FRANKLIN, Mass. -- The newly-formed Rhode Island American Legion Elite Fall Ball team captured the 2015 Firecracker Tournament championship yesterday, with a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over the American Legion entry from Seekonk, Mass., yesterday at Dean Junior College. The win capped a 5-0 tournament run, highlighted by wins over two AAU entries from Massachusetts and the victory over Seekonk's strong Legion entry.
Left-hander Peter Rouse of LaSalle Academy, the fourth pitcher used by Coach Jim Morrison in the title game, came on in relief to earn the win, as Rhode Island Elite scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure the championship.
The tournament champs opened their title bid back on Saturday, defeating a Rhode Island travel team, Elmwood Sports of Cranston, 8-3., then turned aside the challenge from a Legion team from Braintree, Mass., before taking down the AAU squads from Douglas and Greenfield, Mass.
"We didn't really have any standout performances during any of our games," said Morrison, "We put together some hits, scored some runs, and came up with the plays when we needed it. It really turned out to be a good, good weekend. We split playing time as equally as we could among all 17 of our players. I think our guys really appreciate that. We are very loose in the dugout, and, most of all, we're having a lot of fun playing baseball in the fall. Being this relaxed gives them a no-pressure opportunity to play at their best, and it's working.
" It's turning out to be a great experience for them," added Morrison, "They'll get 16 or 17 games before the cold weather comes. They'll get plenty of innings and plenty of swings, and will be so much better when their high school seasons roll around next spring.