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    Sunday, July 21, 2024

    The Day’s All-Area Baseball Player of the Year: East Lyme’s Alex Dreyfus

    East Lyme High School senior pitcher Alex Dreyfus was 5-2 with a 1.87 earned run average and 87 strikeouts in 41 innings, also batting .440 with 29 RBI to earn Class L all-state honors. Dreyfus was named The Day’s 2024 All-Area Baseball Player of the Year. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    East Lyme senior Alex Dreyfus will play beginning next season at Central Connecticut State University. Dreyfus took his craft seriously, going 5-2 with a 1.87 earned run average and hitting .440 with 29 RBI, but also maintained a unique perspective on the game. “I'm always out there having fun. That's the one thing I like to preach to my teammates,” Dreyfus said. “At the beginning of the year, coach (Jack) Biggs brought the seniors aside. He kind of told us what we're going to be as leaders and that we’d all have different roles. I feel like my role this year was to remind them to have fun.” (Photo courtesy of East Lyme Athletics)

    Perspective, that old thing often accompanying age and experience, isn’t always there for high school kids, who are perhaps too busy texting, scheming and eye-rolling to absorb the world around them.

    And in this moment, Alex Dreyfus, who had just hit a rather majestic home run at Dodd Stadium, could have bat-flipped, taken his time rounding the bases or called attention to himself in all the other ways we see on television. Instead, Dreyfus had one thought:

    Somebody go find where it landed. Because this baseball would have a home.

    “My teammate Max Van Dusen has an older brother, Colby, who has Down’s Syndrome,” Dreyfus was saying recently. “I've known Colby. I was his helper sophomore and junior year in our music co-op. I love that kid. I wanted to give him that ball. Colby is always happy and I wanted to keep it that way.”

    Dreyfus, a senior at East Lyme High School, not only brought perspective beyond his age and experience, but some impressive numbers to the baseball field. He is The Day’s 2024 All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.

    He hit .440 with 37 hits (10 doubles, five home runs), drove in 29 runs and scored 19. He went 5-2 as a pitcher with a 1.87 earned run average, 87 strikeouts in 41 innings and held opposing hitters to a .125 average. He finished with 19 career wins, 200 strikeouts and 90 hits.

    Now you know why he’s headed to play at Division I Central Connecticut.

    And yet onlookers would never have suspected that this young man so serious about his craft and the people around him was so serious at all. Nobody enjoyed the journey more than Dreyfus and his perpetual good mood.

    “I'm always out there having fun. That's the one thing I like to preach to my teammates,” Dreyfus said. “At the beginning of the year, coach (Jack) Biggs brought the seniors aside. He kind of told us what we're going to be as leaders and that we’d all have different roles. I feel like my role this year was to remind them to have fun.”

    Maybe the only time all year Dreyfus wasn’t seen smiling came in mid-May when he sustained an ankle injury that cost him a few games. He missed Senior Day and a chance to pitch against Brady Ericson and eventual ECC/Class L champion Woodstock. He probably wasn’t the same even after he returned.

    Now for more perspective.

    “The injury set me back mentally more than physically, even though it was a pretty bad ankle injury,” Dreyfus said. “It was coming up to the end of the year and I just wanted to play in that game (against Woodstock). Overall, though, I think I actually gained a little bit from it. It's just baseball. I mean, it's not the end of my life.”

    Dreyfus got the chance to face Ericson in the state semifinals at Dunkin’ Park in Hartford. East Lyme led 2-0 into the sixth.

    “I told my coaches my arm still wasn't 100% there. But there was top of the six and we had no worries at all,” Dreyfus said. “We thought we were going to make the championship game. The swinging bunt (from No. 9 hitter Noah Sampson) changed a lot.”

    It led to a three-run rally and a bitter, 3-2 loss for East Lyme, the final high school game of Dreyfus’s career.

    “That’s not the way any of us wanted it to end,” Dreyfus said. “But I can’t say we had a bad season. That’s baseball. Overall, looking back, I got to spend time with a great bunch of guys.”

    m.dimauro@theday.com

    The Day’s 2024 All-Area Baseball Team

    Player of the Year - Alex Dreyfus (East Lyme)

    Infield - Aaron LoPresto (Stonington), Chris Lusignan (Bacon Academy), Eddie Torres (New London), Donte Valentine (Fitch)

    Outfield - Dylan Cimini (Stonington), Liam Cochrane (East Lyme), Jack Treat (Montville)

    Pitcher - Martin Light (Montville), Dominic Pontbriant (Lyman Memorial)

    Catcher - Max Petrini (Waterford)

    Designated hitter - Desmond Powers (St. Bernard)

    Utility - Cole Terni (Montville)

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