South Windsor coach Mike McDermott isn’t overly concerned with statistics, even his own team’s record. And he certainly doesn’t care much about polls that rank the state’s top teams.
Unfortunately, according to McDermott, some of his players may have been a bit caught up in the rankings during the Bobcats’ CCC showdown at Tolland on May 16. A day after No. 1 Amity had fallen to Notre Dame-West Haven, South Windsor was poised to vault to the top of the Register/GametimeCT poll with a win over Tolland.
Perhaps a bit too focused on being No. 1, the Bobcats got walked off by Tolland, 6-5. It was just South Windsor’s second loss of the season — both of them in walk-off fashion.
South Windsor remains at No. 2 in this week’s poll.
“I don’t pay attention to that,” McDermott said late last week. “It’s probably one of the things that has brought up some issues, where my kids were getting caught up in that (stuff). I don’t like how we played the game against Tolland. We broke down a little bit. That’s not typically us.”
“Bottom line is, it depends on where you are in a couple of weeks.”
South Windsor should be right in the mix in this year’s Class LL tournament. It’s a solid team, with no real superstars. But then, according to McDermott, “other than Amity, it doesn’t look like there’s any really great teams out there. There’s a handful of solid teams like us that are capable of beating anyone.”
South Windsor is led by junior shortstop Will Nowak, who also functions as the team’s closer and may get a start in the state tournament.
“He’s one of the better shortstops in the state,” McDermott said. “He can swing it, he’s got power. When he comes in to close games, he can bring it.”
Junior pitcher Evan Hapkiewicz is 5-0 on the mound while also playing some outfield and swinging a good bat. Zach Donahue is a switch-hitting left fielder who is also 4-0 on the mount, and junior centerfielder Ben Custer is a dynamic defensive player who “catches everything,” according to his coach.
South Windsor (16-2) was slated to play East Catholic on Monday and Manchester on Tuesday before a week layoff until the Class LL tournament begins on May 30.
“The team who gets hot and plays well for two weeks, that’s what you have to do this year,” said McDermott, who’s in his third year at the helm at South Windsor after coaching for 20 seasons at East Hartford. “I don’t see any shutdown pitchers out there, including us. I’ve got good pitching, not great pitching.”
Will it be enough to win a LL title? Stay tuned.
Mr. October in May?
Best performance of last week had to belong to Hopkins’ Alexis Galinovsky, who went all Reggie Jackson with three home runs in his first three at-bats against St. Luke’s on May 15.
Galinovsky’s heroics helped No. 3 seed Hopkins beat No. 6 St. Luke’s in a Fairchester League tournament quarterfinal game in New Haven.
Galinovsky, who drove in four runs, was intentionally walked his fourth time up.