The ‘Curse of the State Tournament’ could turn out to be a blessing for Orange Post 127. However Orange, which has players from Class LL champ Amity, was feeling more of the curse part early in the season.
“Everyone was exhausted,” said Orange coach Rob Mirto.
Usually teams with players who go far in the CIAC tournament tend to struggle, hence the curse of the state tourney. Post 127 has gotten it together and will end the season with a three-game series with Stratford for second place in Zone 2.
“The kids are looking forward to it,” Mirto said.
Orange will play at Stratford Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Thursday at 5:45 p.m. and host Stratford Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Orange has not played Stratford this season. Mirto said his team scouted its Zone 2 foe in a tilt against Hamden and came away very impressed.
Stratford is 20-6 and has won three out of its last four, but is coming off a 3-1 loss to New Haven. Meanwhile Orange is 21-6 and has won four straight.
“We should be in for a pretty good series,” Mirto said.
Post 127 has gotten production from Amity’s better players, like Jake Russo, Nick Fusco, Ross Weiner, Sebastian DiMauro, Chris Winkel and Mike Appel.
Orange’s offense comes into the game with slightly more runs under its belt, averaging 6.6 runs to Stratford’s 5.3. Both teams feature good pitching as Fusco, Weiner and Appel lead a staff that has only surrendered 30 earned runs.
Post 127 also gains a slight advantage due to its 12-3 record away from home. Orange has won three straight road games.
Despite having some tired players after Amity’s run to a state crown, Orange is back in position to fight for a state title of its own. Amity was a 17-seed and ran roughshod through Class LL. Mirto said if they could do it before, why not now?
“We know we’re going to have to go through a similar thing here,” he said. “And having gone through it once doesn’t hurt.”