TERRYVILLE >> This summer’s Terryville American Legion team has a different vibe. A big reason is the team’s attitude.
“After our comeback win against Unionville, Blaise (Russo) had the best quote: ‘you can’t beat the team that doesn’t give up,’” Terryville coach Dave Alarcon said.
Terryville has players from four different schools — Terryville, Thomaston, Holy Cross and St. Paul — two of which won league championships this spring.
They have four core players — All-State shortstop Mike Milius, Blaise Russo, Matt Tehan and Jake Tehan — from the Thomaston team that won the school’s first Berkshire League title since 1985 and reached the Class S title game.
“They had a taste of getting to that spot,” Alarcon said.
They also have two of the top players — third baseman, pitcher Kyle Skidmore and center fielder Mike Chiovitti — from the Holy Cross team that took home the NVL tournament title.
“All the schools are contributing,” said Milius, who hit .551 this past spring, while stealing 24 bases. “We have lots of energy and tons of talent.”
Though the schools play in separate conferences, the players know each other from either growing up with each other or just hearing about them.
“Since I know how good Thomaston was, the mix of kids we have makes us a top team in the league,” Skidmore said. “We finally have a nice shortstop (Milius), I had to play there, Blaise adds a new arm into the rotation and Matt’s a stud who will get it done with the bat.”
Last season Terryville finished 8-14. This season with seven players coming off championship high school seasons, the winning has carried over.
“We are playing as hard as we can and we are looking like a much better team, definitely defensively,” Skidmore said.
“Good winning attitude. We have guys from Holy Cross, St. Paul and Terryville. Mix them together and that’s one helluva team.” said Russo who went 9-0 overall this season with a 2:34 ERA. “We’re a lot stronger this year, two titles on one team, the winning attitude is a lot better.”
So far this season Terryville hasn’t had their entire team together, though that hasn’t stopped them from starting the summer 4-2.
“We still haven’t had a game with our whole roster,” Alarcon said. “That’s a scary thing.”