5 Storylines That Could Shape The Tournament
The most competitive Class? >> Is most likely M. Plainfield, Montville And Waterford have all spent some time as the No. 1
team in the state. NVL champ Holy Cross and star pitcher Ben Brown join FCIAC semifinalist St. Joseph and star Nick Williams in the class as well. But wait, maybe it’s Class LL? The class features SCC finalists Xavier and Amity, the overall No. 1 seed Fairfield Prep, which was also the top team in the state twice this year. Also the behemoths of the CCC and FCIAC are here like Staples and Southington. Maybe it’s L with seemingly unbeatable Berlin and Notre Dame-West Haven?
Did you know? >> In the last 10 seasons the Class LL final winners have won by an average margin of 3.6, Class L winners by 2.5, M winners by three and S winners by 3.8 runs.
To rest or not to rest? >> The biggest conference in the state, the 32-team CCC does not have a postseason tournament. The rest has paid off, as CCC teams have advance to the Class LL title game in three straight years. One of those years, 2011, it was an All CCC final with Newington topping Southington. However, in the final against non CCC teams, the conference is 0-2.
Did you know? >> The last time a CCC school won a Class LL title by beating a non-CCC school was in 1996 when East Hartford beat Cheshire.
Will Berlin ever lose? >> Berlin has run off 19 straight wins since losing its season-opener. Berlin has outscored opponents 196-52. Berlin has scored double-digits nine times. They’ve also played none of the teams that are currently in the Top 10 Poll. So maybe they could lose.
Did you know? >> Out of the three teams that went 19-1 last season only one of them, Northwestern, even made it to the final. Northwestern came up short however, losing to St. Joseph 2-1 in the Class M final.
The Shoreline Invitational >> Cromwell or East Hampton? Logan Lessard or Marvin Gorgas? Not an easy decision, but these two SLC juggernauts could put fans in that predicament at Palmer Field in June. East Hampton is the top seed to Cromwell, who finished second in Class S. East Hampton no-hit Cromwell thanks to Gorgas. The Panthers have been to the Class S final in back-to-back seasons.
Did you know? >> If the Panthers go back to the final, it will be the first Class S team to advance to three straight finals since Immaculate went four years straight from 2001-2004.
Will the streak continue? >> The SCC has had a team win a state crown for eight straight seasons. An SCC team has also captured back-to-back Class LL titles, with Amity taking it last year and Shelton in 2012. Amity again is a title contender, Notre Dame-West Haven is also a contender in Class L with Law. Fairfield Prep lost in the Class LL semis last year and with timely hitting, could be back in the mix again this year.
Did you know? >> The last time an SCC team did not win a state crown, two conference teams still advanced to the final. Amity in Class LL and Sheehan in Class M in 2005.
5 Players That Could Lead Their Team To A Title
• John Amendola, P, Notre Dame-West Haven, Sr: Amendola committed to Northeastern University last summer. He went 7-1 during the regular-season, taking a hard-luck 2-0 loss to North Haven as his only regular season loss. If he gets run support, the Green Knights can beat anyone.
• Anthony Capozziello, Amity, OF, Sr.: Was huge in the middle of the lineup for the Defending Class LL champs. Cap has emerged as one of the better hitters in the SCC and state. If Amity is going anywhere, it’ll need production out of Cap.
• Marvin Gorgas, P/SS, East Hampton, Sr.: There may be no better pitcher in Class S than Gorgas. The senior captured a gold medal with the USA National team last fall and could add a Class S crown to it this spring. He twirled a no-hitter against Class S title contender Cromwell and has been tough as nails all season.
• Joey Rivera, P, Southington, Sr.: The UConn-bound pitcher has helped lead the Blue Knights to a 17-3 season. The CCC doesn’t have a conference tournament, so Rivera is rested and the Blue Knights rotation is set for the Class LL tourney.
• Ronnie Rossomando, P, Bunnell, Jr.: The UConn commit captured the Gatorade Player of the Year and could be the hardest thrower in the state. Rossomando’s Bulldogs fell short in the SWC tournament, which means more time for Rossomando to rest his throwing arm.
Upset Predictions Sure To Go Wrong
Upsets happen in the playoffs, especially in baseball. Actually upsets in state tournament baseball are as common as wrong predictions by this humble writer. So below are upset predictions sure to go wrong. Or not, sometimes I get them right. Rarely. Enjoy!
First round: No. 25 Wilton over No. 8 Glastonbury.
Second round: No. 17 Amity over No. 1 Fairfield Prep; No. 12 Greenwich over No. 5 Naugatuck; No. 11 Fairfield Ludlowe over No. 6 Manchester.
Quarterfinals: No. 17 Amity over No. 9 Cheshire; No. 12 Greenwich over No. 4 Simsbury.
Final Four: No. 17 Amity, No. 12 Greenwich, No. 2 Staples, No. 3 Southington.
Final: No. 17 Amity over No. 2 Staples.
First round: No. 21 Hand over No. 12 Windsor; No. 23 Fermi over No. Avon.
Second round: No. 9 New Canaan over No. 8 Cheney Tech; No. 11 Maloney over No. 6 Torrington.
Quarterfinals: No. 9 New Canaan over No. 1 Berlin; No. 7 Darien over No. 2 Law
Final four: No. 9 New Canaan, No. 4 Notre Dame-West Haven, No. 7 Darien, No. 3 E.O. Smith
Final: No. 4 Notre Dame-West Haven over No. 7 Darien
First round: No. 25 North Branford over No. 8 Wilcox Tech; No. 19 Ansonia over No. 14 East Catholic.
Second round: No. 12 St. Joseph over No. 5 Waterford; No. 19 Ansonia over No. 3 Goodwin.
Quarterfinals: No. 9 Holy Cross over No. 1 Rocky Hill; No. 19 Ansonia over No. 6 Weston.
Final four: No. 9 Holy Cross, No. 4 Montville, No. 2 Plainfield, No. 19 Ansonia
Final: No. 2 Plainfield over No. 4 Montville.
First round: No. 21 Trinity Catholic over No. 12 Putnam.
Second round: No. 9 Westbrook over No. 8 Housatonic; No. 10 St. Bernard over No. 7 Somers.
Quarterfinals: No. 6 Notre Dame-Fairfield over No. 3 Thomaston.
Final four: No. 1 East Hampton, No. 4 Seymour, No. 2 Cromwell, No. 6 Notre Dame-Fairfield.
Final: No. 1 East Hampton over No. 2 Cromwell.