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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tournament tidbits

Looking at the tournament through two rounds of play, we have:
seven teams still alive from the SCC
five teams left from the ECC
five teams from the SWC
three teams from the FCIAC
three teams from the CCC
There seems to be plenty of balance so far, As far as suprises go:
Norwalk falling to Newtown was a little surprising. I expected more out of them, but the SWC is proving to be a tough out in this tournament (Newtown beat Norwalk in 8 innings Wednesday).
Southington losing did not surprise me. Stamford came from behind to win that game. Bristol Central losing surprised me only a little, only because the Rams were good enough to get through the bottom half of the LL bracket last year to reach the finals against Amity. Bunnell beating them is not a surprise and, to be quite honest, not much of an upset, Bunnell lost four straight games at one points and fell out of the top 10. But the Bulldogs rallied to win the SWC title and playing Prep, another team up and down this season, should be an interesting matchup on Saturday.
As far as the quarterfinal-round matchups go, Guilford vs. North Haven in Class L is pretty intriguing with upstart Guilford, having one of its best seasons ever, going against the state's all-time winningest coach, Bob DeMayo. Both teams will be trying to steal runs off the other. That game is at West Haven High at 7.
I'm interested to see how Career fares against St. Bernard. Both teams play in rugged conferences. This is Career's biggest game in school history.
One last interesting matchup: Amity vs. Masuk. Amity eliminated Masuk in last year's semis. Masuk is looking for some payback. 7 p.m., Nolan Field, Ansonia.
Just pray for the same kind of weather we've been having. Thunderstorms are in the forecast right now.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

So who's No. 1 now?

The votes are still being tabulated, but it is an interesting discussion now that there are no longer any undefeated teams in the state.
Amity had its 33-game winning streak snapped by Guilford in the SCC final while Waterford lost to rival Fitch in the ECC final. The question is: how much stock do you put into league tournaments?
I know if you ask Amity coach Sal Coppola, he will tell you how much emphasis the Spartans put on winning it. They have won the last three. I'm not so sure what Waterford's Jack O'Keefe will say, but since the program has more baseball state championship than any other, I would imagine the Lancers didn't take too long to get over that loss.
So who should be No. 1? Should Amity retain it? Should Fitch get it despite suffering four losses? How about Norwalk, the FCIAC champion? Or what about Bristol Central?
Truth is, it doesn't really matter until the final poll comes out on June 12. But the debate may still continue to rage if either Amity or Fitch win LL and Waterford wins M.
My top three going into the tournament is the virtually the same it has been in the poll all year: Amity, Waterford and Fitch. I don;t think Amity deserves to drop, especially with Waterford losing. And since Waterford beat Fitch twice during the season, I can make a case for Fitch to be ranked right behind Waterford, especially since Plainville beat Falcons' ace Matt Harvey on May 21.
It should be one heck of a state tournament and finally answer the question which conference is better: SCC or ECC. It should come as no surprise that both teams have two No. 1 seeds (Amity and Guilford in LL and L, Waterford and St. Bernard in M and S) going in.
Feel free to share your state tournament picks with me. My predictions, plot lines and players to watch should be on-line by Tuesday morning.