Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Monday, May 20
- No. 8 Staples at No. 1 Greenwich
- No. 7 Danbury at No. 2 Ridgefield
- No. 6 Ludlowe at No. 3 St. Joseph
- No. 5 Trumbull at No. 4 New Canaan
Wednesday, May 22
Ballpark at Harbor Yard, 5:15 and 7:30
Saturday, May 25
Ballpark at Harbor Yard, noon
Here are your SCC baseball tournament pairings, released by King (Commish) Al Carbone and the SCC front office (which are one-and-the-same).
Tuesday, May 21
- No. 8 Hand at No. 1 Xavier, 4 p.m.
- No. 7 West Haven at No. 2 Amity, 4 p.m.
- No. 6 Notre Dame at No. 3 Fairfield Prep, 4 p.m.
- No. 5 Shelton at No. 4 North Haven – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 23
at Quigley Stadium, West Haven, 4 and 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 25
at Piurek Field, West Haven, 3 p.m.
The final day of the FCIAC baseball season will be a little less chaotic than last year but there is still one spot up for grabs and a bunch of seeding scenarios.
Here are the standings as of the end of the day Wednesday.
1. Greenwich 15-2 Cardinals locked up the No. 1 seed for the second straight year.
2. Ridgefield 13-4
3. St. Joseph 13-4
4. New Canaan 13-4
5. Trumbull 12-5
6. Danbury 12-5
7. Ludlowe 12-5
8. Wilton 10-7
9. Staples 9-6
- The current top 7 are in, just a matter of seedings and, as you can see, it could go a bunch of ways but if the Tigers, Cadets and Rams all win they will finish in the order they are currently in.
- Trumbull, Danbury and Ludlowe have all beaten each other so it will go to deeper tiebreakers than I am willing to try and figure out tonight.
- Wilton is in with win but out with loss and Staples win as Staples owns tiebreaker.
- If New Canaan loses to Wilton it may lose its first round playoff home game, which is really the best benefit to a higher seeding.
New Canaan had to play four games in four days this week and their pitching will be thin heading into the Wilton game, which is Thursday night.
Here is the schedule for the remaining teams.
Thursday: New Canaan vs Wilton; Ludlowe vs Darien
Friday: Greenwich vs Danbury; St. Joseph vs Warde; Ridgefield vs Westhill; Staples vs Bassick; Trumbull vs Trinity
The game I am always most excited for is when Greenwich and New Canaan hook up. Why? Because these teams always manage to put on a tremendous baseball game.
Today was no different with The Cardinals beating the Rams 7-5, escaping a bases loaded, one out jam int he seventh inning to hold on for the win.
The win ensures Greenwich a home playoff game next week while New Canaan must win tomorrow to earn a top 4 spot.
A loss for New Canaan tomorrow means we will have to call in the mathematicians to figure out seeding.
A drizzly day turned into a brilliant afternoon at Mead Park, my favorite FCIAC home field for a ballgame.
A few things that could not fit in my story.
- Cards pitcher Kyle Dunster took a liner off the thigh in the second inning but stayed in the game, going six innings and picking up the win.
Dunster also got hit by a pitch in his other leg in the seventh but shook that off as well.
“I think he pitched better after that,” GHS Coach Mike Mora said. “He missed a few spots and they made him pay but other than that the kid just competed today.”, saving a run
- In the fifth, New Canaan shortstop Matt Toth made a diving stop in the hole and threw out the runner at first, saving at least one run and keeping the Rams in the game.
- Casey Ouellette is right up there with James DeNomme of St. Joseph as the top catcher in the FCIAC, great work by him today, throwing out two base stealers and catching a throw and tagging out a runner on a sacrifice fly attempt.
Those plays don’t show up in the box score but he was huge all day.
- Credit to New Canaan Parks and Recreation Department for having the filed at Mead in pristine condition.
- Mike Abate was at the game and was greeted by players from both New Canaan and Greenwich who he works with at Bobby V’s baseball academy. He wore red and black and stood said he would stand in the middle to not be bias.
Here’s hoping these two meet again at Harbor Yard next week.
More on the playoff situation later after I get out my slide rule.
Bethel High junior righthander Matt Liquori beat New Fairfield 3-1 Friday to improve to 4-0, asserting himself as the ace of a team that sits near the top of the South-West Conference standings despite receiving little preseason hype.
Liquori, who calls his own games, has excellent command of three pitches, particularly a 12-to-6 curveball that he can and will throw in any count. And while it doesn’t always result in very many swings and misses, Liquori can be devastatingly efficient pitching to contact, as the Rebels’ three double-plays — including the game-ender — will attest.
“He’s throwing three pitches at a strike rate of about 70 percent,” said Bethel coach Ray Turek. “When you look at his stuff, it doesn’t scream No. 1. But the consistency is there.”
The Wildcats’ win came at the expense of a New Fairfield team (9-7, 6-5) that’s also in the hunt, and it could determine home-field advantage should the two teams meet again in the SWC tourney — a distinct advantage in what appears to be a deep league.
“Once you get down to fourth place, everyone’s around .500,” said New Fairfield coach Joe Garbowski. “It’s wide open. It’s right there for everybody.”
We all watch pitchers throw the ball, making it dart down or away from hitters, keeping batters off balance and maybe striking them out but what are we seeing?
The pitcher has a different grip for each pitch and the grips differ slightly but are generally the same, though how an individual throws a change-up or breaking ball may vary from hurler to hurler.
Let us take a look at a few pitching grips and discuss what is happening with each ball thrown during a game.
The thumb should be directly beneath the baseball, resting on the smooth leather.
This pitch should be held gently in the fingertips so it can generate more speed once it leaves the hand.
The four seamer is a straight fastball with the least amount of movement of any pitch.
The index and middle fingers are placed directly on top of the narrow seams of the baseball, though as you can see in the picture the pitcher can grip it slightly off center to increase movement.
A firmer grip causes the ball to change direction, running in to the throwing hand side of the plate.
Two seamers are generally slightly slower pitches than four seamers because they are being held tighter and moving more.
There are two types of change-ups generally thrown though “palm balls” are sometimes used but I doubt very much in high school.
The first type of change, shown here, is a circle change and requires bigger hands to properly grip.
The pitcher literally makes a circle with his hand and then centers the ball between the three other fingers.
This pitch is thrown with the same arm speed and body mechanics as a fastball, only slightly turning the ball over by throwing the circle to the target which reduces speed and gives the pitch a fading movement.
The second type of change-up is the three finger change and is generally the first non-fastball learned by young pitchers.
To throw a three-finger changeup, center the ring, middle, and index fingers on top of the baseball with the thumb and pinky finger placed on the smooth leather directly underneath the baseball.
Pitchers want to manipulate the pitch to come off of the thumb-side of the index finger.
Most good slider pitchers grip the outer-third of the baseball and cock their wrist slightly, to their throwing hand’s thumb-side upon release of the pitch.
The key with the slider is to hold the ball slightly off-center and the pitcher wants to snap their wrist when releasing the ball, creating spin on the ball.
- The other main pitch used by high school pitchers is the curveball which is generally slower than the slider but is designed to break down and away.
A few pitchers also use a knuckle-curve that moves even more than a tradtional curveball.
Last year in the regular season Trumbull had a chance to derail Greenwich‘s unbeaten season with the winning run on second base in the seventh inning but could not get him home.
The Cardinals rallied for 9 runs in the 8th inning to win that one but the Eagles got their revenge less than a month later when they handed Greenwich it’s first loss of the year in the FCIAC championship game at Harbor Yard.
The two teams are once again at the top of the FCIAC standings with Greenwich (12-1 FCIAC) curently in first and Trumbull (10-3 FCIAC) sitting in fifth place as the two lock talons again Wednesday in Greenwich at 4 p.m.
“I expect a pretty low scoring game because they are going to throw a good pitcher at us and we are going to throw a good pitcher at them,” Greenwich Coach Mike Mora said. “They are a solid team and have a lot of guys back from last year. We are expecting a battle with a playoff atmosphere.”
Trumbull dropped a 1-0 game to St. Joe’s Saturday at Harbor Yard, lost to New Canaan early in the season and dropped an extra-inning game to McMahon.
Greenwich’s lone FCIAC loss came at St. Joe’s.
Some of the league’s best players will be on display with Trumbull sporting James DeNomme behind the plate, Casey Mack at third and pitchers Gerard Spiegel and Colin Keyes.
Greenwich has Taylor Olmstead in right, pitchers Ryan Marks, Kyle Dunster and J.T. Hintzen and second baseman Vincent Ferraro.
Both teams will make the playoffs but it will serve both well to face quality teams coming down the stretch.
Come on down to Greenwich if you have the chance and it does not rain Wednesday.