WEST HARTFORD – The West Hartford American Legion Post 96 baseball team is playing well at the right time with the state playoffs right around the corner.
Post 96 entered the final week of the regular season with a record of 15-4 and still harboring hopes of a shot at the top spot in Zone 7. West Hartford is 8-2 in its last 10 games after a doubleheader sweep of Glastonbury on Sunday.
“Coach Lane and myself are extremely pleased with where we are right now,” West Hartford assistant coach Sean McCann said. “The guys have put themselves in a position to compete in the post season.”
Post 96 will host a state tournament game on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Hall High. The opponent is yet to be determined.
“We know we have to raise our level of play even higher if we are to be successful in the state tournament,” McCann said.
But first things first and the Zone 7 title is up for grabs between West Hartford and RCP Post 105. Post 96 was scheduled to play Glastonbury on Wednesday and then wrap up the regular season with a home game against Newington on Thursday at 5:45 at Hall High.
RCP closes the regular season on Friday against Newington and is 1.5 games ahead of West Hartford in the standings with a record of 17-3.
West Hartford took on RCP in a huge series last week and was able to win the first game, 4-2, last Wednesday. Post 96 was led by a strong pitching performance by Max Vogel-Freeman.
Post 96 continued to show improvement on defense in the infield playing with confidence and catcher Henry Fracasso has been nearly impossible yo steal on, limiting what opposing coaches can do with runners on.
Danny Nunes, Alex White and Reid Collins led the offense in the win.
Looking to take the series in game two, West Hartford had chances but ultimately fell 2-1. Sam Dobbins used an overpowering fastball and a nice mix of offspeed stuff to keep RCP off balance but Post 96 couldn’t generate enough offense. West Hartford was blanked until scoring in the bottom of the seventh inning when they left the bases loaded.
RCP gave itself some breathing room in the standings with an 8-1 victory in game three of the series with West Hartford but was then swept in a doubleheader by Newington while Post 96 took two from Glastonbury to tighten up the Zone 7 race.
Jordan Muchin tossed a two-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory in game one over Glastonbury. Muchin has not allowed an earned run all season.
In game two Reid Collins pitched a one-hitter as Post 96 posted a 9-0 victory.
Collins was able to locate his fastball effectively while his slider consistently baffled Glastonbury hitters.
Wil Cook went 3-for-3 in the second game with Andrew Lemkuil and Danny Roth combining for four RBIs. Reid Silverheart and Neil Kelley ignited the West Hartford offense by getting on base in both games and Alex White had four RBI’s on the day with a triple, double, and a pair of singles.