No. 4 LEWIS MILLS (21-3) vs. No. 3 WATERFORD (21-3)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Palmer Field, Middletown.
On the Web: NFHS Network (Subscription required)
Championship game appearances: This is the first appearance for Lewis Mills while Waterford makes its 16th appearance, going 9-6 previously.
What to look for: This is the first-ever trip to a state championship game for Lewis Mills, which went 17-3 in the Berkshire League. The Spartans have won three of their four tourney games by a single run, most recently Wednesday’s 5-4 win over Haddam-Killingworth (which also marked the first trip to the state semifinals in school history). The team is led by centerfielder Jared Czarnecki and Will Coughlin, whose double in the sixth inning broke the tie and proved to be the winning run in the win over H-K. Lewis Mills trailed 4-0 in the first inning of that game. Will Willett pitched a complete game for the win but won’t be eligible to pitch on Friday. The start will most likely go to junior righthander Kyle Alvarez. Waterford will likely be the favorite on Friday. The Lancers went 17-3 in the ECC and has romped to wins of 13-1, 11-1, 7-0 and 13-3 in their tourney games thus far. Waterford has won 11 straight overall. Michael Burrows, a junior righthander, struck out 21 batters in a win over Killingly back in April. He homered in Waterford’s 13-3 semifinal win over St. Joseph on Wednesday. The Lancers pulled away with a six-run fourth inning in that one, keyed by a two-run double by Alex Petchark.
You should know: Lewis Mills had never even made it as far as the state quarterfinals since 1982 before this year’s run.