Revenge tastes sweet for Falcons  
Wednesday, 11 June 2008

JAMES BESSETTE

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WEST WARWICK — When Matt Laferriere struck out Lincoln’s Kyle Jackson to end yesterday’s game with the tying run for the Lions on third, it provided more than just Feinstein’s first state championship on the diamond.

 

It put the exclamation point on gaining payback that was a year in the making.

 

Last season, under a bright sun across the street from Lincoln Middle School, Feinstein – then known as Knotty Oak Middle School – saw its solid season be washed away in a blink of an eye, courtesy of a 10-0 Lions victory, leaving the Falcons to take a long bus ride back home to Coventry.

 

“It wasn’t fun last year,” Feinstein shortstop Richard Bacon said about that infamous game against the Lions last season, a seventh-grader at the time. “That was not a fun bus ride (back home).”

 

There were not many defensive mistakes on the part of the Falcons, nor were there situations where head coach Justin Howman told his team in the post-game huddle that they beat themselves. The Lions, for that two-plus hour stretch, used their home field as their own personal batting cage against the Falcons.

 

“Lincoln just beat us last year,” Howman said. “We didn’t lose the game. It wasn’t anything that we did. They were a good team and they just out-manned us.

 

“We were embarrassed in the quarterfinals last year. We won the (Western) division last year and to go out 10-runned against Lincoln, there was some extra motivation coming into this year.”

 

Of course, 12 months come and pass and throughout the entire season, winning 11 league games out of 12 to earn the No. 3 seed and slugging their way through the playoffs, the Falcons’ chances in taking the state title were about as bright as the sun over McCarthy Stadium yesterday.

 

Especially after last season where Feinstein / Knotty Oak won 17 out of 20 and started five seventh-graders that showed great promise that eventually carried over to this spring.

 

“We knew that this would be our year,” Howman said. “We had a good run last year with a young group of young kids and returned a good amount of them. I really liked our chances coming into this season.”

 

It was only fitting for Feinstein that it had to be the Lions being the final hurdle for that elusive state championship. In yesterday’s two-plus hour stretch, thanks to Laferriere’s brilliance, Lincoln was held off of the scoreboard until Alex Howard scored on a passed ball in the seventh inning, a far cry from the piercing noise the Lions’ bats made one year ago.

 

Yet, the silence on the part of the Lincoln offense was music to the ears of the Falcon faithful.

 

“When you find out that you’re playing Lincoln in the championship, you want to get revenge on them in any way possible,” Feinstein second baseman Alex Zannella said. “You want to do well and prove you were the better team and we did that. It feels amazing.”

 

Now, after giving their coach the Gatorade shower and taking home the championship plaque, the short three-mile trip from McCarthy Stadium back to Feinstein Middle will be more than a sweet one for the Falcons.

 

“This is going to be a fun bus ride this year,” Bacon said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 June 2008 )