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The Batter's Box provides the latest baseball news coverage of the area's top teams, prospects and happenings from around Connecticut's diamond.

Friday, July 19, 2013

GOOD EYE: American Legion sectionals preview

Senior sectionals 
American Legion Senior Sectionals begin Saturday. The road to the state crown begins here, but before it starts up, take a look at a Sectionals preview.

The Rules
The four winners to come out of the two 20 team divisions in a single elimination-style tournament advance to the double elimination tourney.

Our Teams
Northern Division: None.
Southern Division: West Haven, East Haven, Shelton, Orange, Branford, Guilford, Cheshire, Middletown.

The Breakdown
Day 1 Games (all at noon)
Team: West Haven
Zone: 2
Record: 13-14
Next game: Saturday at Meriden (14-10) of Zone 3 at Legion Field, Meriden.
The skinny: A 4-10 record on the road doomed West Haven and could be a bad omen with this game being on the road. So did giving up 121 runs to 109 scored this season. West Haven finished the season on a two-games slide and went 4-6 in its last 10. Meanwhile, Meriden only gave up 89 runs this season, good for third best in Zone 3. Meriden went 7-3 at home and also dropped its last two of the season.

Team: Shelton 
Zone: 2
Record: 15-12
Next game: Saturday vs. Wilton  (13-14) of Zone 4 at Shelton High, Shelton.
The skinny: Shelton went 12-2 at home, the only team with a better home record was 14-0 Branford. Shelton closed the season going 5-5 in its last 10 and its 87 runs against tally was good for third best in Zone 2. Wilton also kept runs off the board, only giving up 83. However, Wilton's issue was scoring runs, as the Zone 4 posted a zone-worst 78 runs. Wilton stumbled to the finish line, going 2-8 in its last 10.

Team: Guilford 
Zone: 3
Record: 13-11
Next game: Saturday at Danbury (17-10)   of Zone 5 at Danbury High, Danbury.
The skinny: Guilford put the runs up, scoring a Zone 3 second-best 141 runs. Guilford also closed the season on a five-game winning streak. It also went 7-3 in its last 10. Opposing Guilford is a Danbury team that went 10-3 at home this season. Danbury gave up 95 runs this season, too.

Day 2 (All games at 1)
Team: East Haven
Zone: 2
Record: 19-8
Next game: Sunday vs. Guilford/Danbury winner at East Haven High, East Haven.
The skinny: East Haven closed the season on a seven-game winning streak, matched only by Branford which also won seven. East Haven's 164 runs were also second best in the zone. East Haven is the only Zone 2 team with a better road record (10-2) than home record (9-6).

Day 3 (All games at 3:30)
Team: Middletown
Zone: 3
Record: 17-7
Next game: Monday vs. East Haddam/Ridgefield/Trumbull winner at Palmer Feld, Middletown.
The skinny: Middletown closed the season on a bad note, going 4-6 in its last 10. However, the sloppy finish does not negate Middletown's zone second best runs against total of 67. Middletown went 10-5 at home.

Team: Orange
Zone: 2
Record: 22-5
Next game: Monday vs. West Haven/Meriden/Norwalk winner at Orange
The skinny: Orange is arguably the second-best team in the state, with Branford earning the distinction as the Nutmeg state's best. Orange scored a Zone 2 best 197 runs and only gave up 53. Orange was consistent at home (11-3) and on the road (11-2) and closed the season on a five-game winning streak.

Day 4 (All games at 3:30)
Team: Branford
Zone: 2
Record: 26-1
Next game: Tuesday vs. East Haddam/Ridgefield/Trumbull/Middletown winner at Branford High, Branford
The skinny: Branford only gave up 15 runs all season. They collected shutout after shutout and closed the season on a seven-game winning streak. Arguably the state's best team.

Team: Cheshire
Zone: 3
Record: 22-2
Next game: Tuesday vs. Guilford/Danbury/East Haven/Oakville winner at Cheshire High, Cheshire
The skinny: Cheshire went a perfect 10-0 on the road and a solid 12-2 at home. The top team in Zone 3 only gave up 44 runs this season and closed the season going 8-2 in its last 10.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

GOOD EYE: Housatonic's Willy Yahn commits to UConn

Housatonic’s ace pitcher Willy Yahn has verbally committed to play baseball at UConn, two days after fellow Berkshire League player Zach Risedorf, of Northwestern, did the same.

“Basically it was whatever school was the best fit for me, the coaches were really great and I fell in love with the campus,” said Yahn, who like Risedorf, is going into his senior year. “It always fun playing with Zach, it was a plus.”

Yahn was looking at UConn along with, Virginia Tech, Boston College, the University of Maine and Stony Brook before deciding to stay in state.

Read more here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

GOOD EYE: Northwestern's Risedorf commits to UConn

After being looked at by big time baseball programs, Northwestern catcher Zach Risedorf has decided to stay in state, verbally committing to UConn.

“I really liked the campus,” said Risedorf. “It is also close to home, which was really important to me.”

Over the past year he was contacted by, and looked at, nine schools including Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech, but UConn stood out to the soon to be senior.

“Coach (Jim) Penders, has done wonders with the program,” said Risedorf, who was named to the First-Team All-Berkshire League team after a stellar junior season. “He really wants to keep the best players in Connecticut.”
Read more here.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

GOOD EYE: ND-West Haven John Amendola commits to Northeastern U

Notre Dame-West Haven  pitcher John Amendola, who will be a senior this fall,  said he committed to Northeastern University. The Division I Boston, Ma.,  school sought after the pitcher after he went 6-3 with a 96 strikeouts and a 1.23 ERA last season.
Amendola said in addition to Northeastern, which plays in the Colonial Athletic Conference, six or seven other schools were interested in him. He said Marist and Maine were his top choices with Northwestern. Fairfield University offered at the beginning of the summer, too. However, Amendola said Northeastern was the best place for him.
“It was the best fit for me academically, baseball-wise and will prepare me the best for my future,” he said.
Amendola, who is a starting pitcher on Branford’s 25-1 American Legion team, said he is glad to get this commitment out of the way.
“Now I can focus on legion and trying to help my team win a state title,” Amendola said. “I won’t have to fill out multiple applications in the fall.”
He said he will most likely major in finance or political science.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

GOOD EYE: East Haven's Nick Lamberti commits to UConn

East Haven outfielder Nick Lamberti committed to the University of Connecticut. The outfielder had another strong season, posting a .589 batting average and .740 on-base percentage with 21 stolen bases and 20 runs.
Lamberti, who will be a senior in the fall, said the scholarship offer is still being discussed and that he is going to use his senior year to decide what he will major in.
He was also getting looks from St. John's, Hartford and Southern Connecticut State University, but said he is pleased with his choice and happy to get this weight off his shoulders before his senior year.
"I'm really happy, now I can just go into every game and play like no one's watching me," he said. "I've already committed, I don't have to worry about anything."
The outfielder said defending Big East champion UConn's future is bright and he wants to be a part of it. He joins a long list of the state's best high school players to stay home and play for UConn. All-State players like Amity pitcher Sam Nepiarsky, Foran catcher Joe Zanghi and Fitch shortstop Aaron Hill have all decided to play for the Huskies.
"I think they've got a shot to go to the World Series in Omaha," Lamberti said. "They're in a new conference, new teams, a lot of travel. This is Division I baseball and its one of the best schools in the northwest."

Friday, June 21, 2013

Masuk's Tom Milone to sign with Tampa Bay Rays

By Dave Borges and Henry Chisholm
Masuk senior Thomas Milone, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the third round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, has decided to go pro and forego a scholarship to play baseball at UConn.
“It was definitely a tough decision,” he said. “(Playing professional baseball) is what I always wanted to do. I felt like it was the right decision for me.”
Milone said he might report to Port Charlotte, Fla. on Monday and begin his career with the Gulf Coast Rays, Tampa Bay’s Class-A short-season affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.
Milone should sign with the Rays this weekend for about $530,600, slot value. The 6-foot, 185-pound lefthanded hitter was the 97th overall pick in the draft. This past Monday he had a physical with the team and said he is excited to get out there and play. The GCL Rays opened their season Friday against the GCL Orioles.
“I’m just ready to start playing baseball again,” he said.
This season at Masuk, he won Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year and batted .471 with 33 hits, 11 RBIs, 27 runs scored and four home runs in 23 games. He was walked a team-high 19 times. Milone also played football for the Panthers and scored 35 touchdowns as a wide receiver.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

AMERICAN LEGION LIVE: Follow the action

Follow all the action.

Branford 9, North Haven 0: Branford batted around as Tyler Criscuolo, Nick Perrelli, Ben Criscuolo and Augie Torella had RBIs and all nine batters scored. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

AMERICAN LEGION LIVE: Follow all the action here

Follow all the action

Saturday, June 8, 2013

STATE FINAL CENTRAL: Live updates, highlights and updates

#ctbase-- Welcome to State Final Central. Here you will find game day rosters, previews and live updates from each game. The headlines contain links that will bring you to the CIAC weave to check out the brackets. Click on the "Meet the" link to get game day rosters for the title.

CLASS LL FINAL: No. 6 Amity versus No. 4 Southington 

All You Need To Know About The Big Game

No. 6 Amity 4, No. 4 Southington 0 (fifth inning): Mike Concato continues his dominance of Class LL with his third RBI of the day to score Jake Russo. 

o. 6 Amity 3, No. 4 Stonington 0 (third inning): Mike Concato picked up his second RBI of the day, lining a single to right to score Jake Russo and Justin Ashworth hit a dribbler that scored Concato.

No. 6 Amity 1 No. 4 Southington 0 (first inning): Mike Concato drove in Keith Klebart with a sac fly to give the Spartans an early lead.

No. 6 Amity (21-4)
vs. No. 4 Southington (20-3)
WHERE: Palmer Field, Middletown
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Amity's Mike Concato has yet to surrender a hit during the Class LL tournament. Meanwhile, Southington is averaging 7.3 runs per game. The Blue Knights pitching has also been good, only giving up three runs in three games during the state tournament. The Spartans might have a bone to pick with Southington, as the Blue Knights topped the Spartans 3-1 in last seasons Quarterfinals. Southington edged Glastonbury in extras 3-2 and Amity rallied to top Fairfield Prep 3-2 in the semifinals, so neither team is afraid of crunchtime. If Concato's pitches are working, and the Spartans can tack on at least three runs, they could win the title.
CIAC CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCES: Amity is 2-2, with its last championship coming in 2007. Southington is 3-7 with its last title coming in 1999 and its last appearance in 2011 ending in a heartbreaking 3-2 10 inning loss to Newington.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: This is the second straight year the Class LL final pits an SCC team against a CCC team. Last season Shelton (SCC) topped South Windsor (CCC) 7-2.

Meet the Spartans 

CLASS L FINAL: No. 4 New Canaan versus No. 2 Waterford

All You Need To Know About The Big Game

No. 4 New Canaan (20-5)
vs. No. 2 Waterford (23-4)
WHERE: Palmer Field, Middletown
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Waterford is arguably the hottest team in the playoffs, riding a 10-game winning streak going back to the regular season. Waterford, which won the Eastern Connecticut Conference championship by topping defending Class L champs Fitch, has only given up three runs during the tournament. Waterford also has two shutout victories. New Canaan's pitching has been strong, too. The Rams have not given up ,ore than two runs in a game during the postseason. 
CIAC CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCES: New Canaan is 0-2 in the state title, losing its last appearance last season to Fitch. Waterford is 7-3 with the last win coming in 2005 and the last appearance being a 6-4 loss to Montville in the 2010 Class M final. 
YOU SHOULD KNOW: New Canaan, an FCIAC team, could become the team from the conference to win a Class L title since Staples in 2001.

Meet the Rams 

Meet the Lancers 

CLASS M FINAL: No. 11 St. Joseph versus No. 1 Northwestern

All You Need To Know About The Big Game

No. 11 St. Joseph 2, Northwestern 1 (Final/Nine innings):  Matt Batten drove in Brett Olayos with the winning run in the top of the ninth and pitcher Nick Williams pitched a complete game to lead the Cadets to the 2013 Class M championship at Palmer Field in Middletown. 

No. 11 St. Joseph 2, No. 1 Northwestern (ninth inning): Matt Batten drives in Brett Olayos to put the Cadets up with a chance to close out the Class M title.

No. 1 Northwestern 1, No. 11 St. Joseph (second inning): Mike Pulaski scored off an RBI from Jake Amoroso to tie the game in the top of the second.

No. 1 Northwestern 1, No. 11 St. Joseph 0 (first inning): John Lippincott drove in Connor Guiheen with an RBI single to put the Highlanders up early in the Class M title game.


No. 11 St. Joseph (19-6) vs. No. 1 Northwestern (23-1)

WHEN: Saturday, 3-30 p.m.
WHERE: Palmer Field, Middletown
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Northwestern's only loss is a 3-0 defeat to Terryville to close the season. Prior to that loss, Northwestern won 19 straight. St. Joseph topped top 10 teams Greenwich and New Canaan during the regular season. The Cadets also beat North Branford, the top seed in the Shoreline Conference tournament, and Montville. 
CIAC CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCES: St. Joseph has never lost a championship game, going 3-0. Northwestern is making its first appearance.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Trinity Catholoc was the last FCIAC team to play for and win a Class M title in 1993.

Meet the Cadets 

Meet the Highlanders

CLASS S FINAL: No. 6 Oxford versus No. 1 Cromwell 

All You Need To Know About The Big Game

No. 6 Oxford (17-7)
vs. No. 1 Cromwell (22-4)
‰WHERE: Palmer Field, Middletown
‰WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Cromwell is looking for back-to-back Class S championships and a pitching staff that has only allowed one run in three games this state tournament might make that a reality. In fact, the Panthers have 11 shutout victories this season. Meanwhile, Oxford fought it's way to the final, topping No. 11 East Granby 2-1 in an 11-inning second round game and a 3-2 triumph over No. 7 Old Lyme in the semifinals. As gutty and gritty as the Wolverines may be, the Panthers pitching staff and championship experience should carry Cromwell to another Class S crown.
‰CIAC CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCES: This is Cromwell's ninth appearance, winning three and dropping six. Oxford is making its first appearance in the title game. 
‰YOU SHOULD KNOW: This is the first year since 2010 that the Shoreline Conference champion will not win Class S. East Hampton won the Shoreline, but lost to Cromwell in the Class S semifinals. Northwest Catholic won Class S in 2010.

Monday, May 27, 2013

STATE TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: Vote for the state's best, roundups and What we learned

#ctbase -- Day one is in the books. Rain pushed a few games back and halted some. Below you will find Roundup Central to get a rundown on the previous day's action. Click on the division subhead to find the corresponding division's updated bracket. Another new addition is News Central. There you'll find "What we learned," a retrospective look at what we can gather from the previous day's action.

Vote For the State's Best Player

Due to a malfunction with the poll last week, both Xavier's John Gething and East Haven's Nick Lamberti advance in the Best Player in the State tournament. Gethings had more votes when the poll was supposed to close at noon, Lamberti had more when it actually did at 1 p.m. To not shortchange either talented student-athlete, they both advance. If they defeat their opponents this week, they could meet up again in next week's poll. POLLS CLOSE SUNDAY, JUNE 2, AT NOON. IF POLL MALFUNCTIONS AGAIN, ANY PLAYER RECEIVING VOTES AFTER POLL WAS SUPPOSED TO CLOSE IS AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIED.


No. 6 Amity tops No. 10 Fairfield Prep, headed to Class LL final

 After stranding five runners in scoring position in the first five innings, Amity first baseman Justin Ashworth said coach Sal Coppola said the Spartans were playing too tight. 
"He told us to just play our game," Ashworth said. "We have a term around here we call 'backyard loose.' That's just how we play."
The Spartans loosened up,  Justin Ashworth laced the go-ahead RBI double to cap a three-run sixth inning and Mike Concato came in and got the save as No. 6 Amity topped No. 10 Fairfield Prep 3-2 in the Class LL semifinals at Muzzy Field on Tuesday.
With the victory, the 21-4 Spartans advance to the championship for the first time since 2007.  Amity will face a No. 4 Southington team that eliminated it in last seasons Quarterfinals. 

No. 6 Amity 3, No. 10 Fairfield Prep 2 (sixth inning): Justin Ashworth drove in Sebastian DiMauro to give the Spartans a one-run advantage after DiMauro drove in two with a double to tie it as the Spartans may have averted an upset. 

No. 10 Fairfield Prep 2 Amity 0 (fifth inning): The Jesuits Kevin Stone is pitching a gem, with four strikeouts and stranding runners in scoring position in three of the first four innings as Prep looks to upset Amity and top the Spartans for the second time this year. The Jesuits topped the Spartans in the regular season 1-0.

No. 10 Fairfield Prep 2, No. 6 Amity 0 (third inning): Shawn Blake and Kevin Stone had RBI singles to pace the Jesuits to an early lead.


No. 6 Amity tops No. 3 Greenwich as Mike Concato throws no-hitter

GREENWICH -- Amity's Mike Concato is usually a strikeout pitcher, posting multiple double-digit strikeout performances this season. However against Greenwich in the Class LL Quarterfinals, the senior's strategy was to pitch to contact with a hard fastball on the inside part of the plate.
It worked to perfection as Concato struck out five, did not walk a batter and pitched a no-hitter with the only base runner reaching on an error as the sixth-seeded Spartans topped the third-seeded Cardinals 6-0 Saturday. Read more here.

No. 11 Notre Dame-West Haven takes down Class L defending champ Fitch

GROTON — All season long, Notre Dame-West Haven coach Lou Kessler has been waiting for his team to get healthy. Kessler has finally gotten his wish. With the return of injured seniors Griffin Garabedian and Greg Zullo, Notre Dame has looked like a different team as the lineup has become whole.
The No. 11-seeded Green Knights banged out 11 hits, drew seven walks and took advantage of two hit batters to defeat No. 3 Fitch 9-1 Saturday afternoon at Fitch High in the quarterfinals of the Class L state tournament. Read more here. 

Second Round

Mike Schettino leads No. 3 North Branford past No. 19 Ansonia

North Branford’s Mike Schettino said he has not been about to forget about how the Thunderbirds blew a three-run lead in the seventh inning with two outs and were upset by East Hampton in a Shoreline Conference tournament semifinals.
So with No. 3 North Branford trailing by a run to No. 19 Ansonia and the senior on in relief to pitch in the third, he wasn’t going to let them get upset again.
Schettino gave up two hits in three innings of relief, scored the tying run and drove in the winning run to avoid the upset and top the Chargers 3-2 in the Class M second round on Wednesday. Read more here.

Semifinals Live

Roundup Central 


North Haven advances


Jaycen Torello’s RBI single in the third inning for the No. 16 seed North Haven baseball team, gave the Indians a 2-0 win over No. 8 Bunnell Saturday in a Class L state quarterfinal-round game at Stratford.

The Indians (16-8) scored an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning on a double steal. Jack Brown scored the run. Chandler Andrewsen scattered six hits and struck out five to win his seventh game. Bunnell finishes at 15-9.




Day 3

The No. 1 team in the state goes fishing and Sheehan's upset tour continues


Kevin Duffy’s double scored Brandon Gauthier in the seventh to lift No. 36 Sheehan to a 3-2 win over No. 13 Lewis Mills in the second round of the Class M state tournament.

Gauthier went 2-for-3 with a triple for the Titans (11-12). It was Sheehan coach Matt Altieri’s 300th career win.


No. 8 Trumbull 2, No. 9 Shelton 0: The Gaels left 16 runners on base and Trumbull blanked the defending state champions in the second round.
Mike Cowell pitched a two-hitter and struck out four for Shelton (15-8). Marcello Ursini and Ed Groth each had two hits for Shelton.

No. 17 Staples 5, No. 1 Xavier 4 (8): Eli Andrew scored on Noah Yokoi’s sacrifice fly with one out in the top of the eighth inning to lift the visiting Wreckers to this upset over the Falcons, the top-ranked team in the Register Poll, in this second-round contest in Middletown.

Andrew led off the inning with a double for Staples.

Ben Criscuolo had a two-run double and Will Garrity tied the game with an infield single in the seventh inning for Xavier (20-2).

No. 6 Amity 10, No. 11 Fairfield Ludlowe 1: Keith Kelbart went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs in the Spartans second-round victory at Woodbridge.

Jake Russo added three hits, three runs and an RBI for Amity (19-4).
No. 10 Fairfield Prep 6, No. 7 Ridgefield 5 (8): Shawn Blake scored the winning run on Dave Gerics’ sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning for the visiting Jesuits in this second-round win at Ridgefield.

Jake Berry drove in the tying run with a single in the seventh inning for Fairfield Prep (17-6).


No. 11 Notre Dame-West Haven 4, No. 6 Maloney 1:
Griffin Garabedian had three hits and two RBIs in the Green Knights second-round win.

Drew Arciuolo had two hits and an RBI for Notre Dame (15-8).


Day 2

No. 36 Sheehan stuns No. 4 Weston, advances


Kevin Duffy, Rob Sprafke and Paul Gozzo each had a hit and an RBI to lead the No. 36 Sheehan baseball team to a 3-1 stunning win over host No. 4 Weston in a CIAC Class M first round win on Wednesday.

The Titans play at No. 13 Lewis Mills Thursday at 3:30. Pitcher Brandon Rentas allowed five hits and struck out seven and Nolan Cloutier added two hits for the Titans (10-12).

Weston ends the season at 20-4.


No. 3 Greenwich 9, No. 30 Cheshire 2: Cameron Fennell had three hits and an RBI to lead the Cardinals to their first-round win in Greenwich.

Dan Schock led the Rams (8-13) with three hits and an RBI.

No. 9 Shelton 3, No. 24 Manchester 2: C.J. Rizzo drove in the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift the host Gaels to this first-round win.

Marcello Ursini tied the game with a double earlier in that inning for Shelton (15-7), the defending LL champions.


No. 11 Notre Dame-West Haven 9, No. 22 Platt Tech 1: Greg Zullo had three hits and three RBIs to lead the Green Knights to their first-round win in West Haven.
Mike Corso added two hits and three RBIs for the Green Knights (14-8). Angelo Genovesi had two hits for the Panthers (10-11).

No. 16 North Haven 4, No. 1 Cheney Tech 2 (9): Winning pitcher Mike Acampora hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to lift the visiting Indians to this second-round win in Manchester.

Jaycen Torello had two hits and two RBIs for North Haven (15-8).


Day 1

North Haven wins in dramatic fashion and a combined no-hitter for Amity


Jaycen Torello had a walk-off RBI single with two outs to score Pete Katynski to give the No. 16 seeded North Haven baseball team a 2-1 Class L first-round victory over No. 17 New London Tuesday in North Haven.

With the victory, the Indians (14-8) will face top-seeded Constitution State Conference champ Cheney Tech (22-2) at Manchester tosday at 3:30 p.m.

Chandler Andrewsen pitched a complete game two-hitter with nine strikeouts for the Indians. Josh Vincent had five strikeouts for the Whalers (12-10).

No. 10 Berlin 2, No. 23 Law 1: Despite Rich Dow’s two hits and Jim Palmer’s RBI, the Eagles still fell to the Redcoats on the road in Berlin.
Darren Grabowski doubled and tripled for Berlin (14-7).

No. 18 Guilford 7, No. 15 Tolland 4: T.J. Ciocca had a hit and two RBIs for the visiting Indians in this first-round win.

Zach Battapaglia had a two-run double and Matt Brockett had a triple and an RBI for Guilford (12-9), who advances to play No. 2 Waterford in the second round Wednesday.


No. 6 Amity 10, No. 27 East Hartford 0: Mike Concato pitched six innings and Ross Weiner pitched the seventh in a combined no-hitter for the Spartans in a victory over the Hornets.

Concato had nine strikeouts and Weiner had one as Amity (18-4) advances to face the winner of No. 22 Pomperaug at No. 11 Fairfield Ludlowe in the second round.


No. 19 Ansonia 6, No. 14 Rocky Hill 3: Ryan O’Connor went 4-for-4, including two doubles, and scored twice for the Chargers in this first-round win at Rocky Hill.

Bobby Schryver had two doubles and two runs for Ansonia (13-10).

No. 7 Haddam-Killingworth 12, No. 26 Vinal Tech 4: Brian Moskey and Joe Silvia each had two hits and three RBIs for the Cougars in this first-round win in Higganum. The Cougars advance to play No. 10 Montville today at 3:30.

No. 3 North Branford 15, No. 30 Grasso Tech 2: Mike Funaro had four RBIs and two doubles, Kyle Hart had four RBIs and Nick Perrelli had two RBIs in the Thunderbirds’ home first round victory.

With the win, North Branford (19-4) advances to play No. 19 Ansonia today at 3:30.


News Central


What we learned during the quarterfinals was...

Mike Concato and Amity are better than we thought they were, and we already thought they were pretty good. For the Spartans to tear the cover off the ball the way they did and Concato to no-hit a good Cardinals team the way he did, you wonder what it will take to eliminate coach Sal Coppola's group. ...I know my Class S baseball. Hey, when I'm wrong I'm the first to admit it and poke a little fun at myself. Therefore when I'm right, I can gloat all I want. I had all but one semifinal team correct. Thanks a lot St. Bernard (I picked No. 2 St. Bernard to top No. 7 Old Lyme, St. Bernard let me down.). All jokes aside, congrats to all that made it and also to St. Bernard on a great season. ... Cromwell and East Hampton was one of my games to watch if it happens. So since the top-seeded Panthers will have their Shoreline Conference championship rematch with the 13th-seeded Bellringers, you should probably watch it, just seems like the right thing to do. East Hampton defeated Cromwell in the SLC title game behind a 13 strikeout performance from Marvin Gorgas. ... Despite having the No. 1,2 and 3 teams in the state all in Class LL, none of them will play each other. The No. 1 team, Xavier, bowed out in the second round and the No. 2 team, Bristol Central, lost 6-2 to Fairfield Prep in the quarterfinals. The 10th-seeded Jesuits meet the Spartans in the semifinals, ensuring that a Southern Connecticut Conference team will play for a Class LL crown. ... Speaking of the SCC, there is a chance that a team from the conference could win Class LL and L, something that has not happened since 2009 when West Haven took LL and Branford captured L. No. 16 North Haven plays No. 4 New Canaan and No. 11 Notre Dame-West Haven battles No. 2 Waterford in the Class L semifinals. Meanwhile, the FCIAC could have champions come out of Class LL, L and M. In LL, No. 8 Trumbull defeated No. 17 Staples in the quarters and faces No. 4 Southington in the semifinals. In Class L, New Canaan is still alive and in Class M, No. 11 St. Joseph topped No. 3 North Branford and faces No. 10 Montville in the semifinals.

Day 3

What we learned Day Three was....

Don't mess with Sheehan. The Titans are slaying top seeds left and right. First it was No. 4 Weston, who also won the SWC, and yesterday it was No. 13 Lewis Mills. The Titans are making an early push for best story of the tournament. ... Despite Sheehan's success, yesterday was a bad day for the SCC. I don't say this because a lot of SCC teams went down, but because of the outlook on the team that went down. Xavier, the No. 1 team in the state and Class LL, was not supposed to bow out in the second round. However, that is exactly what happened against Staples. Furthermore, the FCIAC is making a strong postseason argument that it may be a better conference than the SCC. This postseason the FCIAC is 5-2 against SCC teams. Now my idea to settle this is a FCIAC/SCC Baseball challenge that alternates year-to-year from Yale Field to Harbor Yard in early May. Maybe the FCIAC and SCC powers that be can make that happen *crosses fingers.*

Day 2

What we learned Day Two was....

The SWC is having a rough tournament. Tourney champ No. 4 Weston got dumped by No. 36 Sheehan, becoming the seventh SWC team to get eliminated. Only Bunnell and Notre Dame-Fairfield remain. ... No. 16 North Haven games are fun to watch. The Indians used a walk-off to top No. 17 New London in the first round and sent top-seeded Cheney Tech fishing courtesy of a ninth inning homer from Mike Acampora. ... Class M is a lost cause for me. I give up. Someone will win, I'm not predicting anymore. All I'm sure of is someone will win. There, can't get that wrong. ... The FCIAC championship didn't do too much for Danbury. No such thing as momentum in baseball I guess. The No. 12 Hatters went on a nice run to capture the conference, but couldn't even score a run in a 3-0 loss to No. 21 Newington in the first round. ...Conference champs have not done well this postseason. Wolcott (NVL), Weston (SWC) and Danbury (FCIAC) are all fishing. Start the boat!!!

Day 1

What we learned Day One was....

Class M is a mess, for me at least. I picked No. 2 Wolcott over No. 9 Plainfield in the final and both teams went fishing in the first round. Wolcott lost to No. 34 Granby and Plainfield fell to No. 24 Nonnewaug. ... Wolcott, who won the NVL title, was not the only Valley League team to fall. NVL runner-up No. 17 Derby went down in the first round, too, losing 6-3 to No. 16 Sacred Heart. Bad day for the Valley finalists, bad day for Henry C. ...Rain really screwed things up. We all know that rain stinks, but 10 playoff games were postponed due to Mother Nature. Not cool mama, not cool. ... No. 16 North Haven's bench probably got a good workout in its 2-1 walkoff triumph over No. 17 New London. The bench is well known for being rowdy and their state tourney opener was not short in the drama category. The pitching was good, too, as there were a combined 15 strikeouts in the ballgame. ... Class L Play-in teams didn't do too well in the first round, 0-4 to be exact. The only hope for play-in teams is No. 29 East Haven at No. 4 Cheshire on Wednesday at 3:30.

Masuk's Tom Milone named Gatorade POTY

The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, named Thomas Milone of Masuk High School the Gatorade Connecticut Baseball Player of the Year.
Milone is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award announced in May. Milone joins an elite alumni of past state award-winners, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Roy Halladay (1994-95, Arvada West HS, Colo.) and David Price, to name a few.
 The 6-foot, 190-pound senior center fielder led the Panthers to an 11-11 record , while maintaining a  .463 batting average with a .581 on-base percentage, three home runs, 26 runs scored and 28 stolen bases.
In the classroom, Milone has a 3.24 GPA and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports camps and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.


A look at some of the best games we might see

With the state tournament first round getting underway on Tuesday, here is a look at some of the more intriguing games that could happen. The subheading with the Class and round is also a link to the CIAC baseball webpage with brackets for each class. For example, the Class LL subhead will take you to the Class LL bracket, the Class L subhead will bring you to the Class L bracket and so on and so forth.

Class LL

Second round

No. 9 Shelton at No. 8 Trumbull: This match up could take place if the Eagles top No. 25 Kennedy and the Gaels defeat No. 24 Manchester in the first round. The defending champion Gaels look to repeat going up against a hot Eagles team that topped two Top 10 teams, Greenwich and New Canaan, en route to the FCIAC championship game. This game could go down to the wire.
Chances it will happen: Very high because both teams are playing opponents they should beat in the first round.
Prediction if it does: Shelton 6-4.


No. 9 Shelton at No. 1 Xavier: If this game comes to pass, it will give the Falcons the chance to avenge its only loss of the season, a 6-3 defeat to the Gaels on April 15. Shelton topped Xavier the same day it was voted No. 1 in the state.
Chances it will happen: High because the Gaels should top the Eagles in the second round.
Prediction if it does: Xavier 8-3.

No. 6 Amity at No. 3 Greenwich: If this game happens, it will put two team’s together who suffered heartbreaking losses in last season’s state tournament. The Spartans lost 3-1 on a controversial call against Southington and the Cardinals lost in 10 innings 4-2 to East Hartford in the quarterfinals. If these two meet, it will give one a chance to put last season’s bad memories behind it for good.
Chances it will happen: High because the Spartans and Cards are playing teams they can beat in the early rounds.
Prediction if it does: Amity 3-1.


No. 6 Amity vs. No. 2 Bristol Central: This game could place arguably the best two pitchers in the state against each other in the Rams’ Matt Blandino and the Spartans' Mike Concato. More than likely, the teams would save their aces for the championship, but if the two star pitchers do battle in the semifinals, it has all the making of a classic pitcher’s duel.
Chances it will happen: Moderate because even though I picked the Spartans over the Cards, Greenwich is no pushover.
Prediction: Amity 1-0.


No. 6 Amity vs. No. 1 Xavier: The Southern Connecticut Conference final that never was, due to rain cancelling the tournament prior to the semifinals, could take place in the Class LL final. Xavier edged Amity 6-5 prior to the end of the season, but Spartans’ aces Concato nor Sam Nepiarsky pitched. This game could potentially go extras at 0-0.
Chances it will happen: Moderate because anything can happen en route to Palmer Field in the tough Class LL field.
Prediction: Amity 3-2 (9).

Class L


No. 11 Notre Dame-West Haven vs. No. 3 Fitch: Two of the many Connecticut baseball players headed to UConn are in this one in Fitch’s Aaron Hill and Notre Dame-West Haven’s Griffin Garabedian. The Green Knights’ pitching has been solid and this could be one of the bigger upsets in the state tournament.
Chances it will happen: Moderate because the Green Knights still may have to get past No. 6 Maloney in the second round.
Prediction: Fitch 7-5.


No. 3 Fitch vs. No. 2 Waterford: Waterford got the better of Fitch in the Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament final. A rematch for a chance to play for a state title makes this game one of the better semifinal contests.
Chances it will happen: High because no one in Waterford’s bracket is good enough to stop them and Fitch should hold serve and avoid any upsets.
Prediction: Fitch 6-3.


No. 4 New Canaan vs. No. 3 Fitch: A rematch of last season’s Class L final that Fitch won. The Rams took a tough loss in the FCIAC tournament, but has enough talent to get back to the Class L final.
Chances it will happen: High because New Canaan doesn’t have to play anyone that is as good as the teams it faced in the FCIAC.
Prediction: Fitch 5-2

Class M


No. 11 St. Joseph at No. 3 North Branford: The Thunderbirds suffered one of the more heartbreaking losses of the conference tournament season, blowing a 3-0 lead with two outs in the seventh inning and losing 5-3 in nine to East Hampton. Meanwhile, the Cadets looked poised to tear up the FCIAC tournament after topping Top 10 teams Greenwich and New Canaan during the regular season, but lost in the first round badly to Fairfield Ludlowe. Both of these teams are talented and could have a big chip on their shoulders.
Chances it will happen: Very high because St. Joseph could be playing tech schools until the quarterfinals and North Branford should beat Ansonia or Rocky Hill if they meet in the second round.
Prediction: North Branford 8-5.

Class S


No. 13 East Hampton vs. No. 1 Cromwell: The Bellringers stopped the Panthers’ run for back-to-back Shoreline championships with a 8-2 victory in the title game, thanks to Marvin Gorgas’ 13 strikeout performance. Although the Class S championship game is important, East Hampton might want to throw Gorgas out there for this one again.
Chances it will happen: Moderate because East Hampton has to upset St. Paul in the second round. If it does, this game could happen.
Prediction: Cromwell 3-1.

Monday, May 20, 2013

SHORELINE PLAYOFF CENTRAL: East Hampton stuns Cromwell, wins SLC

BATTER'S BOX-- This is your one-stop shop for all things Shoreline during the conference tournament. Below you will find live updates, schedules and previews from now until the tourney wraps up on Saturday.

Marvin Gorgas, East Hampton wins 2013 SLC Championship

HIGGANUM -- There’s a new Shoreline Conference baseball champion.

East Hampton, behind the 13-strikeout pitching performance of junior Marvin Gorgas, took back the SLC crown it won in 2011 from defending champ Cromwell, 8-2, at Haddam-Killingworth Regional High School Sunday afternoon.

The Bellringers did it with a seven-run outburst in the fourth inning, wiping out a 2-0 deficit and knocking out Cromwell starter Doug Davenport. Read more here.

SLC Final Live

SLC Semifinals Roundup

No. 6 East Hampton stuns top-seeded North Branford 

Call this one the Miracle in North Branford.

East Hampton trailed 3-0 and was one strike away from being eliminated in the SLC tournament Wednesday against top-seed North Branford.

But the Bellringers staged a miraculous rally to tie it and then won it 5-3 in nine innings.

“It was one of the greatest high school games I’ve ever been a part of,” said East Hampton coach Scott Wosleger. Find out why he said that here.

No. 2 Cromwell tops Old Lyme, advances to Final

CROMWELL  These are the kinds of games Cromwell wins.

Eight times the Panthers have played a one- or two-run game. They won seven of them. Eleven times the Panthers have shut out their opponent.

Cromwell did both Wednesday afternoon, beating Old Lyme 2-0 in the semifinal round of the Shoreline Conference playoffs at Fran Monnes Field at Cromwell High School. Read more here.

SLC Semifinals Live

The Final Four

No. 1 North Branford (18-3): The Thunderbirds escaped a tight one with the Blue Devils and host East Hampton next.
No. 2 Cromwell (18-3): East Hampton did the Panthers a big favor knocking out a Haddam-Killingworth team that bested Cromwell twice this season.
No. 4 Old Lyme (15-6): Thanks to a walk-off homer, Old Lyme avoided a third defeat to Portland this season.
No. 6 East Hampton (12-9): The reward for upsetting H-K is North Branford. Congrats?

SLC Quarterfinals Roundup

Star pitching performances were the story on a splendid Monday in Shoreline Conference baseball tournament action, highlighted by the two-hit shutout of East Hampton junior Marvin Gorgas in a seedings upset of Haddam-Killingworth.

The Bellringer win sets up a rematch of the 2011 title game, pitting East Hampton against North Branford in a Wednesday semifinal. Cromwell will host Old Lyme (which walked off against Portland) in the other semifinal. Here’s the quarterfinal roundup:

No. 2 Cromwell 1, No. 7 Morgan 0: In Cromwell, the Panthers’ Christian Budzik pitched a three-hit shutout and drove in the game’s only run in the third inning, sending the defending Shoreline Conference champions to the SLC semifinals.

Budzik struck out four in a complete-game effort, outdueling Morgan’s Ron Buchetto, who also gave up three hits.
In the third inning, Cromwell loaded the bases after Doug Davenport walked, Kevin Radziewicz was hit by a pitch and Mike McNally singled to right. Christian Budzik’s line drive to centerfield was caught by a diving Jake Ward, but the hit allowed Davenport to tag up with what proved to be the winning run.

McNally had two of Cromwell’s three hits. Radziewicz had the other.

Cromwell (18-3) will host Old Lyme in the semifinals Monday at 3:45 p.m.. Morgan is 11-10.

No. 6 East Hampton 3, No. Haddam-Killingworth 0: Junior Marvin Gorgas struck out 12 in a two-hit shutout, blanking the Cougars in Higganum.

H-K had the tying run on first base in the bottom of the seventh in a bases-loaded, two-out situation. But Gorgas forced a groundout to end the game, sending the Bellringers to a semifinal matchup at top-seeded North Branford Wednesday.

The unlucky loser was H-K sophomore Brian Moskey, who gave up three runs on three hits in a complete-game effort. H-K committed four errors to East Hampton’s zero.
Nate Heroux had two hits for East Hampton, and Gorgas singled.

Moskey tripled and Jake DeCarli doubled for H-K’s only hits.

East Hampton has played in the last two Shoreline Conference title games: defeating North Branford in 2011, then falling to Cromwell last year.

No. 4 Old Lyme 3, No. 5 Portland 1: The Wildcats’ Slater Gregory hit a walk-off homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, lifting Old Lyme to the SLC semifinals in a thrilling finish at home.

Gregory also pitched a complete game and struck out six to earn the win.

Portland’s lone run came in the first inning when Matt Ryan scored on a fielder’s choice. Old Lyme evened the score in the third inning with an RBI single from Mike Mann.

Portland is 13-8. Old Lyme is 15-6.

No. 1 North Branford 3, No. 8 Coginchaug 1: Mike Schettino’s two-hitter lifted the Thunderbirds to a semifinal matchup with Old Lyme.

Schettino struck out six and the North Branford offense posted single runs in the first, second and third innings.

Coginchaug’s lone run came in the fifth when a Charlie Anderson sacrifice fly scored Mike McShane.
North Branford will host East Hampton Wednesday.

SLC Quarterfinals Live

Shoreline Conference

The Last Eight Standing

No. 1 North Branford (17-3): The Thunderbirds seem ready to capture the conference.
No. 2 Cromwell (17-3): They most likely didn't expect to be anywhere other an No. 1 when the season began.
No. 3 Haddam-Killingworth (15-5) The beat Cromwell twice and could see them in the semifinals.
No. 4 Old Lyme (14-6): Three-game winning streak to close the season.
No. 5 Portland (13-7): Defeated Old Lyme twice this season.
No. 6 East Hampton (11-9): Closed the season losing streak.
No. 7 Morgan (11-9): The Huskies dropped their last two to end the season.
No. 8 Coginchaug (11-9): 3-4 in the month of May.

Quarterfinal Bracket Breakdown

Only two teams, Portland and East Hampton, made it from the Small Division. ... North Branford got the top spot in the last week of the season. ... Portland is the only lower seed to defeat the higher seeded team it will play in the first round.


First round today (Monday)
(at higher seed at 3:45)

Second round Wednesday 
(at higher seed, 3:45)

Championship Saturday at Dodd Stadium in Norwich at 6 p.m. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

SCC PLAYOFF CENTRAL: SCC tournament cancelled

BATTER'S BOX -- This is your one-stop shop for all things Southern Connecticut Conference during the conference tournament next week. The tournament begins on Tuesday and ends on Saturday at West Haven High School. Here you can find live updates on game day, schedule, scores, roundups, highlight videos, preview videos and polls prior to each game. It's playoff time, win or go home.

State's Best

The SCC tournament is cancelled

Rain has cancelled the Southern Connecticut Conference baseball tournament prior to the semifinals, according to SCC Commissioner Al Carbone. This is the first time in the  tournaments history that there is no champion. 
Despite the disappointment of not being able to crown a champion, Carbone said with the state tournament approaching this was the only logical decision.
"You can't go past Sunday because of pitching," Carbone said. "We have teams that are going to be playing for state championships. Baseball, you have to be careful with playing back-to-backs."
The tournament schedule was the semis on Thursday and the final on Saturday. Thursday morning rain made Quigley Stadium, the site of the semis, unplayable and pushed the semis to Saturday at West Haven High and the final to Sunday. Carbone said the semifinals had to be on Saturday because of proms on Friday. Saturday's rain made it impossible to continue the tournament.
Top-seeded Xavier was to play No. 4 North Haven and No. 2 Amity was going to face No. 3 Fairfield Prep. Although all the coaches agreed with the decision, Indians coach Bob DeMayo said this could be avoided.
"Hopefully the CIAC pushes the requirements for conference tournaments back a week like they should do or start (the SCC tournament) Monday or Tuesday and play everyday." He said.
Mauritz said he told his team Friday that there was a chance the tournament would be cancelled. He said the cancelation was something that they can't avoid.
"You can't get mad at things you can't control," the Jesuits coach said. "We just have to get ready for the state tournament."
Meanwhile Xavier and Amity have been the number two and three teams in the state for the past month and the defending SCC champion Spartans were eager to avenge a 6-5 loss to the Falcons late in the season.
"We wanted to play them pretty bad," Amity coach Sal Coppola said. "We thought that they played us tough, but we had a real good chance when we played them."
Xavier wanted a rematch, too. However, they will settle for a shot to face the Spartans again in the state tournament. 
"I'd love to play them again, but I can also look down to a week and a half and play them then," Xavier coach Rich Magner said. "I think if you look at the schedule and realize if we played Sunday and then we have to worry about Tuesday or Tuesday, Wednesday, I think that's asking a lot of a high school pitching staff."

SCC Semifinals Postponed

An early morning shower has made Quigley Feld, the site of the semifinals, unplayable thus postponing the semifinals to Saturday and pushing the final to Sunday.
The semifinals have also been moved to West Haven High, the site of the final. There will be two semifinal games Saturday, one at 2 and the other at 4, with the final being played Sunday at 3. For more information, stay right here.

Quarterfinals Roundup

Chris Collins and Shawn Blake each had two hits, Kevin Stone had three RBI and a double and David Geric came on in the sixth inning and got the save to lead the third-seeded Fairfield Prep baseball team past sixth-seeded Notre Dame-West Haven 4-3 in the Southern Connecticut Conference quarterfinals in Fairfield on Tuesday. Griffin Garabedian and Greg Zullo had two hits for the Green Knights (13-8). Prep (15-6) jumped out to a 2-0 second inning lead and never fell behind, topping Notre Dame for the third time this season.

No. 2 Amity 5, No. 7 West Haven 3: Mike Concato struck out eight, Justin Ashworth doubled and Jake Russo added an RBI as the Spartans eliminated the Blue Devils in the SCC quarterfinals in Woodbridge.
No. 4 North Haven 5, No. 5 Shelton 3: Matt Oestreicher was 3-for-3 with a single, double and a home run as the Indians advanced to the SCC tournament semifinals at North Haven.

No. 1 Xavier 14, No. 8 Hand 5: Ben Criscuolo had a home run, two RBIs and was 3-for-3 to lead the top-seeded Falcons topped the eighth-seeded Tigers in Middletown.

The Final Four

No. 1 Xavier (20-1): The Falcons' bats are still red hot.
No. 2 Amity (17-4): Concato started yesterday, making it highly unlikely he will pitch in the SCC Final if the Spartans make it there.
No. 3 Fairfield Prep (15-6): The Jesuits pitching was solid in a grind-it-out victory.
No. 4 North Haven: The Indians survived, despite committing four errors. 

Semifinals Bracket Breakdown

There were no upsets in the first round. ... The only team left that did not win their division if Fairfield Prep. ... Speaking of Prep's division, the Quinnipiac has two of the four teams in the semifinals, Prep and Xavier. 

Semifinals Schedule

(Thursday at Quigley Stadium)

Fairfield Prep vs. Amity , 4
North Haven vs. Xavier, 7

Quarterfinals Live

Southern Connecticut Conference 

The Last Eight Standing

No. 1 Xavier (19-1): Only loss to Shelton, otherwise these guys can be unhittable and almost unbeatable.
No. 2 Amity (15-3): Pitchers Mike Concato and Sam Nepiarsky give the defending champs a great 1-2 punch.
No. 3 Fairfield Prep (14-6): Coach Rudy Mauritz said they have to focus on the little things to win big.
No. 4 North Haven (12-7):  They are more than just a loud bench.
No. 5 Shelton (13-6): The Gaels have found a way, despite losing most of its core from the 2012 SCC title runner-up team.
No. 6 Notre Dame-West Haven (13-7): Injuries to Griffin Garabedian and Greg Zullo could not stop the Green Knights.
No. 7 West Haven (11-8): Cameron Stone and Co. make the Blue Devils a formidable seventh seed.
No. 8 Hand (9-9): The Tigers are not just focused, they're hyperfocused.

Quarterfinals Bracket Breakdown

Four out of the eight teams are from the five-team Quinnipiac Division (Xaver, Fairfield Prep, Notre Dame-West Haven and West Haven). ... Hand is the only division champ that will not host a playoff game in the first round. Xavier, Amity and North Haven all won their division. ...If West Haven pulls off upsets in each round, it will technically host the final, since it is at West Haven High School due to renovations at Yale Field. ... Despite the success of the Milford Post 196 team last summer, no Milford team qualified for the SCC tournament.

The Quarterfinal Capsules

No. 8 Hand at No. 1 Xavier, 4 p.m.

Season series: Did not play. 
All about Hand: Won the SCC Hammonasset Division title outright for the first time in school history. ... The Tigers are currently 1-3 against teams that qualified for the SCC tournament. ... The Tigers did win three consecutive games all season.
Hand's top players: Sr. Ben Bednarczyk, Sr. Adam Nuzzo, Jr. Scott Braren.
Hand coach: Travis LaPointe.
All about Xavier: Won the SCC Quinnipiac Division with a perfect 8-0 record. ... Close the season on a 13-game winning streak, the longest in the SCC. ... 4-1 against SCC playoff teams, the only team to beat them is Shelton. ... The Falcons are averaging 8.5 runs per game.
Xavier's top players: Sr. Matt Albanese, Jr. Jack Gethings, Jr. Chris Cardi, Jr. Sean Carroll.
Xavier coach: Rich Magner.
Prediction: Xavier 9-4.

No. 7 West Haven at No. 2 Amity, 4 p.m.

Season series: Amity won only meeting 10-4 on April 6.
All about West Haven: 2-1 in extra inning games, with the lone loss coming to top-seeded Xavier 3-2 in nine innings. ... Longest winning streak of the season is four games. The Blue Devils won four games twice this season. ... West Haven went 1-7 against SCC tournament teams.
West Haven's top players: Sr. Cameron Stone, Sr. Tyler Gambardella, Sr. Bobby Moretti, Jr. Nick Price.
West Haven coach: Mike Anquillare.
All about Amity: Won the SCC Housatonic Division for the 10th straight season. ... Won the SCC last season. ... Are only giving up 1.6 runs per game through 18 games. ... Two of the Spartans three loses came courtesy of unearned runs. ... All of their defeats are one-run losses.
Amity's top players: Sr. Mike Concato, Sr. Sam Nepiarsky, Jr. Jake Russo, Sr. Keith Klebart, Sr. Justin Ashworth.
Amity coach: Sal Coppola.
Prediction: Amity 6-2.

No. 6 Notre Dame-West Haven at No. 3 Fairfield Prep, 4 p.m.

Season series: Fairfield Prep won both meetings, 7-6 (12) on April 15 and 4-0 on May 6
All about Notre Dame-West Haven: Played most of the season without two best players, Greg Zullo and Griffin Garabedian. ... The Green Knights got upset by Law in the first round last season. ... The Green Knights ended the season on a three-game winning streak, its third three-game winning streak of the season.
Notre Dame-West Haven's top players: Sr. Griffin Garabedian, Sr. Greg Zullo, Sr. Wes Paulsen, Jr. Drew Arciuolo, Sr. Troy Terzi, Jr. John Amendola.
Notre Dame-West Haven coach: Lou Kessler.
All about Prep: Finished second in the SCC Quinnipiac Division. ... Lost two of its last three games to close the season. ... Opened the year on a season-high four-game winning streak. ... 5-4 against SCC tournament teams. ... Defeated Amity 1-0.
Prep's top players: Jr. Shawn Blake, Sr. David Gerics, Jr. Dean Lockery,
Prep coach: Rudy Mauritz.
Prediction: Notre Dame-West Haven 6-4 (8).

No. 5 Shelton at No. 4 North Haven, 4:30 p.m.

Season series: North Haven won lone meeting 1-0 on April 22.
All about Shelton: Lost in last season's SCC final. ... Won a season-high five games in a row in mid April. ... Only team to beat Xavier this season. ... The Gaels defeated Xavier the same day the Falcons were voted No. 1 in the state. ... 3-5 against teams in the SCC tournament heading into last game of the season. ... Only lost back-to-back games this season once, losing to Amity and North Haven on April 19 and 22.
Shelton's top players: Sr. Ryan Testani, Sr. Vin Backert, Sr. Marcello Usrini, Sr. Tyler Tice, Sr. Ed Groth, So. Justin Lynch.
Shelton coach: Scott Gura.
All about North Haven: Won the SCC Oronoque Division. .. There were a total of 20 strikeouts in the Indians 1-0 victory over the Gaels. ... Won a season-high eight straight games in mid-April. ... 3-1 in games decided by two runs or less. ... 5-4 at home going into last game of the season.
North Haven's top players: Sr. Matt Oestreicher, Sr. Zack Brown, Sr. Chandler Andrewsen, Sr. Mike Acampora.
North Haven coach: Bob DeMayo.
Prediction: Shelton 3-1.

Who might go fishing earlier than expected?

Tournament champions

2012: Amity over Shelton 2-1.
2011: Cheshire over Fairfield Prep 14-0.
2010: Shelton over Amity 4-3 (9).
2009: Law over Foran 11-6.
2008: ND-West Haven over Amity 10-8.
2007: Guilford over Amity 7-1.
2006: Amity over Xavier 5-1.
2005: Amity over North Haven 14-3.
2004: Amity over Xavier 6-1.
2003: West Haven over Amity 7-4.
2002: North Haven over West Haven 9-6.
2001: Cancelled, co-champs declared.
2000:  Shelton over ND-West Haven 8-2.
1999:  Branford over West Haven 11-10.
1998: Xavier over Branford 6-3.
1997: ND-West Haven over North Haven 2-1.
1996: ND-West Haven over Cheshire 6-3.
1995: ND-West Haven over West Haven 2-1.