2013 High school baseball preview

Waterford senior pitcher-third baseman Jordan Hamler was an ECC all-star last season and made The Day's all-area team.
Buy Photo Sean D. Elliot/The Day Waterford senior pitcher-third baseman Jordan Hamler was an ECC all-star last season and made The Day's all-area team.

ECC Large

EAST LYME

Coach: Jack Biggs (8th season).

Key returnees: Sr. OF Anthony Carambot, Sr. P/IF Cole Tretter, Sr. P Jordan Bartlett, Sr. P/IF Adam Rigney, Sr. C/OF Josh Beaulieu, Jr. C Austin Toback.

Top newcomers: Sr. IF Brandon Gillespie, Sr. OF Matt Gillespie, Sr. OF Lee Brake, Jr. IF/P Jack Livingston, Jr. IF Ryan Nickerson, Jr. P/IF Will Butler, Jr. P/IF Tim Donahue, Jr. OF Dean Beebe, Jr. IF/P Connor Elliott, So. OF Hunter Waido, So. OF Sam Gonski, So. OF Mike Morgan, So. IF Owen Tretter, So. P/IF Logan Banker, So. C Connor Parker.

Outlook: The defending ECC tournament champion, East Lyme (19-5) has very few players with varsity experience, having lost all-league picks Pete Gonski (P), Chase Livingston (C) and Zach Kane (SS) to graduation. Pitching depth and athleticism will be keys to getting off to a good start, Biggs said.

FITCH

Coach: Marc Peluso (6th season).

Key returnees: Sr. C Justin Wallace, Sr. P/IF Aaron Hill, Jr. P David Porter, Jr. IF Jack Porter.

Top newcomers: Sr. P/IF Pete Aldrich, Sr. P/IF/OF Izzy Davila, Sr. P/OF Tristan Hurley.

Outlook: After losing eight of nine starters from last season's Class L state championship team, the Falcons (24-4) will need a new core of players to continue to develop as the season progresses. With hard work, they will have a chance to compete in the Large Division. Hill was an All-ECC Large pick for Fitch, which shared the division title and reached the finals of the league tournament before topping New Canaan 6-4 for the state championship. Aldrich and Davila, meanwhile, were All-ECC Small Division picks last season at St. Bernard before transferring.

NEW LONDON

Coach: Mike Wheeler (5th season).

Key returnees: Sr. OF Gabriel Diaz, Sr. IF/OF Isaias Cruz, So. P Josh Vincent.

Top newcomers: Sr. IF/P Ackee Barber, Jr. P/IF Jason Edwards, Jr. IF Beckett Scannelli, So. P Quantique White, So. C John Hernandez, Fr. P/OF Jeremy Santos.

Outlook: After going 10-10 in the regular season (3-7 ECC Large), the Whalers put together a solid run in the Class L tournament, winning two games before losing 1-0 to RHAM in the quarterfinals to finish 12-11. The Whalers don't have much varsity experience, but Wheeler has a solid group of newcomers. Vincent will anchor a pitching staff that should include Edwards, Santos and White. Diaz batted over .400 last season and stole 25 bases.

NFA

Coach: Clarence Cooper (6th season).

Key returnees: Jr. C Brandon Deveny, Jr. IF/P Chance Gendron, Sr. OF Miles Laureano, Sr. OF Austin Lee, Jr. IF/P Eddie Gates, Sr. P/IF Devin Robbins, Sr. P/IF Logan Gordon, Sr. P Jordan Kaiser.

Top newcomers: Sr. P Geoff Montgomery, Jr. OF Brandin Strickland, Jr. P Zach Podurgiel, So. C Brandon Drabinski.

Outlook: The Wildcats (7-13) return several key players from a young 2012 team. Pitching depth should be the strength for this team along with solid catching. A new competitive focus in practice, quality at-bats and a commitment to improve every day will make for an exciting season.

WATERFORD

Coach: Art Peluso (3rd season).

Key returnees: Sr. P/3B Jordan Hamler, Sr. P/OF Kyle Willoughby, Sr. OF Nik Lehet, Sr. OF Tom Keech, Jr. C Seth Hoagland.

Top newcomers: Sr. OF David Zaldivar, Jr. P/1B Adam Goss, Jr. 2B/utility Sam Strout, Jr. SS Jesse Coates, Jr. P Colin Harrington, So. OF Wil Sherman, So. IF/P Connor Lewis.

Outlook: The Lancers (19-5) will have a huge hole left by the loss of catcher James Annello and pitcher Nolan Long, two Class L all-state players. An inexperienced pitching staff will have to develop and, offensively, returning players will need to improve on last year's performances and underclassmen must compete for Lancers to score runs.

ECC Medium

LEDYARD

Coach: Sam Kilpatrick (20th season).

Key returnees: Sr. C Kyle Perry, Sr. P/IF Chris Turner, Sr. P/IF Matt McElwee, Jr. OF Jordan Kowalski, Jr. P/OF Evan August, Jr. P/IF Kavan Jakuba.

Top newcomers: Jr. IF Damon Bickham, Jr. P Josh Throop, So. P/IF Michael Bruce, So. P/IF Andrew Byrd, So. OF Michael Larmann, So. OF Mike McDowell, So. C Branden Medina, So. P Kyle Haney, Fr. P/IF Trevor Bolduc, Fr. P/IF Anthony Viteritto.

Outlook: Ledyard missed the state tournament by one win last season, finishing 7-13. But the Colonels were just 1-9 in the Medium Division and will look to improve on that, says Kilpatrick, behind an experienced pitching staff and improved defense. Turner was an ECC all-star last season.

MONTVILLE

Coach: Phil Orbe (18th season).

Key returnees: Sr. SS Brandon Haas, Sr. P Dominic Walmsley, Sr. 3B/P Jordan Volpe, Sr. P Jeff Robbins, Jr. OF/P Chad Mooney, Jr. P/OF Joseph Brachas.

Top newcomers: Sr. 2B Dan Pierce, Sr. OF Nick Clemons, Sr. 2B Lucas Van Hausen, Sr. utility Kyle Williams, Sr. C Andrew Fratoni, Jr. P/3B Greg Benjamin, Jr. OF/P Stan Kesilewski, Jr. 1B Mitch Dole, Jr. OF Marc McGrath, So. C Jordan Zeppieri, So. IF/P Buddy Dewaine, So. 3B/1B Pat Monahan.

Outlook: Montville graduated the players who accounted for 65.3 percent of its innings pitched and 68.4 percent of its plate appearances last year when the Indians went 18-2 in the regular season and won the ECC Medium Division. "Many players that have 'waited their turn,' to contribute, now have the opportunity," Orbe said. Haas (.375, 30 runs, 30 RBI) and Volpe (.384) both had breakout seasons offensively last year, however, and Orbe likes the trio of Robbins (3-0, 20 strikeouts), Brachas (0.40 ERA) and Walmsley on the mound.

STONINGTON

Coach: Duffy Grace (6th season).

Key returnees: Sr. IF Pat Coan, Sr. P/OF Doug Domnarski, Sr. OF/IF/P Brian Frosti, Sr. OF Max Kelley, Jr. 1B/DH Ryan Francis, Jr. C Connor Gilbert.

Top newcomers: Sr. SS/P Kyle Woodworth, So. P/OF Shane Foster.

Outlook: Domnarski was an All-ECC pick in the outfield last season and, a left-hander who pitched a team-high 49 innings with 54 strikeouts and a 2.00 ERA, will also serve as the ace of the Bears' staff. The rest of the rotation will be new, but Grace says early signs point to the staff being competitive as Stonington tries to improve on last year's 12-11 mark. Coan, Domnarski and Kelley are experienced hitters.

ECC Small

ST. BERNARD

Coach: George Rivera (1st season).

Key returnees: Sr. C Bryan Harper, Sr. LF Kevin Kersey, Sr. P/IB Andrew Fogarty, Sr. SS Phil Jenkins, Jr. P/1B Willie Rios, Jr. CF Anthony Malchiodi, Jr. Rich Falvey.

Top newcomers: So. C/3B Aaron Michaud, So. P/2B Ian Li, Fr. 3B James Foti.

Outlook: St. Bernard, 16-8 last year with a trip to the Class S quarterfinals, lacks varsity experience this season, although Rivera said things are looking better every day. What the Saints do have is pitching, including Rios, a left-hander who earlier this year committed to play for the University of Maryland after striking out 169 over his first two seasons. Harper and Rios captain the team, which tied for the Small Division title in 2012 with Lyman Memorial.

Others

GRASSO TECH

Coach: Carlos Flores (3rd season).

Key returnees: Sr. P/C Drew Pelland, Sr. P/IF Zach Willis, Sr. P/IF Carl Willis, So. P Brian Cespedes.

Top newcomers: Fr. 1B Eli Rosario, Fr. SS Ariel Encarnacion, Fr. 2B Bryan Kimball.

Outlook: Grasso Tech's goal is to return to the state tournament and make some noise in its conference tournament. Flores is expecting a big year from Pelland behind the plate and Cespedes on the mound.

OLD LYME

Coach: Randy St. Germain (10th season).

Key returnees: Sr. P/IF Slater Gregory, Sr. C Mike Mann, Sr. P Erik Nicholson, Jr. IF Bill Buscetto, Jr. OF Dave Peck, Jr. OF/C Phil Cohen, Jr. OF Trent Garbati, So. IF/P Matt Pryzbysz.

Top newcomers: Jr. IF/P Danny Chapman, Jr. IF Cole Turner, So. OF Ross Golewbieski, So. OF/IF Hunter Sheffield.

Outlook: Old Lyme (14-8) reached both the Shoreline Conference and Class S state tournaments a year ago, but hopes to advance farther in both this season, St. Germain said.

WILLIAMS

Coach: Scott Hockford (13th season).

Key returnees: Sr. P/C/1B Drew Watson, Sr. P/2B Parker Douglas, Sr. P/IF Aaron Hosking, Jr. OF Andrew Meagher, Jr. IF/C Nick Smith, Jr. IF/OF Ben Lahm, C/IF Jake Parizo.

Outlook: Hosking, Smith and Lahm are the top three pitchers while Watson returns at catcher. With seven seniors and three juniors, it is time for the Blues to consistently perform and attempt to win the CISAC and SENE championships.

Hide Comments

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments