on a fly ball to Ralph D'Ambra in center and Tim Laverty forced Aloiso at second.

Despite the mounting tension, Fiore was in complete control thereafter. He gave up a walk with two out in the seventh and a walk with one out in the ninth.In that final frame with the outcome practically hanging on every pitch and Laverty on first, John Higgins hauled in Cahir's fly to left and Dragon came up with Ferruolo's ground ball to third to force Laverty at second for the final out.

Saints Checked

St. Raphael was held pretty well in check after the third. With two down Hanewich banged his second single to left, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch, only to have Lovett go down swinging.

Over the final four innings only two runners got aboard for St. Raphael, Higgins, walking in the sixth and Kennedy singling in the ninth. Neither reached second base.

ODDS "N" ENDS &emdash; Old Pawtucket High was the last team from this city to win the Interscholastic League crown . . . Pard Pearce was coaching and Lefty Lefebvre pitching . . . Fiore used only 111 pitches in winning his third decision in the play-offs . . . The other St. Raphael win was turned in by Lefty Bill Parenteau . . . In 31 innings of play-off pitching Fiore racked up 39 strikeouts . . . Fiore threw his sidearm curve, which proved so troublesome to some Westerly batters, only twice yesterday and for strikeouts in the third and eighth innings . . . He stuck to his overhand curve and fast ball because the Maroon had spent Wednesday afternoon hitting against sidearm pitching . . . Coach Garrity was hoisted aboard the shoulders of the St. Raphael players upon completion of the game . . . The championship plaque was presented by Lou Milner of the Brown Club, which makes the annual award . . . Fiore said he never was tired but was plenty nervous . . . He wasn't any more nervous than the host of fans who made every pitch with him in the late innings.

St. Raphael
Agostini, G ss 4 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Guarino, R rf 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hanewich, C c 4 0 2 15 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0
Lovett, G 1b 4 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kennedy, B 2b 4 0 1 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Higgins, J lf 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D'Ambra, R cf 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Dragon, J 3b 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fiore, P p 3 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 31 3 5 27 9 0 2 0 0 0 1 0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
St. Raphael 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
La Salle 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1