Wednesday, May 31, 2017

TUESDAY'S TOURNEY ROUNDUP: Bartoli helps blast Wolcott to Class M second round

Ray Bartoli had a grand slam and drove in seven runs and No. 20 Wolcott baseball moved on with a 13-6 Class M first round win over No. 13 Woodland at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls.
Jack Drewry had a home run, single and drove in four runs for Wolcott, which led 13-1 entering the last of the seventh inning. Bobby White and Nick Trager each drove in a run and Jeff Nicol had two hits. Drewry pitched the first 6.2 innings to claim the victory.
Wolcott is at No. 4 Lewis Mills today.
No. 10 Sacred Heart 6, No. 23 Hale Ray-Moodus 0: Will Morales struck out 16 and tossed a complete game in a Class S first round game at Municipal Stadium.
Sacred Heart used a four-run sixth inning to put the game out of reach. Noah Knappe had a double and two RBI while Jimmy Edwards and Bryan Fernandez both had one RBI. Evan Laferriere had two hits, including a double.
Sacred Heart is at No. 7 Old Lyme today.
No. 4 St. Paul 5, No. 29 St. Bernard-Uncasville 0: Wes Lahey fired a complete game and 10 strikeouts as the Falcons advanced with a Class S first round win at St. Paul.
Andrew Owsianko had a two-run home run to get St. Paul on the board in the first. Ryan Greene had a solo homer, and Nick Morrell drove in a run with a single. Ethan Rembish also had a RBI single.
St. Paul hosts No. 20 Immaculate-Danbury today.
No. 1 Holy Cross 16, No. 32 East Windsor 0: The Crusaders hammered their Class S first round foe in a game at Holy Cross High School.
Tim Zupkus had three hits to lead Holy Cross. Matt Bonvicini (triple, 3 RBI), Fran Phelan (triple, RBI), Will Marshall (double, 2 RBI) and Brian Parczyk (double, 2 RBI) each had two hits. The Crusaders scored at least one run in each inning with a high of five in the fourth frame.
Holy Cross hosts No. 16 East Hampton today.
No. 25 Bristol Central 16, No. 8 Platt Tech-Milford 1: Jeremy Ganavage doubled twice, drove in a run and scored a run in the Class L first round road win.
Ganavage had three hits and Jaylen Dias had two hits (triple), two RBI and two runs scored. Dathan Hickey had three hits (double), three RBI and two runs scored while Eric Gaudreau added a single and three RBI. Mike Lemke had a hit and three RBI, and Jake Santiago scored three times. Lemke and Kevin White (double) scored two runs each.
Central had a five-run third inning to open the scoring, then erupted for eight in the fourth. The Rams are at No. 9 Guilford today.
No. 14 New Canaan 7, No. 19 Bristol Eastern 2: The Lancers lost to the Rams on the road in a Class L first round game and were eliminated.
Eastern finished the season at 11-10.

No. 17 Sacred Heart 15, No. 16 Windham Tech 0 (5 innings): The Hearts came back from a long road trip with a Class S first round rout.
Sacred Heart is at top-seeded East Granby today.
No. 2 Holy Cross 12, No. 31 Bolton 0: Sarah Lawton shut down the Bulldog offense, and Allie Brown led the Crusader attack in a Class S first round blowout.
Lawton struck out 16 and yielded just two hits. Allie Brown had three hits (double) and scored three times. Lindsay Diorio doubled and drove in two runs while Jenna Mowad added two hits and two RBI. Hannah Brown doubled, drove in two runs and scored another while Lawton had a hit and three RBI. Aubry DeFoe also had two hits, including a double.
No. 9 St. Paul 8, No. 24 St. Bernard-Uncasville 1: The Falcons advanced to the second round of Class S with a home win.
St. Paul is at No. 8 Stafford today.
No. 29 Wilton 5, No. 4 Bristol Eastern 1: A slow start doomed the Lancers in a Class LL first round home loss.
Eastern saw a great season end with a record of 18-3.
No. 17 St. Joseph-Trumbull 16, No. 16 Wolcott 3: The Eagles saw their season end in a Class M first round home loss.
Wolcott finished the season with a 12-10 record.
No. 9 Watertown 15, No. 24 Waterbury Career Academy 0: The Spartans were eliminated by the NVL's Indians on the road in a Class M first round game.
No. 18 New Fairfield 15, No. 15 Kaynor Tech: The Panthers were defeated at home in a Class M first round contest.
Kaynor Tech finished with a 12-8 record.

Bristol Central boys had the best finish of any area team, taking eighth in Class L. Top eight finishes from Kaynan Conrod (2nd in 100-meter dash, 8th in 200), Frankie Jenkins (2nd, triple jump), Elijah Ortiz (4th, 300-meter hurdles), David Bowes (5th, 400) and Marcus Grumley (6th, 110-meter hurdles) helped lead the way, along with a second from the 4x100-meter relay.
Shy-Ann Whitten finished second in the triple jump and fifth in the high jump to lead the Central girls.
The lone individual win locally was from Jordan Wilkins of Crosby, who took first in the 110-meter hurdles in Class L. Jude Sampson of Kennedy was second in the discus while Wilby's Dwayne Blackwood placed third in the 100-meter dash.
In girls, Bristol Eastern's Kailey Laprise was second in the 400-meter dash. Chris LeBeau finished fifth in the 1600 on the boys side.
In Class M, Cynthia Dias had the best Wolcott finish with a fifth in the Class M javelin. Waterbury Career Academy was led by a 4th place from Raianna Grant in the 100-meter dash and a fifth from Zheki DeSouza in the 200. Kaynor Tech saw Se'Raya Steward take fifth in the 100-meter dash.

Wolcott doubles teams done: Alex Hale and Jackson Yost lost their Class M third round match 6-1, 7-5. Matt Spina and Matt Mastropietro defaulted.

Monday, May 29, 2017

HIGH 5 OF THE WEEK: Curtin, Guilmette help CCSU baseball reach NCAA tourney

Curtin (CCSU athletics)
Tom Curtin and Mitch Guilmette, Central Connecticut State University baseball
CCSU baseball is headed to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Northeast Conference championship, and these two former Bristol standouts are a big reason why.
Curtin, the former Bristol Eastern pitcher, was named to the All-Tournament Team. In CCSU's 6-3 title-clinching win over Sacred Heart, Curtin threw 3.2 innings of scoreless relief and picked up the win. In his 3.2 innings, Curtin allowed one hit, struck out two and walked one.
Curtin entered the game in the top of the fifth inning with the score 3-2, the bases loaded and no outs on the scoreboard. A run scored on a fielder's choice to tie the game 3-3, but Curtin got the next two outs on a strikeout and ground out to keep the score tied.
Sacred Heart had first and third with one out in the sixth, but Curtin induced a 4-6-3 double play to escape the jam. He set down the Pioneers in order in the seventh. Back-to-back errors and a walk loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth, but Curtin got a strikeout and a foul out before being lifted for a reliever.
Guilmette (CCSU athletics)
Where does Guilmette fit in? Well, CCSU doesn't get out of the first round of the NEC Tournament without the lefty from Bristol Central. The Blue Devils trailed Wagner 4-1 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. Guilmette drew a key two-out walk to keep the inning alive, and CCSU later scored a run to make it 4-2.
It was still 4-2 into the ninth when tournament MVP TT Bowens rocketed a one-out triple. Dean Lockery drew a walk, then Tyler Coleman singled to bring home Bowens and cut the deficit to 4-3. A Ryan Costello infield single brought Guilmette to the plate with the bases loaded.
Guilmette singled to right field to drive in Lockery and Coleman and win the game. Guilmette's heroics set off a wild celebration by CCSU at Norwich's Dodd Stadium. Guilmette didn't get a hit the rest of the tournament, but he is a big reason why CCSU claimed the championship.
In the 10-4 semifinal win over Sacred Heart, Guilmette drove in two runs in the first inning on a deep sacrifice fly.
CCSU finds out where it's going in the NCAA Tournament today when the field is announced at noon.

Mike Chiovitti, UConn-Avery Point baseball
Chiovitti (UCAP athletics)

Speaking of the postseason, this former Holy Cross standout is in the Division II NJCAA World Series with his team.
UCAP won its first game of the series in Enid, Okla., 11-9 over Kankakee, and Chiovitti went 2-for-5 with a triple, RBI and two runs scored. With one out in the top of the first inning, Chiovitti smacked his three-bagger to left field to drive in Mike Savino and put UCAP up 1-0. Chiovitti singled and scored on a Mike Corso three-run homer in the third inning. Chiovitti later scored on an error in the eighth inning.
UCAP lost 8-5 to Parkland in its next outing, and Chiovitti had a monster game. Chiovitti had three hits, including a homer and double, drove in two runs and scored two more. Chiovitti launched his two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game at 2-2. In the fifth, Chiovitti doubled and later scored on a Vincent Pallisco home run.
UCAP faces elimination today in its second game against Kankakee. The game begins at 2 p.m. EDT.

Banulski (Molloy athletics)
Olivia Banulski, Molloy College softball
The junior from Bristol Central got a chance to play in the NCAA Division II Softball College World Series. Molloy was eliminated after losing twice in the tournament. Banulski had a hit in the first game of the series, a 4-0 loss to West Virginia Wesleyan College. She cleanly fielded the lone ball hit to her, which happened in the elimination game against Humboldt State.
Banulski played in and started all 55 games for Molloy. She was fourth on the team in batting average at .273, tied for second in runs scored (21), tied for third in doubles (9) and tied for fourth in RBI (17). Banulski had 67 putouts, four assists and six errors in 77 chances in the field, giving her a fielding percentage of .922. 
Banulski hit .297 in 27 conference games. She helped Molloy return to the World Series for the first time since 2013.

Emily Bourassa, University of Saint Joseph lacrosse
Bourassa (USJ athletics)

The former Bristol Co-op standout and Bristol Eastern student finished second in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference in saves.
Bourassa, a junior, recorded 155 in 13 games, second only to Courtney Laperriere of Rivier, who had 196. Bourassa played all 13 games as USJ finished the season 3-10. Bourassa played all 780 possible minutes for the Blue Jays.
Bourassa was a tri-captain for USJ this season. Her season-high in saves was 20 on April 29 against Johnson & Wales.

Statistics compiled from the websites of each athlete's team.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

STATE TOURNEY ROUNDUP: Two Wolcott boys doubles teams still alive in Class M

A pair of Wolcott boys tennis doubles teams are into the third round of the Class M state tournament.
Those doubles teams were the only successful endeavours in an otherwise rough Saturday for area schools. Second-seeded Matt Spina and Matt Mastropietro had a first round bye, then won 6-2, 6-0 over AJ Alzoubi and Spencer Iamartino of Platt Tech in the second round. Ninth-seeded Alex Hale and Jackson Yost also had a bye, then won 6-0, 6-1 over Jay Adams and Evan Hilbie of Berlin in the second round. The third round is expected to begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
In Class S boys, Holy Cross' Daniel Huang won a three-set singles thriller over Jacob Matta of Nonnewaug Regional (6-4, 5-7, 10-8) in the first round. Huang was eliminated by Hussein Akbar of Windsor Locks by a score of 6-2, 6-1 in the second round. Zekai Zhang also went three sets in the first round before knocking off Housatonic Regional's Jack Scarpa (6-4, 2-6, 10-6) in the first round. Zhang was ousted by seventh-seeded Andrew Ray of Nonnewaug in the second round, 6-2, 6-3.
In Class L boys, Justin Trottier of Bristol Eastern beat William Sgro of North Haven 6-1, 6-0 in the first round. Trottier forfeited to No. 5 John Cassone of Wilton in the second round.

The state tournament debut of No. 14 Wolcott didn't go as planned. The Eagles were eliminated by No. 19 Guilford by a score of 18-2 in a Class M qualifying round game.
In Class S, No. 17 Holy Cross lost 15-4 to No. 16 Old Saybrook in a qualifying round matchup.

No. 20 Holy Cross lost 20-7 to No. 13 Granby Memorial in a Class S qualifying round contest.

All three local Class S teams saw their seasons end in losses. 
No. 9 Sacred Heart was downed 4-3 by No. 24 Immaculate-Danbury in the qualifying round. No. 22 Holy Cross lost 5-2 to No. 11 East Catholic-Manchester. No. 5 St. Paul went down 4-3 to No. 21 Rocky Hill in the first round.
In Class L, No. 17 Bristol Central went down 4-3 to No. 16 Newtown. No. 24 Bristol Eastern was blanked 7-0 by No. 9 Amity Regional-Woodbridge.

Friday, May 26, 2017


There are plenty of Waterbury teams in the state tournament, and pairings were released Friday. Here's where they are seeded and who they will play, by school in alphabetical order:

Outdoor Track and Field -- Performance lists have been posted. Crosby will compete in the Class L meet for boys, scheduled for next Tuesday at Manchester High School. Click here to see the list. 
The girls will compete in the Class MM meet, slated for next Wednesday at Willow Brook Park in New Britain. Click here to see the list.

Baseball -- The Crusaders had a terrific 19-1 regular season and earned the top seed in Class S. Holy Cross will host No. 32 East Windsor (7-13) next Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
Boys Lacrosse -- The Crusaders (7-9) are the No. 17 seed in Class S and go to No. 16 Old Saybrook (7-9) for a qualifying round game Saturday at 11 a.m.
Girls Lacrosse -- The Crusaders (7-9) were the No. 20 seed in Class S and lost a qualifying round game 20-7 at No. 13 Granby Memorial (9-7).
Outdoor Track and Field -- Performance lists have been posted. Holy Cross will compete in the Class S meet, scheduled for next Thursday at Willow Brook Park in New Britain. Click here to see the list.
Softball -- The Crusaders had a great regular season at 19-1 and earned a No. 2 seed in Class S. Holy Cross will host No. 31 Bolton (8-12) next Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Boys Tennis -- Andrew Russo has a qualifying round singles match in Class S, which starts Saturday at Conard High School in West Hartford. Daniel Huang plays singles in the Upper Bracket, while Rich Denardo and Zekai Zhang are in the Lower Bracket.
Girls Tennis -- The Crusaders (10-6) are No. 22 in Class S and face No. 11 East Catholic (11-4) in a qualifying round matchup on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Old Saybrook. The winner plays the winner of No. 6 Old Saybrook (17-3) and No. 27 Northwestern Regional-Winsted (8-8) at 12:30.

Outdoor Track and Field -- Performance lists have been posted. Kaynor Tech will compete in Class M in girls, slated for next Tuesday at Willow Brook Park in New Britain. Terrell Patterson competes for the boys in MM next Wednesday at Willow Brook Park. Click here to see the girls performance list. Click here for the boys.
Softball -- The Panthers (12-7) are the No. 15 seed in Class M and draw No. 18 New Fairfield (12-8). The game is next Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Outdoor Track and Field -- Performance lists have been posted. The Kennedy boys will compete in Class L meet next Tuesday at Manchester High School. The girls are in MM, which is next Wednesday at Willow Brook Park in New Britain. Click here to see the boys performance list. Click here for the girls.
Boys Tennis -- Camilo Barrera plays a first round singles match in Class L on Saturday at Hall High School in West Hartford.

Baseball -- The Hearts (13-7) are the No. 10 seed in Class S and open play at home against No. 23 Hale Ray (9-11) next Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Outdoor Track and Field -- Performance lists have been posted. Both boys and girls will compete in Class S next Thursday at Willow Brook Park in New Britain. Click here for the list.
Softball -- The Hearts (11-9) are No. 17 and open Class S on the road at No. 16 Windham Tech (12-8) next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.
Girls Tennis -- The Hearts (12-4) are No. 9 in Class S and play No. 24 Immaculate (9-7) on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Coginchaug Regional in Durham. The winner gets the winner of No. 8 Coginchaug (16-4) and No. 25 Valley Regional-Deep River (11-9) at 12:30.

Outdoor Track and Field -- Performance lists have been posted. The Spartans will compete in Class M next Tuesday at Willow Brook Park in New Britain. Click here to see the list.
Softball -- The Spartans (10-10) are the No. 24 seed and play at NVL foe Watertown (14-6), the No. 9 seed, next Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Outdoor Track and Field -- Performance lists have been posted. Dwyane Blackwood and Dylen McKitty compete in Class L next Tuesday at Manchester High School. Click here to see the list.
The girls compete in MM next Wednesday at Willow Brook Park in New Britain. Click here to see the list.


All three Bristol schools have teams in the state tournament. Here's where they are seeded and who they will play, by school in alphabetical order:

Baseball -- The Rams (10-10 regular season) are the No. 25 seed in Class LL and open play at No. 8 Platt Tech-Milford (14-6) next Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
Outdoor Track and Field -- Performance lists are up for both the boys and the girls. Click here to see the list. Central competes in the Class L meet next Tuesday at Manchester High School.
Boys Tennis -- Class L competition begins Saturday in singles and doubles. Colin Savino is the lone Ram playing, and he is in the Lower Bracket for singles.
Girls Tennis -- The Rams (8-6) are No. 16 in Class L and play No. 17 Newtown (9-7) in a qualifying round matchup on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Staples High School in Westport. The winner gets top-seeded Staples (19-0) at 12:30.

Baseball -- The Lancers (11-9) are the No. 19 seed in Class L and go to No. 14 New Canaan (13-7) for a first round game next Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
Outdoor Track and Field -- Performance lists are up for both the boys and the girls. Click here to see the list. Eastern competes in the Class L meet next Tuesday at Manchester High School.
Softball -- The Lancers parlayed a terrific 18-2 regular season into a No. 4 seed in Class LL. Eastern will host No. 29 Wilton (8-12) next Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Boys Tennis -- The Lancers have players in both singles and doubles in Class L, which begins Saturday at Hall High School in West Hartford. Tom Lombardi and Devon Plourde play opening round matches in singles. Justin Trottier has a first round match in the Upper Bracket while Muhammad Abdulsalam starts off in the Lower Bracket.
In doubles, Benjamin Chiasson and Justin Wietrzykowski are in the Upper Bracket, along with Cory Deeves and Tom Tefoe. Donovan Anderson and Noah Cyr are paired up in the Lower Bracket.
Girls Tennis -- The Lancers (8-8) head to Wilton as the No. 24 seed in Class L, which begins Saturday. Eastern plays No. 9 Amity (13-4) at 10 a.m. with the winner taking on No. 8 Wilton (13-4) at 12:30.

Baseball -- The defending Class S state champion Falcons (16-4) are the No. 4 seed in S and open against No. 29 St. Bernard-Uncasville next Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
Boys Lacrosse -- The Falcons (8-8) are the No. 13 seed and open Class S play on the road at No. 4 Ellington (13-4) next Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Outdoor Track and Field -- Performance lists are up for both the boys and the girls. Click here to see the list. St. Paul competes in the Class S meet next Friday at Willow Brook Park in New Britain.
Softball -- The Falcons had a great regular season at 16-4, and they are the No. 9 seed in Class S. St. Paul hosts No. 24 St. Bernard (9-11) next Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Girls Tennis -- After a strong 13-2 regular season, the Falcons are the No. 5 seed in Class. St. Paul awaits the winner of No. 12 Woodland (11-4) and No. 21 Rocky Hill (12-7) at 12:30. Those two teams play at 10 a.m. All of those matches are Saturday at Page Park in Bristol.


The state tournament pairings are out, and defending champion Wolcott baseball has a very familiar opponent awaiting it.
The No. 20 Eagles (12-8 regular season) go to No. 13 Woodland Regional (14-6) next Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. for a Class M first round game. Division champion Woodland won both games over Wolcott during the regular season.
Wolcott boys lacrosse (8-5) is the No. 14 seed in Class M and will host No. 19 Guilford (8-8) on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Wolcott softball (12-8) is No. 16 in Class M and will host No. 17 St. Joseph (12-8) on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Click here for performance lists for boys and girls outdoor track and field.

UPDATE: Ok, so I goofed earlier today. There is no team tournament in boys tennis. It's singles and doubles play.
Ryan Watts, Raheel Chowdhury, Tyler Sgrott and Mike Perreault will be playing singles for Wolcott in Class M.
In doubles, Alex Hale and Jackson Yost have a first round bye in the Upper Bracket while Matt Spina and Matt Mastropietro have a first round bye in the Lower Bracket. Spina and Mastropietro are ranked second while Hale and Yost are ninth.
Play begins on Saturday at Yale University.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

BRISTOL'S SPRING ROUNDUP #8: Central boys track and field wins division championship

The Bristol Central boys outdoor track and field team returned home from Veterans Stadium in New Britain with a CCC South Region Blue Division championship.
The Rams won just two events, but their success throughout the Top 4 of most of the events helped it easily knock off second place Wethersfield. Junior Elijah Ortiz won the 300-meter hurdles, and the combination of sophomore Adam Chawner, senior Alrick Grant, junior Pat Kjornrattanawanich and senior Simon Andrews took first in the 4x800 relay.
Bristol Eastern senior Chris LeBeau was the only double winner from the area. He took first place in the 800 and 1600-meter runs.
Bristol Central's girls finished second as a team behind Wethersfield. Bristol Eastern was third. Ram senior Olivia Savino took first in the triple jump while the 4x800 relay of senior Hannah Jones, senior Ashley Cummings, junior Meghan Curtis and junior Paige Hinton was victorious. 
Lancer sophomore Kailey Laprise was first in the 400-meter dash.

For the second time this season, the Lancers claimed softball and baseball wins over the Rams. The Eastern softball victory brought about sole possession of the CCC South Blue Division title. The strong pitching of Zach Marquis and a two-run double from Mike Massarelli gave Eastern baseball a 2-0 win at Muzzy.
Eastern softball and baseball will both be in the state tournament, as will Central baseball.

Both softball and baseball made it to the semifinal round of the NVL Tournament. Softball lost 5-0 to eventual champion Seymour while baseball was dropped 12-2 by Seymour.

Cameron Reed of Bristol Central was the medalist at Bristol's city golf championship, according to a tweet from assistant coach Ryan Broderick. Reed earned the distinction in what is his senior season.

The Falcons (8-8 regular season) are the No. 13 seed in Class S and open at No. 4 Ellington next Wednesday.

Pairings for baseball, softball, boys tennis and girls tennis will be announced on Friday. Divisional start lists for outdoor track and field will also be posted Friday. You can find the pairings for each sport here

Boys golf won't be announced until next week.

WATERBURY'S SPRING ROUNDUP #8: Crusader softball downed by walkoff bunt in NVL final

Holy Cross softball played a pair of nerve-wracking games this week in the NVL Tournament. The Crusaders outlasted Torrington
in 12 innings in the semifinal but lost to Seymour via a walkoff safety squeeze in the final.
NOTE: With state tournaments beginning as soon as Friday, I decided to get the weekly roundup out earlier this week.

Holy Cross softball had its second battle of the season with Seymour, this time in the NVL Tournament final on Wednesday at Seymour High School.
And for the second time, the Wildcats won on a walkoff. Seymour claimed a victory on a safety squeeze bunt and wrapped up yet another NVL title.
Holy Cross had some excitement of its own to reach the final. The Crusaders trailed Torrington 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning of their semifinal, but rallied and eventually won 3-2 in 12 innings.

The NVL doubles champions are from Sacred Heart.
In an all Heart championship match, the duo of Ava Longo and Nhi Nguyen defeated the twosome of Alexa Gallino and Heather Brown by a score of 6-2, 6-3. Longo and Nguyen were the No. 25 seed, according to the Rep-Am's Joe Palladino, but were able to battle their way through the tournament and claim the title.

The Holy Cross girls snuck in as the last seed in Class S at No. 20. The Crusaders head to No. 13 Granby Memorial for a Class S qualifying round matchup on Friday at 5 p.m.
The Holy Cross boys are No. 17 in Class S and play at No. 16 Old Saybrook on Saturday at 11 a.m. in a qualifying round game.

Pairings for baseball, softball, boys tennis and girls tennis will be announced on Friday. Divisional start lists for outdoor track and field will also be posted Friday. You can find the pairings for each sport here
Boys golf won't be announced until next week.

WOLCOTT'S SPRING ROUNDUP #8: Eagle boys sweep NVL tennis tourneys

Senior Matt Spina concluded his NVL singles career with an individual championship.
NOTE: With state tournaments beginning as soon as Friday, I decided to get the weekly roundup out earlier this week.

Wolcott boys tennis made it a trifecta this week in NVL competition.
The Eagles finished off a team title last week, but they weren't done by a long stretch. Wolcott No. 1 singles player Matt Spina claimed the top spot in the individual championship while Jackson Yost and Alex Hale combined for the doubles title.
It has been a sensational run for the Eagles, who find out who they play in the Class M state tournament when pairings are announced Friday.

Wolcott has qualified for the Class M state tournament in its inaugural varsity season. The Eagles are seeded 14th and will host No. 19 Guilford on Saturday at 1 p.m. Wolcott finished with a 8-5 regular season record.

Pairings for baseball, softball, boys tennis and girls tennis will be announced on Friday. You can find the pairings for each sport here.

Crusaders fulfill season-long dream

Holy Cross players share some laughs in the pregame huddle on Wednesday.
Tim Zupkus came through in the clutch at the plate and in right field.
When Holy Cross baseball took the field for the 2017 NVL tournament final on Wednesday against Seymour, the memory of the 2016 loss was there.
The Crusaders lost last year's game to Oxford at Naugatuck High School, and the memory has been a motivator. The goal for Holy Cross in the NVL was to get back to the championship game.
The Crusaders did just that, and they overcame an uncharacteristically shaky defense to beat the Wildcats 3-1 and win the championship.
Connor Goggin added an insurance run with his RBI single.
"We've been playing all season to get to this game tonight and win this game, and it feels so great to finally come through," sophomore Tim Zupkus said.
Will Marshall made a heads-up play at the plate to complete a big six-inning double play.
Zupkus had two big plays in the victory. The first one came via his bat, a RBI double down the left field line that drove in senior Adam Razza and put Holy Cross ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Zupkus was getting plenty of chances to hit behind senior walk machine Matt Bonvicini. There were certainly times where Zupkus didn't come through, and it was frustrating for him.
On Wednesday, Bonvicini legged out a two-out infield single, giving Zupkus his chance.
"I've had a lot of experience, and been working through the regular season really hard," Zupkus said. "I might not get the bit hit in the regular season, but I'm happy to come through now."
Fran Phelan pitched like an ace when his team needed it most.
Zupkus and Bonvicini were on second and third with two outs for another sophomore, Connor Goggin. Goggin stepped up and smacked a single to left, scoring Bonvicini for a 3-1 Holy Cross lead. Bonvicini struggled during the tournament, but was helped out by the likes of Zupkus and Goggin.
"This week he really needed us, and were there for him," Goggin said.
In the top of the sixth, the defense was there for complete-game winner Fran Phelan. Seymour had a runner on third with one out, and a fly ball was hit to Zupkus in right. Zupkus caught the ball, then threw home to junior catcher Will Marshall. Marshall had to snag the throw on a short hop, then try to sweep a tag onto the Wildcat baserunner. Marshall missed the tag, but the runner also missed the base.
Marshall, starting for sophomore Brian Parzyck, saw the runner miss out of the corner of his eye. His coach noticed too, and shouted. Marshall ran back and tagged the runner out to complete the wild double play. Seymour thought its runner had tagged the base, but the home plate umpire ruled otherwise.
Marshall was happy to contribute to his team's cause.
"We always say next man up, and I knew I just had to play hard for my team and do all the little things," Marshall said.
It was a strong throw by Zupkus, who made up for a dropped foul pop earlier in the game.
"The outfield is tremendous," head coach Mike Phelan said. "We have Adam in center, those two guys (Goggin and Zupkus) on the wings. Teams can't run on us, it's evident. They held guys all tournament, and they did a great job today again."
Fran Phelan made sure Seymour went down quietly in the seventh, retiring all three hitters on grounders.
"I saw it in his eyes in the seventh inning," Mike Phelan said. "He just said, we're not losing this game, we're taking it, and that's exactly what he did."
A season-long quest for redemption ended triumphantly when Phelan's throw hit the first base mitt of Bonvicini. The Crusaders erupted in celebration. Fran Phelan needed no more motivation than last year's title game loss.
"Last year losing it definitely made me want it more this year," Fran Phelan said.
After struggling with adrenaline early in the game, Fran Phelan settled down and pitched like the ace he has been for Holy Cross.
"He keeps us in every single game," Mike Phelan said. "When 19 is on the hill, we know we have a shot to win every single game."
They certainly do, and the lineup isn't half bad either. Combine good pitching with timely hitting and the normally solid Crusader defense, and they will be a very tough team to beat in Class S.
"I feel like we're feeding off a lot of confidence and I think we're looking really good for states," Zupkus said.
Indeed, with the NVL title goal secured, there's another one on the minds of the Holy Cross players. Just before the postgame huddle broke Wednesday, these three words were repeated over and over: "Five more games."
That's what it will take to win a Class S state championship. The Crusaders have a good chance at holding up another trophy if they play the way they have for most of this season.

PHOTOS: Click here to see more images from the game.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Holy Cross baseball wins NVL title

Holy Cross baseball poses with the NVL trophy after winning the tournament final 3-1 over Seymour on Wednesday.
Timely hitting and the pitching of Fran Phelan paced top-seeded Holy Cross baseball to a 3-1 victory over No. 7 upstart Seymour in the NVL Tournament championship game on Wednesday evening at Municipal Stadium.
MVP Fran Phelan threw a complete game for Holy Cross.
Phelan yielded just three hits and worked around an uncharacteristic four Crusader errors in a complete-game win. It was fitting that Phelan fielded a comebacker and threw to first baseman Matt Bonvicini for the final out.
On offense, Holy Cross scored two runs to break a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fourth inning. Adam Razza singled with one out, then stole second base. With two outs, Bonvicini beat out a slow grounder for an infield single. Tim Zipkus ripped a RBI double down the left field line to plate Razza, then Connor Goggin singled to left to score Bonvicini and put the Crusaders ahead 4-1.
A close play at home plate in the sixth inning went in favor of Holy Cross.
In the sixth, Zupkus kept the lead at 3-1 with a big double play. Zupkus caught a fly ball to right field, then fired home to catcher Will Marshall. Marshall corralled the bouncing throw, but missed his initial tag. The home plate umpire didn't call the runner safe, though, and Marshall bolted after the runner. The runner was called out on Marshall's second attempted tag, Holy Cross had a double play and was out of the inning.
In the seventh, Phelan got grounders to second and short for the first two outs, with Bonvicini tagging the second batter for the out on an errant throw. Phelan then got a bouncer back to himself and finished the game off.
Razza drove in the game's first run with a fielder's choice in the second inning. Seymour got the run back in the third on a Holy Cross error, and the game was tied until the bottom of the fourth.
Next up for Holy Cross is the Class S state tournament, where it is the top seed. The Crusaders repeated the mantra "Five more wins!" in the postgame huddle, so they are not planning on being satisfied.
Much more tomorrow, including a photo album and video highlights.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

NVL TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Sacred Heart boys moving up

Sacred Heart sophomore Edward "E.J." Williams won two events at Tuesday's NVL Track and Field Championships.
Sacred Heart boys track and field captured its first NVL Brass Division title last week.
Strong senior leadership and young talent combined to produce that accomplishment for the Hearts.
"The kids did it, I didn't," Sacred Heart head coach Tom Festa said Tuesday. "The kids did it. I just lead them the right way."
At Tuesday's NVL Track and Field Championship meet at Seymour High School, the Hearts turned in a solid fourth place finish.
"We're not quite in the upper echelon of the league, but we're getting there," Festa said.
The Hearts finished behind NVL powers Seymour (first), Derby (second) and Woodland (third). Sacred Heart was strong in sprints, and the leader there is Edward "E.J." Williams. Williams, just a sophomore, won both the 110 and 300-meter hurdle races.
"It's amazing what he has done," Festa said.
Williams ran a 14.79 in the 110, and it could have been better. Yikes.
"If he doesn't hit the last hurdle, he's sub-14," Festa said.
In the 300 hurdles, Williams snapped a 15-year meet record with a winning time of 39.39 seconds. Williams was .39 second better than the record set by Kennedy's TJ Gonzalez in 2002.
Williams isn't the only speedy runner. There's also junior Tyler Rudolph, who claimed third place in the 100-meter dash. Rudolph has been a mentor to younger athletes like Williams. You can also put seniors Joel Guzman, Legend Johnson and Courie Stevenson in that category. Stevenson was lost for the season with an injury.
"Especially Joel and Courie Stevenson," Festa said of those who helped Williams. "Courie has really taken him under his wing. They tell the younger guys, this is how you have to do it."
Festa called Rudolph "one of the best teammates." Rudolph cares more about the total effort than just his own.
"There's no me, there's no I," Festa said. "There's team."
Guzman took sixth in the 200-meter dash. Junior Mechai Hayes was third in the 400-meter dash, and senior Andruw Flemming was third in the 800. Senior Tariq Price was third in the high jump, third in the triple jump, and seventh in the long jump.
Junior Andre Anderson, Hayes, Flemming and Williams combined for a second place finish in the 4x400-meter relay.

Holy Cross junior Meah Austin, right, ran past Wolcott senior Cynthia Dias
and the rest of the competition in the 110-meter hurdles.
Holy Cross girls win
multiple events

Crusader junior Meah Austin was first in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.70 seconds, and she also finished second in the 300 hurdles. Austin teamed up with senior Hayley Gilmore, freshman Natalie Hodak and junior Devan Eason to take first place in the 4x100-meter relay. Holy Cross won that event in 51.95 seconds.
Kennedy also had a winner, and it was senior Andriska Mickle. She took the top spot in the discus with a throw of 102 feet, 6 inches.

Team Results
As noted before, Sacred Heart was the top boys team from the area at fourth place. In the girls, Holy Cross took fifth place and was the leading area squad.

To see all the results, click here.

PHOTOS: Click here to see images from Tuesday's meet.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Holy Cross senior Sarah Lawton nominated for CPTV Sports weekly honor

Holy Cross senior Sarah Lawton is up for CPTV Sports UChoose Student-Athlete of the Week.
Bristol Eastern baseball senior Zach Marquis isn't the only local up for CPTV Sports UChoose Student-Athlete of the Week.
Holy Cross softball senior Sarah Lawton has been unbelievable in the circle recently, and she is also up for the honor. Voting goes until 6 p.m. today, so go vote. You can get to the page by clicking here.
So what has Lawton done? Last week, she threw a no-hitter at home in a 13-1 win over Thomaston on Thursday. The one run came in because of some errors. Before that, an 8-0 shutout of Woodland on Tuesday. Lawton also threw one-hit shutouts against Wolcott on Saturday and Haddam-Killingworth on Sunday. The Wolcott game was a NVL Tournament quarterfinal, while the H-K contest was a regular season make-up.
In her last seven games, Lawton has allowed one unearned run. In those seven games, she's thrown three no-hitters, one perfect game, and three shutouts. Opponents had a total of four hits in the three shutouts.
Lawton has put up some incredible numbers, and she has Holy Cross in the hunt for NVL and Class S state tournament titles.

Bristol Eastern's Zach Marquis threw historic perfect game, nominated for CPTV Sports weekly honor

Bristol Eastern's Zach Marquis, seen pitching in last year's Rawlings Junior Showcase at CCSU, threw the first perfect game
in the Mike Giovinazzo era last Monday. (Sports on CT-69 file photo)
How's this for crazy?
Bristol Eastern senior pitcher Zach Marquis tossed the first perfect game in the long coaching tenure of Mike Giovinazzo last Monday. Marquis blanked Rocky Hill 13-0 at Muzzy Field, and he did it without letting a ball get hit to the outfield, according to Bristol Observer writer and Eastern guru Michael Letendre.
Marquis struck out just five, but he let his defense do the work behind him. Macgregor Goulet had the play of the game on the final out, making a diving catch, according to Letendre.
Letendre said there have been no-hitters, but no perfect games since Giovinazzo started coaching in 1975. Until last Monday at Muzzy Field, where Marquis made history.
For his efforts, Marquis is up for CPTV Sports UChoose Student-Athlete of the Week. Click here to cast your vote for Marquis.

DISCLAIMER: I admit that I completely forgot to include Marquis in the BRISTOL'S SPRING ROUNDUP #7. Sorry about that Zach!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

WATERBURY'S SPRING ROUNDUP #7: Sacred Heart boys track and field claims first NVL Brass title

Sacred Heart head track and field coach Tom Festa knew he had a good boys team coming into the spring season.
The team has plenty of talent, and it has showed in competition against fellow NVL Brass Division opponents. The Hearts beat Kennedy 90-60 during a meet Tuesday at Woodland Regional High School.
What the win did was give the Sacred heart boys the Brass Division title for the first time. Tariq Price was a triple winner for the Hearts, taking first place in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. Edward Williams had another strong day, winning the 110 and 300-meter hurdles. Joel Guzman won the 200 meters and Klajdi Cepa took first place in the discus.
Sacred Heart edged past Crosby (76-74) and Waterbury Career Academy (76-65) in their first meet of the season on April 18 at Crosby High School. The Hearts lost 88-62 to Holy Cross on May 2 at Wolcott High School, but that proved to be the lone defeat within the division.
Sacred Heart took down Wilby in a May 10 meet at Torrington, then downed Kennedy on Tuesday to wrap up the Brass Division title.
Festa expressed his excitement in a tweet on Tuesday.
Next up for Sacred Heart is the NVL championship meet on May 23. The Hearts plan on challenging for a Class S state championship, and that meet takes place on June 1 at Willow Brook Park in New Britain.

Top-seeded Holy Cross outlasted No. 8 Watertown 2-1 at home Saturday in a NVL Tournament quarterfinal. Fran Phelan got the better end of the pitchers' duel as he gave up a single run while scattering seven hits. Phelan struck out four and didn't issue a walk. Matt Bonvicini and Tim Zupkus each drove in a run for the Crusaders, who play No. 4 Naugatuck on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Municipal Stadium in the NVL semifinal round.
Naugatuck beat No. 5 Sacred Heart 7-2 in another quarterfinal on Saturday. The Hearts trailed 2-0 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but a five-run outburst in that frame by the Greyhounds put the game away. Jimmy Edwards took the loss on the mound. On offense, Bryan Fernandez had a two-run double in the top of the seventh inning. Next up for Sacred Heart is the Class S state tournament.

Second-seeded Holy Cross edged out No. 7 Wolcott 1-0 in a NVL Tournament quarterfinal Saturday. Sarah Lawton surrendered a single hit in a complete-game effort. Lawton struck out 15 and didn't allow a walk. Alexandra Lombardo drove in the game's lone run, which was scored by Allie Brown in the fourth inning. The Crusaders play No. 3 Torrington in a NVL semifinal Monday at 4 p.m. at Naugatuck High School.
Sacred Heart, No. 8, was upended 19-1 by top-seeded Seymour in another NVL quarterfinal. Kayleigh O'Donnell drove in the lone Heart run. Next up is the Class S state tournament.

Stevenson makes his decision: Sacred Heart senior Courie Stevenson will be a Colonial.
Stevenson will play basketball at Western Connecticut State University. Stevenson announced his decision on Twitter on Wednesday.

Sacred Heart reached the semifinal round of the NVL team tournament, but was defeated Wednesday by eventual league champion Watertown 5-2. The NVL individual tournament is next for the Hearts.

Shea Zaccagnini was medalist at 3-over-par 39 on Wednesday in a 171-232 Sacred Heart win over Kaynor Tech at East Mountain. On Friday, the Hearts put up their lowest score of the season as a team in a 164-266 win over Kennedy at East Mountain. Jack Vaillancourt was medalist at 40, but he had company in the low 40s with James Gruszkas (41), Zaccagnini (41) and John Keane (42) all putting up solid numbers.
Holy Cross continued its undefeated season with wins over Woodland and Sacred Heart. The Crusaders beat the Hearts 175-182 at East Mountain on Tuesday behind a 41 from Vincent Graziano. Chris Ford had a 42, Mike Mencio 44 and Alex Ford 48.

BRISTOL'S SPRING ROUNDUP #7: Central boys lacrosse beats Eastern

Bristol Central boys lacrosse defeated Bristol Eastern 6-2 on Thursday at Bristol Eastern High School.
Bristol Eastern hosted Bristol Central in boys lacrosse on Senior Night on Thursday on the turf of Bristol Eastern High School.
The Rams were rude guests, claiming a 6-2 win over the Lancers. Central won its second straight game and improved to 3-12. 
It was Eastern's last game of the season. The Lancers finished with a record of 3-13.
PHOTOS: Click here to see images from Thursday's game.

Bristol Central swept Bristol Eastern in Tuesday's meet at Bristol Eastern High School.
The Central boys defeated Eastern 120-30 in a matchup of the city rivals. The Ram boys won 15 events, according to a report from Dave Greenleaf on The Bristol Press website. 
David Bowes won the 400 meters and anchored two winning relays. Individual double winners for Central were Elijah Ortiz and Frankie Jenkins. Sean Fitzgerald and Luis Medina were both part of two winning relays.
Chris LeBeau had a win for Eastern.
In the girls meet, the Rams defeated the Lancers 95-47 behind wins in 12 events. Shy-Ann Whitten, Olivia Savino and Christie Peabody each won three events for Central. 
Eastern was strong in the sprints with wins from Alyssa Lavoie, Vanessa Floyd, Kailey Laprise and Jenalle Tobon. Brooke Dauphinee and Kayla Hardin took individual wins as well.
The Central boys defeated New Britain on Thursday to finish off an undefeated regular season.

St. Paul gave top-seeded Watertown all it could handle in Friday's NVL team tournament final at Woodland Regional High School, but the Indians prevailed 4-3.
"Congratulations to Watertown!" head coach Beth Hines tweeted on the @stpaultennis account. "Falcons come up short 3-4 despite giving it their all!! Next up NVL Individuals. #soproudofmygirls"
Hines has reason to be happy with her team. The Falcons were the No. 3 seed in the tournament, and they downed No. 6 Holy Cross in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal round, St. Paul avenged one of its two regular season losses by beating No. 2 Naugatuck.
Bristol Central avenged a season-opening loss to Bristol Eastern on Friday, winning 5-2 at Bristol Central High School. The Rams improved to 7-6 while the Lancers fell to 8-6.


St. Paul moved on to the NVL Tournament semifinal round with a 7-0 win over Woodland on Saturday in a matchup of the No. 3 and 6 seeds.
Wes Lahey picked up the win on the mound and Andrew Owsianko blasted a home run. The Falcons face No. 7 Seymour on Monday at 4 p.m. at Municipal Stadium. The Wildcats upset second-seeded Oxford.
Bristol Eastern and Bristol Central are each 9-9 with two regular season games left. The Rams host the Lancers this Monday at 7 p.m. at Muzzy Field. Central finishes the regular season Wednesday at Farmington while Eastern closes at home on the same day against Maloney.

St. Paul took down Watertown 6-2 on Saturday in a matchup of the No. 4 and 5 seeds in the NVL Tournament. The Falcons will play top-seeded Seymour at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the semifinal round at Naugatuck High School.
Fresh off of earning a share of the CCC South Blue Division title, Bristol Eastern hosts rival Bristol Central this Monday at 3:45 p.m.

Bristol Eastern took down Bristol Central 6-1 on Friday at Bristol Eastern High School. The Lancers improved to 7-4 while the Rams dropped to 3-7.

St. Paul has won four straight matches since losing back-to-back at Wolcott and Southington.
The Falcons won a pair of tight matches last week, 192-193 over Watertown on Monday and 190-199 over Woodland on Friday. St. Paul is 10-4 on the season.

WOLCOTT'S SPRING ROUNDUP #7: Eagles claim fourth straight NVL tennis title

Raheel Chowdhury, right, and Mike Perreault, serving, clinched Wolcott's fourth straight NVL title with a win in No. 3 doubles.
It proved to be the toughest matchup of the season, but Wolcott boys tennis secured a fourth straight NVL championship Friday.
The Eagles swept doubles and claimed a 6-3 victory over a tough Torrington squad in a battle of the NVL's top teams at Woodland Regional High School. The No. 3 team of Raheel Chowdhury and Mike Perreault won the championship-clinching match. The other doubles winners were Matt Spina/Matt Mastropietro at No. 1 and Alex Hale/Jackson Yost at No. 2.
Wolcott's seniors Spina, Mastropietro, Chowdhury and Perreault depart NVL team play with four straight championships and 77 consecutive victories. Next up is NVL individual competition this week.

Wolcott boys lacrosse will make the state tournament in its first season.

Wolcott has put together a tremendous first season at the varsity level.
The result of that tremendous season will be a Class M state tournament appearance. The Eagles ripped off six consecutive victories to get to 8-4 on the season. Included in that mix was an impressive 8-4 win over St. Paul at home Monday. Wolcott led 5-4 entering the fourth quarter of the game, but scored three unanswered goals to pull away.
PHOTOS: Click here for images from Monday's game.

Wolcott honored the seniors that were part of its first state championship on Tuesday. 
Steve Urbanski, Ray Bartoli, Bobby White and Nick Baldwin were recognized by the team and its fans before the game against Wilby. The Eagles then slammed the Wildcats 23-3.
Bartoli homered, double twice, drove in two runs and scored three more. Urbanski doubled and singled, drove in a run and scored two. White walked three times, scored three times, and drove in a run.
On the mound, Urbanski started and pitched the first three innings. White pitched the next two innings and was followed by Trey Nastri and Jeff Nicol.
Wolcott finished the regular season 12-8 and will next play in the Class M state tournament.

Wolcott, seeded seventh in the NVL Tournament, lost 1-0 on Saturday at second-seeded Holy Cross.
Nicole Antonowicz pitched well in defeat, surrendering a single run on three hits while recording six strikeouts. Madison Rotella had the lone hit for the Eagle offense.
Wolcott is 12-9 overall and will next play in the Class M state tournament.

Wolcott lost 5-2 to Naugatuck on Monday in the quarterfinal round of the NVL team tournament. The Eagles will play in the individual tournament this week.

Wolcott claimed a nice 75-74 win over Derby on Tuesday at home.
Cynthias Dias had two individual wins to lead the Eagles. Brooke Tracey, Sydney Gough, Morgan Veronesi and Melanie Reed all had one individual victory each. Wolcott also won the 4x100-meter relay behind the team of Taylor Riviezzo, Gough, Camryn Brissette and Tracey.
The Eagles finished the dual meet season 10-4.

Wolcott finished its inaugural varsity season with a record of 1-13. The lone victory was 11-9 over Amistad on April 28 on the turf of Joe Monroe Field.