Can Amity make history with four in a row?
Last season the Spartans got hot at the right time and tore through the Class LL state tournament on their way to their third straight state title.
Amity returns a core of division I talent in first baseman Chris Winkel (UConn), pitcher Eli Oliphant (Fairfield) and third baseman Brian Ronai (Yale) who look to lead the Spartans to their fourth straight state title — a feat that has never been accomplished in CIAC baseball.
Will Staples get over the hump?
Missed it by that much. In 2015, Staples played in both the FCIAC and Class LL championship games — and lost both. In 2016, the Wreckers have both the experience and the talent to bring some hardware back to Westport.
University of North Carolina commit and shortstop Ben Casparius and University of Maryland signee center fielder Nate Panzer give Staples a deadly combo in the middle of the order.
A Class LL championship rematch with Amity wouldn’t be the worth thing at Palmer Field this June.
How dominant is the SCC?
Last June, three of the four state championships were won by Southern Connecticut Conference members — Amity, North Haven and Sheehan — which refueled the debate as to which conference is the strongest in Connecticut.
On April 8 and 9 we may find out. The SCC-FCIAC Challenge will commence on a diamond near you pitting the power conferences together for no more than bragging rights and a little out-of-conference baseball. But the real answer will come June 10 and 11 at historic Palmer Field.
Can East Catholic return to No. 1 form?
For most of the 2015 spring season, East Catholic was ranked No. 1 in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register media poll — that was until the Eagles lost to eventual Class M champion Sheehan at Dodd Stadium in the semifinals.
Martin Fiori returns reigning Gatorade Player of the Year, Bryant University and All-State first team selection Jimmy Titus as well as second baseman Danny Glendon and junior pitcher Jeff Walsh who is looking to have a breakout season.
The Eagles have the talent, but can they overcome a large graduation loss and return to the top?
Will the Shoreline Conference reclaim its spot atop Class S?
For the past six years a Shoreline Conference baseball team has played in the Class S championship game.
Three of those years a Shoreline Conference team won Class S — Portland in 2014, Cromwell in 2012 and East Hampton in 2011. The Shoreline continues to be one — if not the most — competitive league in the state after sending nine teams to state tournaments last year including Morgan who continued the run to the Class S finals, but lost to Northwest Catholic.
Cromwell, Haddam-Killingworth, North Branford among others are always a threat, but which one will make the 2016 ‘Road to Palmer’ a success?
Correction: A previous edition of this story listed Tyler Gammie as a member of the East Catholic baseball team. It has been confirmed that Gammie will not be playing baseball, but lacrosse for East Catholic this season.