Teenagers like Davian Nunez, Dylan Guernon, Mike LaFlamme and Mike Salzillo have enjoyed different levels of success during the 2019 summer baseball season.
For starters, those four boys were part of the Johnston Little League’s Junior Division District and State Champion Junior All-Stars who advanced to the prestigious Eastern Regional tournament before being eliminated two weeks ago.
They were also mainstays, if you will, the Dental Associates of Rhode Island-sponsored squad that played in the unique six-team Johnston-North Providence Recreation Summer Baseball League.
Dental Associates was managed by Gary Rianna and coached by Gary Salzillo and Zach Rianna, the same trio that led the JLL Junior All-Stars to two coveted crowns at the District and State levels.
So, it came as no surprise to Rianna – and his coaches – when Dental Associates staked claim to the Recreation League championship after a thrilling 11-7 victory over the favored Kelley Williams Realty-sponsored club.
“This was truly a complete team victory,” Gary Rianna let it be known. “These boys support each other every step of the way. They responded to the challenge and I'm proud of all of them. Also, thanks to my two coaches; this was one hell of a season.”
It was a season that Dental Associates will remember forever, especially since Keller Williams Realty went undefeated throughout the regular season and was favored to sweep its way too the title during the postseason playoffs.
However, Dental Associates thought otherwise from the first inning on, the title tilt went back-and-forth just like a heavyweight boxing match.
With the score tied at 7-7 in the final frame and two outs, Joseph Lopez Travers started a rally with a solid base hit to center field. That lead to a four-run outburst and championship victory.
Starting pitcher Alex Cadden went the first two innings, then Davian Nuns and Dylan Guernon filled in the rest of the duties until the final frame and that’s when Mike Salzillo came in and quickly induced two outs which enabled Dental Associates to clinch the coveted crown.
Salzillo was also a big offensive contributor, as were Mike LaFlamme, Elijah Odhiambo, Nick Viau and Alex Cadden.