BERLIN — The Berlin baseball team knows better than to get wrapped up in seedings at tournament time.
Foran, as the last seed in 2017, knocked out highly-seeded Berlin in the second round en route to winning the state title.
Berlin pitcher Mark Addamo and the Redcoats’ consistent hitting, however, made sure that there would not be a repeat on Saturday.
Adams struck out seven as top-seed Berlin defeated No. 24 Foran 7-1 in the Class L quarterfinals on Saturday at Sgt. Zipadelli Field.
“We don’t look at that, not at all,” Berlin coach Leo Veleas said. “Coach (Frank) Vieira once told me about preparing for another team: ‘Did they show up? Did they bring their bats and balls.’ That’s what he said.”
Veleas, now in his 33rd season at the helm for the Redcoats, took the words of Vieira, the Hall-of-Fame coach at the University of New Haven, words to heart.
“There is no extra pressure with a high seed,” he said. “It’s tourney time, it’s one and done. Anything can happen.”
Addamo allowed only one hit through five innings and, by the time Foran broke through with a run in the top of the sixth, Berlin was comfortably in front 6-1.
The Redcoats (21-2) will play No. 12 seed Notre Dame-West Haven (15-8) — which toppled Hand 7-3 — on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.
“Berlin was good, they hit, pitched and played defense (equal to their seed),” Foran coach Garrett Walker said. “This is the second time in the last three years that we’ve been at least this deep (the quarterfinals). Each kid in our program played a part.”
Paul D’Amore and Jeff Kuzoian had RBI singles in the first to stake Addamo to a 2-0 lead.
A right-handed junior, Addamo used his fastball to get ahead in the count. He only allowed a third-inning one-out single to Ryan Gosselin.
In the meantime, the Redcoats, who totaled 11 hits on the day off two pitchers, tacked on three runs in the bottom of the third.
Tommy Hyjek and Nick Melville had consecutive one-out singles off Lions’ starter Rich Piscitelli. Holden Murphy smacked a two-run single through the hole into left field. Daniel Veleas’ RBI-single made it 5-0.
“He did a good job throwing strikes,” Veleas said of Addamo. “It’s all about pitching and defense … and we swung the bats pretty good, too.”
Ryan Hyde singled and later scored on an infield error to take the Berlin lead to 6-0 after four.
Foran’s Rich Carino and Shane McCone put singles back to back with one out in the sixth. Carino scored on a fielder’s choice ground out by James Carbone.
Kuzoian answered that tally with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.
Daniel Veleas (2 RBIs), Kuzoian (2 RBIs) and Murphy (RBI) each had two hits.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Berlin’s Mark Addamo: He stayed ahead in the count, struck out eight, and let his defense make plays.