Local Baseball Predictions/Thoughts

Ok, the local baseball season has kicked off with practices and scrimmages already

taking place.  This promises to be an interesting year locally as there are some very

talented players and teams in the area.  Let’s start with the best teams in the area heading

into the season.  I think you would have to put Waterford and St. Bernard as the hands

down two best teams in the area right now.  Waterford has 3 very good pitchers in Nolan

Long, who may get drafted this June, Jordan Hamler who throws very well, and the

crafty lefty Dargie.  With some quality veteran leadership behind the plate in James

Annello, and some other returning starters Waterford doesn’t figure to lose more than

2-3 games with that pitching staff.   Long throws very hard and if he is locating the strike

zone it will be hard to beat him.  Hamler threw as well as anybody last summer and

has a big time arm.  I don’t see either one of them losing more than once, if at all based

on their schedule.  I fully expect Waterford to be in the ECC final, and go a very, very

long way in the Class L state tournament.  Regular season prediction, 18-2.

St. Bernard probably has the best team top to bottom in the area, with pitching and

proven quality starters.  Obviously I am a little biased toward them because I coached

all these kids, but considering the fact that we won 16 games last year {including the

ECC Small and a trip to the ECC Tournament Finals} playing all underclassmen, you

would have to think it will be hard for somebody to trip up the Saints this year.  Leading

the way again for the Saints will be the core group of Sean Hurley, Jon Malchiodi, Avery

Barlow, Izzy Davila, Pete Aldrich, Bryan Harper, Tristan Hurley, and Willie Rios.  The

pitching staff of Rios, Aldrich, Davila, Hurley, and others is by far the deepest in Eastern

CT.  Rios dominated the likes of Waterford, NFA, and others last year as a freshman and

has gotten better.  It is very likely that Rios may only lose one or two games in his high

school career, if that.  Aldrich threw a 2 hit shutout against ECC Medium Champ NL in the

ECC Tourney Semi’s, Davila pitched on one leg {had a severely pulled hamstring} in

the ECC Final and left the game in the 6th inning with a 3-1 lead, before we went to a

Senior reserve pitcher and lost the game.  Hurley won the quarterfinal game against

Plainfield, frustrating them with an array of off-speed pitches.  Regular Season prediction

is the Saints go 18-2, maybe 19-1 and roll to the Class S state championship.  The only

team that could beat them is if they run into defending champion East Hampton, and

the state’s top prospect in Marvin Gorgas.  As a freshman last season, Gorgas led the

Bellringers to the title on the mound and at SS.  He was clocked at the state final last

year at 91 mph.

Other teams that could give the Lancers and Saints a run this season could be East Lyme,

who has won the last two ECC tournament titles so you can’t count them out.  They always

field a good team and have the area’s best catcher in Chase Livingston behind the dish,

and one of the best shortstops around in Zach Kane.  Jack Biggs always does a good

job with his kids, and they play the right way.

Montville has won two consecutive Class M state championships and return the bulk

of their team, although its hard to gauge how good they are because they play in the

Tech School heavy Class M division of the states, which is generally regarded as the

weakest division in terms of state tournament play.  Last year Montville finished 9th

or 10th in the league and didn’t qualify for the ECC Tournament. They do have two

really good pitchers in Tre Gonzalez and Corey Wilcox, so they should be able to waltz

through Class M again this year on their way to a state championship.

One team that could give them trouble is Stonington, and if they see Luke Foster on

the mound.  With Foster on the hill, Stonington instantly becomes a dangerous opponent

for anybody. He is capable of beating anybody in the league, and recently accepted a

baseball scholarship to University of New Haven.  With veteran starters like Connor Buckley,

who is headed to play for Avery Point, and Paul Hallinan the Bears will be a tough

matchup all season for teams.

Some other teams to watch would be Fitch, who have perhaps the best all around player

in the area in Aaron Hill, Bacon Academy {can you ever count out the living legend

Dave Shea?}, Lyman Memorial has a bunch of good players returning, Griswold has

2 really good pitchers in Tyler Mikula and Adam Davis, New London has the kid

with the best smile and disposition in the league Casanova Crespo, and I like what I’ve

seen so far from Old Lyme in the Shoreline.

Waterford wins the Large, Montville wins the Medium, St. B’s wins the small.  There it

is.  Love to hear some thoughts from the peanut gallery.

3 responses to “Local Baseball Predictions/Thoughts”

  1. Jack says:

    Good preview coach, but until somebody beats the Vikings they are the team to beat in the ecc. Although I’m sure Waterford and Saint Bernards will both be good too.

    • buscettosports says:

      Jack,

      That is very fair to say about East Lyme but this year I just see Waterford having a little bit too much for them in the large.

  2. Mike says:

    You may be overhyping Waterford up a little bit, some of their pitching is still unproven. St b’s will be the best team, but I also think Fitch will be good as well.

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