2014 BASEBALL PREVIEW
Wethersfield's JP Tarascio will help lead the Eagles this spring
This winter seems to have no end. However, blustery winds and snowfall is slowly giving way to warmer temperatures and the smell of spring. This can only mean one thing--- baseball season is here. As the long winter turns into spring, baseball teams are encouraged by the hope of a new season. There’s reason to believe that this may be the season of change for the four local baseball teams. Here’s a look at what to expect this season.
Cromwell is coming off a demoralizing loss in the Class S Championship game last season. The Panthers finished 2013 with a record of 22-5 and came within a finals loss to Oxford of capturing their second straight state championship. Coach Lewis Pappariella has ace Logan Lessard returning to the mound. The senior pitcher finished his junior campaign with an impressive 8-2 record, tossing shutouts in four of his starts. His 1.06 ERA was good for second-best on the team and he was productive from the plate as well, driving in 13 runs on 27 hits. Fellow senior Kevin Radziwicz will also be counted on for offensive production. The catcher is coming off of a 27 hit, 23 run campaign. Cromwell’s first home game is Friday, April 11th against Haddam-Killingworth. First pitch is 3:45 p.m. at Cromwell High School.
Newington is two years removed from winning the Class LL Championship and is looking to rebound from an inconsistent 2013 season. The Indians finished the 2013 regular season with 12 wins, before losing a 3-2 heartbreaker to Glastonbury in the second round of the tournament. Skipper Ben Alaimo enters his second season leading the Indians and he has plenty of power returning to the lineup. Senior Marcus Guadarrama, who also stars at football and basketball, is coming off of an impressive junior season and has plenty of pop from the plate. The team will play their first home game on Saturday, April 12th against Maloney. First pitch is 1 p.m. at Alumni Baseball Field.
Rocky Hill heads into the 2014 season with new hope. Last season the Terriers finished 15-7, which was a six game improvement from the previous season. The Terrier’s 15 wins were the most in the Central Connecticut East. The 2013 season was the first for manager Chris Farrell, who will be looking to build on the success of last season’s team that lost in the first round of the Class M tournament. Chris Bounchard and Tommy Seaver lead a strong group of seniors who are hoping to take the Terriers on a state title ride. The team’s first home game is Thursday, April 10th at Rocky Hill High School against Conard. First pitch is 3:45 p.m.
Wethersfield hopes to carry the momentum from last season into this spring. The Eagles played well during the 2013 regular season, but their play went to the next level once the Class L tournament stated. The Eagles won two tournament games before falling to the eventual champion, New Canaan, in the quarterfinals. JP Tarascio and Ryan Peterson return to lead a talented group of seniors, who are hoping their final season ends with a title shot. Veteran manager Mark Bagdasarian’s Eagles open with a six-game road trip, but they return home on Monday, April 28th to play Tolland at 3:45 p.m. The game against Tolland will be part of a four-game home stand.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin