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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.

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