Wethersfield's Tyler Fote has been a monster from the plate in the tournament (Photo credit- Kelly Blaisdell)
Wethersfield had an up-and-down regular season, winning 13 of 20 games, but cranked it up once the postseason started. Tim Blaisdell got things cooking in the opening round, pitching a one-hit shutout into the seventh before Jimmy Sullivan closed out a 5-0 shutout of Stratford. Blaisdell And Sullivan each scored a pair of runs and Tyler Fote hammered a home run in the win. The Eagles then won in dramatic fashion in round two, scoring a pair of runs in the seventh including the walk-off winner from Sullivan to down Torrington 6-5. Wethersfield hosted a third tourney game in the quarterfinals, defeating New Fairfield 7-3 behind a fantastic game from Fote, who hit for the cycle and drove in two runs.
Rocky Hill snuck into the tournament at the #32-seed following a 6-14 regular season, but in typical Terrier toughness they made headlines on the opening day of the tourney, shocking overall #1 Haddam-Killingworth 4-1. The team fell to Northwest Catholic 8-3 in round two, but the first round win over H-K was the largest upset of any of the spring sports tournaments.
Joey Zawisza struck out five as Newington held off a solid Manchester team, 9-6, in the first round of the Class LL tourney. The senior also had a perfect day at the plate, connecting on two hits and driving in two runs. The Indians fell on the road in the second round, losing 12-5 to Amity. The second round loss was the final high school game for Zawisza and six other seniors at Newington.
Noah Valeriano tossed a complete game as Middletown downed Wilcox Tech 5-1 in the Class L first round. The #25 Blue Dragons were eliminated by #9 Watertown in round two. Valeriano will lead a strong senior class returning to the diamond next spring.
Cromwell won their third consecutive Shoreline Conference championship, besting Cogincaugh 1-0 behind a pitching gem from Noah Budzik. A solid regular season allowed the Panthers to host a Class S tourney game, but their season came to an end with a 6-5 loss to Westbrook in the opening round.
Middletown defeated East Hartford 10-0 in the opening round of Class LL. The Blue Dragons fell just short of upsetting #2-seed Trumbull in round two, losing 5-4 despite a solid pitching performance from Niya Earl. Brooke DeFrance is the team’s only departing senior and Earl will help lead a strong contingent returning next season.
Sophomore Dani Pantano struck out five and allowed only two runs but Newington couldn’t generate enough offense to upset South Windsor on the road, losing 2-1 in the opening round of Class LL. Pantano will be back on the mound next season, along with all-state shortstop Cyan Gonzalez and all-conference first baseman Rachel Thureson.
Rocky Hill and Cromwell both fell in the first round of Class M. The Terriers lost 8-3 to Wolcott and the Panthers were eliminated by Granby 6-0.
Senior Connor Brennan scored two goals and dished out two assists but it wasn’t enough to move Newington past New Milford in the qualifying round of Class L. The 13-7 tourney loss was the final game for Brennan and fellow captains Mike Ganley and Matt Barron, who helped guide the Indians to a 10-6 regular season.
Rocky Hill was eliminated by East Hartford in the opening round of the Class S tourney. The loss was the final game for seniors Ryan Pirre, Andrew Barber, Joseph Ferreira, Christopher Brescia, and Kevin Montroy.
Outdoor Track & Field
Middletown boys finished as the runner-up at the Class L finals at Middletown High School.
Senior DeAaron Lawrence won both the triple and high jumps, and freshman teammate Anthony Pappa placed second in the high jump. Lawrence also took home third place in the long jump and fellow senior Dylan Drescher took first in the javelin.
On the girls’ side, Veronica Meyers won both the discus and javelin, and placed fifth in the shot put. Nasharie Davis was the runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles.
At the same meet, Wethersfield’s Julia Chrostowski placed third in the high jump.
Rocky Hill girls placed fourth overall at the Class M finals at Willow Brook Park in New Britain.
Sophomore Elizabeth Stockman broke the class record in the 1600 with a time of 4:55.96, besting the previous record held by Sarah Gillespie of Northwest Catholic since 2012. Stockman also easily won the 3200, finishing over 30 seconds in front of the second place finisher.
The Terriers 4x100 relay team of Victoria Bower, Audrey Nelson-Mbiah, Lilah Devine, and Lordina Orleans-Onyina finished as the runner-up, and Bower took home third place in the 200 meters.
Cromwell’s Andraya Yearwood was the runner-up in the 100 meters and finished fifth in the 200
Newington earned a first round bye to start the Class M tournament and then defeated Farmington in four sets in the second round. Leonel Caceres had 26 kills and Dan Cloutier dished up 42 assists. Junior Luis Egbuna added 11 kills and fellow junior Collin Liedke had 15 digs.
Wethersfield avenged a pair of regular season losses to Rockville and defeated the Rams in four sets on the road in the opening round of the Class M tourney. Senior setter Riley Grenier tallied 32 assists and four aces and fellow senior Kieran Senk added nine kills and four blocks. The win marked the Eagles first tournament victory since 2014.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin