Round of Applause
The Hit Club won the Connecticut AABC Sandy Koufax (13-14-year-olds) state championship last weekend at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury. The team, based at The Hit Club in Thomaston, plays a full regular-season schedule plus a number of tournaments throughout the region and east coast. In the state tournament, the squad ran through the first two days before falling to Overlook of Waterbury, 6-3. The Hit Club drew a bye into the championship game, where it fell behind Yalesville, 3-0, before rallying for an 11-3, run-rule victory. The team features a number of local players, including Beacon Falls’ Tanner Kingsley, Prospect’s Mike Kenney, and Naugatuck’s Adam Tavares and Ricky Plasky, and advanced to this week’s AABC North Atlantic Regional Tournament in Troy, N.Y. Earlier this season, the team won a tournament in Delaware in which Kingsley earned tournament MVP honors after pitching a no-hitter, a one-hitter, and hitting two home runs. Congratulations to The Hit Club and good luck in the regional.
The Naugatuck summer volleyball league is starting up for another seven-week season at Naugatuck High. The league, run by Naugatuck coach Fred Scheithe, is a unique league that allows a number of area teams to gain experience with the players who will be on the squads when high schools start practice at the end of August. Each school’s team is coached by a volunteer not on a high school staff and every squad gets to play every Monday and Wednesday for seven weeks, creating a grand total of 14 games. That’s not bad at all, especially when the high school regular season is 18 games. I checked out a few nights of action last summer, and the league is really spectacular. There’s enough organization to make it run smoothly, but it’s not so rigid as to ease everybody back into volleyball and make it a fun way to spend some summer evenings. Kudos to Scheithe for giving up time in his summer to run such a good league.
My internship in Newport is really going great as I’m closing in on two months on the job. I couldn’t ask for a nicer place to work than Cardines Field in downtown Newport, R.I. and I couldn’t ask for better people to work with than the folks I’ve been lucky enough to have. The rest of the staff is a lot of fun to work with and I’m having a blast serving as the color broadcaster for all of our home games. But the best part of the internship so far has been getting to know the guys on the team. In case you’re not familiar with the concept of summer collegiate baseball and the New England Collegiate Baseball League, college coaches throughout the country contact organizations to find places for their players to play during the summer. The NECBL is one of the best such leagues in the nation, so the Gulls have some great players but even better characters on the roster. For example, on a recent trip to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, three players won stuffed penguins, one player won a stuffed bear, another won a stuffed dinosaur, and one more won a beach ball. To make that better, our closer, Mike Dimock from Wake Forest, came on a pregame show with me and I interviewed him and his penguin, Captain Solo. (Completely serious—I’ll try to get a video of it soon and post it to CN’s website.) Another relief pitcher, Dan Zlotnick from Marist, wears a superstitious T-shirt featuring all sorts of jungle cats underneath his uniform, while another hurler, Joe Hughes from East Carolina, came on the show and did a segment impersonating our pitching coach. Yes, this is how I’m spending my summer.
Chorus of Boos
Water in your ears is right up there with getting something in your eye as the most annoying thing that can happen to your head. This is particularly awful when you’re spending a summer in a beach town and you like being in the ocean better than being on the beach. My ear was soggy for a few weeks, so I decided to get it checked out. Sure enough, my ear was blocked up by all sorts of things (I think they said they found a shell in there), so after a solid cleaning, my ears feel like new. Sometimes you don’t realize how much fun it is to have correctly working ears until you actually notice that they’re on the sides of your head.
1 More win for Prospect-Beacon Falls American Legion Posts 194-25 this summer than last; PBF finished 5-22 in 2011 after a 4-23 record in 2010.
3 Wins for PBF Legion over the final eight days of the season after the team won two games over the first few weeks of the campaign.
4 Naugatuck players on the Housatonic Valley All-Star team that won the Senior Babe Ruth state tournament last week at Naugatuck High; the team beat Stamford, 6-0, to advance to the regional tournament in New Hampshire
11 Unanswered runs scored by The Hit Club to rally past Yalesville, 11-3, in the Sandy Koufax state championship on Sunday night at Municipal Stadium; four local players on the roster will compete in the regional tournament this week in Troy, N.Y.
54 Days, from Friday, until the first game of the high school football season when Seymour meets O’Brien Tech (pending the tech school athletic budget cuts, of course…).
Lips to CN’s Ear
“The first part of the season we were actually pretty hot with the bats. We would out-hit our opponents a lot of the time. We just didn’t seem to get the timely hit we needed. We were on the bad side of a lot of low-scoring games.”
Prospect-Beacon Falls American Legion Posts 194-25 pitcher and infielder Kyle Georgia reflecting on his team’s season. PBF struggled on offense, dealing several hard-luck losses to its pitchers en route to a 5-22 season, a one-win improvement from the 2010 campaign. Posts 194-25 ended the season with a 3-2 win over Danbury last Saturday.
“I’m happy for the kids that they got to end the season on a winning note. It’s been a tough season but this is a great group of kids and they never gave up. They came to play every day. A couple of hits here and there might have changed our luck a bit but it is certainly something we can build on for next season.”
Naugatuck American Legion Post 17 coach Bob Dibble after the team won its season finale last Saturday in a 6-5 comeback victory over Monroe. Matt Zahornasky, the team’s ace all season, paced Naugy to the doubleheader split with a complete-game victory in the second contest. Post 17 finished 9-18 on the season.
“A lot of these girls haven’t played the game since the end of last season. It’s a good way for the girls to get back into game shape before the start of the school season. We have volunteer coaches to run the league and several NVL teams are represented.”
Naugatuck volleyball coach Fred Scheithe on the annual Naugatuck summer volleyball league he runs at Naugatuck High for seven weeks at the end of each summer. Many Naugatuck Valley League schools participate in the league to prepare for the high school season by playing 14 games prior to the start of practice at the end of August.