Cumberland (RI)

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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To view the full list of 2023 Team Previews that we have already completed, please click here.

2023 Spring Team Preview: Cumberland

CUMBERLAND, R.I. - It has been 30 years since Cumberland last won a state title. Could another be in the making this year, during a season in which the 1993 team is honored?

“We’re gonna try to ride it a little bit,” head coach Jared Cardoso said of the recognition ahead for the state champs. “We’ll honor them at the South Kingstown game.”

With nearly the entire 2022 squad returning, the hope is that this year’s edition makes a name for itself … perhaps with a state championship.

“You always want to win a championship, but this is one year we think we can,” admitted Cardoso, now in his third year as head coach after being an assistant from 2015-2020. “But you can’t look ahead. My most difficult job will be keeping them focused on the task at hand. We need to stay within ourselves and take it one inning at a time.”

Ace pitcher  Michael Bradshaw returns after posting an 8-1 record a year ago when the Clippers ended 14-6 overall, finishing one win short of a Final Four berth.

“Last year we were pretty young with only one returning starter,” Cardoso reflected. “But we had guys step up. One reporter said we were the shock of the season.”

Any success accomplished this year will not be a shocker, thanks in part to Bradshaw, a senior right-handed pitcher committed to Merrimack who struck out 59 in 54 innings with a 0.389 ERA.

“We hope Michael can build off his 8-1 season,” Carsoso said. “We have most of our team back so experience is our strength. These guys won the state championship in Legion and played in Bristol in the Little League New England Regional and lost.”

Alex Iannuccilli, the 40th-rated 2023 RHP in New England, is penciled in to be the closer after pitching in nine games a year ago with a trio of juniors looking to make their mark following the graduation of Cam Harthan, who was 4-1 with two saves and is now at Marshall. Anthony Martin, who spent his sophomore year at IMG in Florida, Shane Godin and Joaquin Cardoso, a cousin of the head coach, are all being counted on to provide innings for a program that has taken home two state titles, 1985 and 1976 in addition to the team 30 years ago.

Andrew Ray, the ninth-rated junior in Rhode Island who hit .400 last season, returns to catch with second baseman Connor Allord, shortstop Scott Penney, a University of Rhode Island signee, and third baseman Charlie Tarara, a Nichols College commit, other starters back in the infield. Penney had a team-high .414 batting average and 22 runs scored while Allord hit .382 and Tarara .277. Harthon must be replaced, however, after hitting .408 with 22 RBIs and 20 runs.

Junior Luke Plummer, who played left field last year and finished with a .333 average and a team-best 23 RBIs, and Josh Lyon, the 12th-ranked sophomore first baseman in New England, are potential first basemen with Plummer, Innuccilli, Martin, Godin and Andrew Nocera in contention to play outfield.

“The most fun part about this group is they’re best friends outside of baseball,”  Cardoso noted. “They’ve rode together since Little League. Last year people thought we had a good run but we felt we fell short. Everyone is fired up and super focused now. They really want it this year. It’s been 30 years.”


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