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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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Spring Training Report (Day 2)

BATTER'S BOX: Well it is day 2 of our Spring Training Report. Yesterday we gave you a glimpse of the SCC Hammonasset Division. Today we step into the Oronoque where Career is hoping baseball season is a lot like basketball season, Branford sets the bar high, North Haven is still searching and speed is the name of the game at Wilbur Cross.

School: Career Magnet, New Haven
Nickname: Panthers
Conference: SCC (Oronoque)
Class: S
Coach: Brad Chernovetz (20 seasons overall, 14th season)
2011 record: 12-10
How it ended: Lost 5-4 to second-seeded East Hampton in the second round of the Class S tournament. Career was the No. 15 seed, the Panthers gave East Hampton its closest game of the tournament as EH went on to win Class S.
Captains: (All seniors) Greg Johnson, centerfielder; Adam Olszyk, pitcher.
Others to watch for: Nick Nieves, pitcher; Adam Olszyk, Sr. pitcher; Melvin Santiago, Jr. pitcher, Jake Sussnan, Sr., pitcher
2012 schedule: Career Panthers


The Panthers are hoping their pitching can carry them through this season as they get acclimated to the new bats, according to Chernovetz. … Chernovetz is glad to have Johnson back on the ball club after he led the Panthers’ basketball team to their first state championship in school history. … The Panthers will play at West Rock Park where there is no fence. … Chernovetz said this will help defensively with Johnson in the outfield since he is able to track down flyballs with his speed. … Career got the field because Hillhouse disbanded its team. … Speaking of the Academics, because Hillhouse is no longer on the schedule for the Panthers, they will have to play Xavier twice this season. 

“Our goal is to just get in. Get into the Class S schedule we can compete against, so the eight win mark is always huge for us.”
Manager Brad Chernovetz
School: North Haven High School, North Haven
Nickname: Indians
Conference: SCC (Oronoque)
Class: L
Coach: Bob DeMayo (54th season)
2011 record: 13-10
How it ended: The Indians lost to fellow SCC opponent and eventual Class L kings Notre Dame-West Haven 9-1 in the quarterfinals. As the 26-seeded team in Class L, the Indians pulled off a shocking upset defeating No. 7 Sheehan 8-4 in the first round.
Captains: (All seniors) Chris Lavorgna, centerfielder (out with separated shoulder) John Johnson, third baseman.
Others to watch for: Matt Oestrecher, Jr., catcher; Jason Torello, Mke Acampora, first baseman/relief pitcher.
2012 schedule: North Haven Indians


Pitching is this team’s strongest attribute according to DeMayo. … He has some good young talent on the hill this season. … The Indians lost two outfielders and three infielders from last season’s team. … The Indians do return their catcher from last season. … DeMayo said the attitude and work ethic of his players has been excellent thus far.
“We’re still searching.”
Manager Bob DeMayo

School: Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven
Nickname: Governors
Conference: SCC (Oronoque)
Class: L
Coach: Jeff Farrell
2011 record: 3-14
How it ended: The Governors stumbled from the start of the 2011 campaign. Wilbur Cross beat Hamden to open the season and didn’t win again until May 2 when, coincidentally, the Govs defeated Hamden.
Captains: None
Others to watch for:  Charlie Padilla, Sr., pitcher/third baseman; Santos Santiago Sr., pitcher/utility Thomas Mieles Jr., Catcher 
2012 schedule: Wilbur Cross Governors


Although last season was a tough one defensively for he Govs, surrendering 158 runs, Farrell is confident in his arms this season. … He also added that his team has good speed on the base paths. … The Governors did not name any captains.

We look forward to competing this year with a good group of hard working players.
Manager Jeff Farrell

School: Branford High School, Branford
Nickname: Hornets
Conference: SCC (Oronoque)
Class: L
Coach: George Dummar
2011 record: 17-7
How it ended: Got blanked 1-0 in the second round by No. 13 New Canaan. The fourth-seeded Hornets watched the Rams go all the way to the semis where they lost to Farmington.
Captains: (All seniors) Nick Dummar, shortstop; Connor Moriarty, pitcher/outfielder; Alec Jannotta, catcher.
2012 schedule: Branford Hornets


The Hornets were undefeated in the Oronoque last season, winning all eight contests. … The team has quite a few returners and Dummar said the team should have very good defense. … Dummar is also hoping for some of the teams younger pitchers to materialize as the season progresses.

“We set the bar pretty high for our team and that bar is still high.”
Manager George Dummar


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