SOUTHINGTON (23 -7) vs STAMFORD (27 -4)
Ceppa Field, Meriden, (Best Two-out-of-three)
Game 1: Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Game 3 (if necessary): 45 minutes after completion of Game 2.
How they got here: Southington—Northern Division. Pod C Sectional, def. Niantic 4-3; Berlin 11-1, RCP 3-2. Super Regionals, def. Waterford 4-1; Bristol 5-2; Waterford 5-2. Stamford– Division. Pod G Sectional, def. Orange 6-0; North Haven 5-3; lost North Haven 7-1; def. North Haven 3-1. Super Regionals, def. Hamden 3-0; Naugatuck 9-5; Naugatuck 4-3.
Players to watch: Southington–P Ryan Henderson, IF/P Kyle Leifert, SS Jacob Romano, P/U Ethan McDonough, OF Sean Crean. Stamford– C Joey Skarad, SS TJ Wainwright, P/1B Grant Purpura, 3B/P Matt Wirz, 2B Noah Skaug
Storylines: Southington is the defending state champions. Stamford is playing in the championship series for the fourth time in five years, winning it all in 2017. Both teams preserved their No. 1 pitchers to an extent in the Super Regional finals. Southington’s Ryan Henderson was pulled after 79 pitches against Waterford and Stamford’s Grant Purpura came out after 80 pitches against Naugatuck. Purpura and Henderson ae both eligible to return to the mound Saturday. Every other pitcher on both teams are fully eligible to pitch beginning Friday. Both teams have qualified for the Northeast Regional in Shrewsbury, Mass. by virtue of qualifying for the championship series. The winner of the Northeast Regional moves on to play in the Legion World Series in Shelby, NC.
— Scott Ericson