It’s been a great season of baseball. Below are some of the best moments of the season and some of the best quotes. Here’s what caught my eye this season:
On April 21, Branford and East Haven took to the field for what they thought would be a normal SCC divisional contest. What transpired was a two day game that taught us all a rule we probably didn’t know.
ACT ONE >> So apparently you do not have to announce when a substitution is made. East Haven and the umpires thought so in the Yellow Jackets’ tilt with Branford. Branford trailed 7-5 in the seventh when Cory Williams, who entered unannounced in the sixth, laced a go-ahead bases-clearing double with the bases loaded to give the Hornets an 8-7 lead. However, East Haven protested that Williams was an illegal substitution. The protest was upheld and the Yellow Jackets won. End of story, right? Not quite.
ACT TWO >> OK, remember the East Haven/Branford game? The one that ended 7-5 East Haven. Well, Branford protested that substitutions do not have to be announced and lo and behold, coach Ed Bethke was right. The game resumed two days later with the Hornets up 8-7. However, A.J. Ventura singled in Pete Grippo in the bottom of the seventh inning to give East Haven a 9-8 win.
Not many things in sports are better than a walk-off. A few area teams and their fans can probably vouch for that after more than a few took place on April 28.
KEEP WALKING >> Three games reported to the Register ended with walk-offs. In West Haven, Notre Dame-West Haven’s Aiden Burton drove in the winning run with a single to lift the Green Knights over Xavier 3-2. Meanwhile in Hamden, Joe Ganim was busy singling home Dean Lockery to wrap up a 3-2 victory over Hamden in eight innings for Fairfield Prep. Not to be outdone, Jake Ward singled home Nick Powers to lift Morgan over Old Saybrook 7-6 in 10 innings. Shaving cream for everybody!
With Notre Dame-West Haven taking on Bunnell in the Class L quarterfinals, it only made sense to match up the best two pitchers in the state. However, one of them would steal the show.
JOHNNY BE GOOD >> Notre Dame-West Haven senior pitcher John Amendola is arguably the best pitcher in the Southern Connecticut Conference. Bunnell’s Ron Rossomando is arguably the best in the state, winning Connecticut Gatorade Player of the year. When the two went head-to-head, Amendola was the one who earned the Gatorade shower twirling a one-hitter with five strikeouts in a 3-0 victory. Amendola came within one out of a no-hitter, surrendering his first hit with two outs in the seventh.
Some pretty interesting things can happen when a reporter sticks a voice recorder in a coach’s or player’s face after a game. Below are some of the best quotes from this season.
“I told the kids that it’s simple: next time I’ll leave my starter in and my relievers will join the rest of us and watch from the bench. I can’t take a starter out with a 10-1 lead and a two-hitter? We end up in a one-run game?”
— Xavier coach Rich Magner after his team almost blew a 10-1 lead in the seventh inning of a 10-9 victory over East Haven April 25.
“We just started saying be the guy. Don’t wait for someone else to do something to help the team, you do it yourself.”
— Staples senior Justin Gallanty after the Wreckers 9-5 victory over Darien May 9.
“When we were 3-7 we didn’t panic, and we’re letting our ability show. We’re going to be a dangerous draw for anyone in the state tournament.”
— Hand coach Travis LaPointe after his team clinched a spot in the state playoffs with a 10-5 victory over Career on May 14.
“The thought there was that Marvin kills us. Marvin belongs in a higher league. So we wanted to take our chances going after the other guys that belong in this league.”
— Portland coach Rick Borg after intentionally walking Marvin Gorgas, even though he represented the tying run. Portland topped top-seeded East Hampton 4-1 June 3 in the state tournament en route to winning Class S.