Staples ends Westies’ season with 7-4 decision
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 29, 2013) – West Haven pitcher Nick Price struggled with his control Tuesday in rainy conditions as the CIAC Class LL state tournament opened. Hoping it was the weather which affected West Haven’s best pitcher during the regular season, West Haven coach Mike Anquillare sent Price back to the hill Wednesday afternoon to resume the game suspended by rain after one inning of play.
West Haven players and coaches wait as Chris Everone gets the field ready for play Tuesday afternoon. Rain forced the game to resume on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 as the Westies fell to Staples, 7-4. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Staples had other ideas. Taking advantage of four hits and two hit batters in the second inning, No. 17 Staples upset No. 16 West Haven, 7-4, in the first round of the tournament Wednesday afternoon at Piurek Field.
“The kids are very focused on playing well in the tournament,” Staples coach Jack McFarland said. “West Haven has a great team. We knew they had a good pitcher. The kids did a great job at the plate.”
With the win, Staples (13-8) travels to play top-seeded Xavier Thursday afternoon inMiddletown. West Haven finishes the season in disappointing fashion with a 12-10 record.
“I thought there were two well matched teams,” Anquillare said. “There was no favorite. We knew it would be an evenly matched game. Nick Price has been our best pitcher all year. He struggled today. He has been great all year with his only loss coming in to Xavier in extra innings.”
Nick Price fell for only the second time on the season in a season-ending loss to Staples, May 29, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The game was decided in the second inning as the Wreckers batted around and knocked Price out of the game, taking a 4-0 lead.
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Tyler Gambardella reached base three times and drove in a run in his final game as a Westie, May 29, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Cameron Stone throws a pitch against Amity in the SCC quarterfinals, May 21, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Westies fall to Amity in SCC opener
By MIKE MADERA
(May 21, 2013) - Amity baseball coach Sal Coppola did not think his team played well in a loss in the regular season finale against Foran. Just one day later, the Spartans had a chance to atone for the lackluster performance.
Scoring three times in the fifth inning off West Haven ace Cameron Stone, the second-seeded Spartans defeated seventh-seeded West Haven, 5-3, at Amity High Tuesday afternoon in the opening round of the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament.
“I am so proud of the guys,” Coppola said after his team improved to 17-4. “I really respect him (Stone) as a pitcher. He was throwing three different pitches. He can keep hitters off balance.
“We were down a couple of times and came back. We really showed a lot of guts today.”
The Westies showed they were ready to play from the start. After stranding two runners in the first inning against Amity pitcher Mike Concato, the Westies took a 1-0 lead in the second when Matt Carter and Mike Savino singled to put runners on the corners and Ricky Balzano hit into a double play to bring in a run.
Mike Savino swings against Amity in the SCC quarterfinals, May 21, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin here
Nick Price threw a scoreless sixth inning against Amity, May 21, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Mike Brand makes a play against Amity at third base, May 21, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Jay Wilkerson's 2-run single gave West Haven a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning against Amity, May 21, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Tyler Gambardella and his parents on Senior Day, May 18, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Westies defeat Platt Tech
WH closes regular season with 2-1 win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 20, 2013) – Looking to secure a home game in the CIAC state tournament, the West Haven baseball team took a big step forward Saturday evening.
Riding the pitching of Nick Price and the offense of Joe Sette, the Westies defeated Platt Tech, 2-1, on Senior Night at Piurek Field.
Price was on his game throughout as he scattered 3 hits, struck out 5 and did not walk a batter. Price, who improved to 5-1, allowed a run in the second inning, but then retired the Panthers without a blemish over the final 5 innings.
"He has pitched very well," West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said of Price. "His only loss was to Xavier in nine innings."
Nick Price pitches against Platt Tech, May 18, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Platt Tech took a 1-0 lead in the second as Jim Coury singled, moved to second on a sacrifice, third on a grounder and scored on Waxman's single.
After squandering a double by Price in the second, the Westies responded in the third inning. Sette singled with one out and scored when Jay Wilkerson reached on a two-out error to even the game at 1.
Both teams then went silently until the bottom of the fifth when West Haven scored the eventual winning run.
Rick Balzano opened the inning with a walk and pinch-runner Makiem Miller moved to third on Sette's single. Miller was out at home on a fielder's choice by Tyler Gambardella, but Wilkerson delivered Sette with a single for a 2-1 lead.
Tyler Gambardella against Platt Tech, May 18, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The run was more than enough for Price who retired 14 in a row until Coury singled with two outs in the seventh. Price got the final batter on a ground out to preserve the West Haven win.
"It was a good battle," Anquillare said. "Jay Wilkerson came up with a big hit. We played very good defensively and we pitched very well. We were a little light with the bats, but we did just enough to win."
Sette led the West Haven offense as he had 2 of the team's 4 hits and scored twice.
Cameron Stone and his parents on Senior Day, May 18, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
One Step Back
Westies fall to Prep and drop to 11-8
By MIKE MADERA
(May 16, 2013) – The West Haven baseball team suffered a blow in its hopes of playing a home game in the upcoming CIAC state tournament. Knowing 13 wins would more than likely cement a spot at home in the playoffs, the Westies will fall short of that mark.
Traveling to Fairfield to play the Jesuits, West Haven saw Fairfield Prep score 4 times in the fourth inning off Tyler Gambardella as the Jesuits defeated the Westies 7-2.
West Haven (11-8) has one more regular season game remaining against Platt Tech Saturday evening at Piurek Field. The Westies need a win to keep their hopes for a home game alive.
"I thought we came out flat from the big win the night before," West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. "We were a little flat coming out."
In Thursday afternoon's contest, West Haven scored once in the first before Prep answered with single runs in the first and second innings. When the Jesuits scored 4 times in the third inning, West Haven was in a 6-1 hole and never recovered.
Gambardella was relieved by Angel Gonzalez in the fifth and Jay Wilkerson in the sixth as Gambardella took the loss.
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Wilkerson reached on an error, stole second and scored when Cameron Stone doubled with two outs.
The Westies scored their second run of the game in the fifth inning as Joe Sette and Gambardella singled and Sette scored on Wilkerson's shot to right.
West Haven left runners on base as well as Rick Balzano was stranded at first after a single in the first and Gambardella was left at second after a single and stolen base in the third. Singles by Gary Donovan and Mike Savino in the sixth went by the boards as Balzano grounded to short for the final out.
David Gerics continued his solid season for the Jesuits on the hill as he allowed just 5 hits to improve to 5-2.
Stone doubled and drove in a run for the Westies in the loss. Shawn Blake doubled and tripled for Fairfield Prep, while Joe Ganim had 2 hits and drove in 3 runs.
WH rallies for 5 in 7th to beat East Haven
By MIKE MADERA
(May 15, 2013) – Down to its final out and trailing by 3 runs, things did not look good for the West Haven baseball team, Fast forward 7 batters and the Westies were on the happy end of a stunning 7-5 victory over East Haven.
The road victory came as the Westies are battling for a higher seeding in the state tournament and a berth in the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament. With the win, West Haven improved to 11-7 and, with outside help, just about assured a berth in the conference tournament.
"It is a huge win," West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. "The bottom line is we are playing to get the seeding in the CIAC tournament. We are working hard to get a home game. It is a big win."
Trailing 5-2 in the top of the seventh in East Haven, Joe Sette led off with a single, but Tyler Gambardella and Jay Wilkerson were retired. Michael Brand doubled to put a pair of runners in scoring position and Cameron Stone singled to short to score Sette.
With runners on the corners and trailing 5-3, Nick Price delivered Brand with a single and put runners on the corners. Gary Donovan then struck out but, when the ball skipped away, Donovan reached base and Stone scored the equalizer.
Matt Carter followed by reaching on an error to score pinch-runner Makiem Miller and Rick Balzano singled to score Donovan for a 7-5 lead.
By the time the inning had ended, West Haven sent 10 batters to the plate and used 5 hits to win the game.
"We hung around and chipped away and in the last inning, I thought we made better contact," Anquillare said. "The balls found some holes and the next thing you know, it is 7-5."
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the third inning as Gambardella singled with one out and Wilkerson followed with a double before a grounder by Brand plated Gambardella.
East Haven wasted no time taking the lead off Stone as a single by Nick Lamberti was followed by a two-out walk to Andrew Hinckley. Stephen Perricone's single to left scored Lamberti and Pete Grippo singled to score Hinckley.
East Haven increased the lead to 5-1 in the fourth and knocked out Stone with the big blow coming from Jon Criscio when he hit a two-run homer.
Gambardella, Wilkerson and Brand were at the center of West Haven's next rally in the fifth when each singled with 1 out to load the bases and Stone delivered a sacrifice fly.
West Haven had its chances against East Haven pitcher Tom Moore, but left a runner on third in the first and stranded Carter, who had doubled, in the fourth.
Gambardella, Wilkerson, Brand and Carter led the offense with two hits apiece, with Gambardella scoring twice.
Carter picked up the win in relief as he went the final 3 2/3 innings, allowing 2 hits, no runs and striking out 6.
"The day belonged to Matt Carter," Anquillare said. "He had two hits and he threw the ball well to give us a chance to win. He struck out the side looking in the last inning.
"He came in to pitch in the fourth inning and did not allow a run the rest of the way. The day went to him."
Stone allowed 5 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings on 2 hits, while striking out 4 and walking 2.
Price leads WH past Cheshire
Junior allows 1 run in 2-1 win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 13, 2013) – As the regular season ticks away, it is all about seeding for the West Haven baseball team. Needing to pick up as many victories as possible, the Westies added another to the list Monday afternoon.
Riding the arm and bat of Nick Price, the Westies defeated Cheshire 2-1 in 8 innings at Piurek Field. The win was West Haven's third in a row and improved West Haven's record to 10-7.
"It was a huge win for us," West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. "We have won three in a row and we are on a little roll. We are trying to improve our standing in the state tournament. That is number one right now. We want to get a good seeding."
With the game even at 1 in the eighth, Joe Sette started the winning rally when he reached on an error and stole second. Jay Wilkerson walked with one out and Cameron Stone was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. Price delivered the winner when his single to right scored Sette for the 2-1 win.
The game-winning hit by Price was fitting as he was also stellar on the mound. The junior tossed a complete game, allowing 8 hits, 1 unearned run, walking 2 and striking out 2 to improve to 4-1. Price threw 98 pitches, 60 for strikes and started 19 batters with strikes.
"Nick Price had the big hit," Anquillare said. "It was a big day for him. He pitched really well, and, after the intentional walk, he came up with the big hit. He pitched great. He has been pretty tough."
Cheshire opened the scoring in the first inning when Cooper Mrowka singled and moved to second on an error on the play by Matt Carter. Ethan Lonardelli promptly delivered Mrowka with a single for a 1-0 lead.
That was all the Rams could muster on offense as Price worked his way out of trouble in the second when he retired Kevin Miranda with runners on second and third. The Rams also had a pair of runners in scoring position in the sixth with two outs but Price got a grounder to first to end the frame.
The Rams also had a chance to take the lead in the eighth as they put runners on the corners with two outs. Price again escaped when he retired Ryan Pierpont on a fly ball to left.
West Haven evened the game in the third with smart play on the base paths. Tyler Gambardella started the rally with a one-out single to left but was erased on Wilkerson's fielder's choice.
Michael Brand reached on an error to put runners on the corners and Brand broke for second as part of a double steal. When Brand was caught in a rundown, Wilkerson scored before Brand was tagged out to even the game at 1.
"We did not swing the bats great, but we did a lot of the little things well," Anquillare said. "It was a good win for us."
The Westies had other opportunities against Lonardelli but could not capitalize. Balzano was stranded in scoring position in the fifth as the Westies could not bring him home despite having two carcks at it.
Gambardella led the West Haven offense with a pair of hits, while Price, Gary Donovan, Carter and Balzano each had one hit.
Westies top Platt Tech
Price, Gambardella lead WH to 5-1 win over Panthers
By MIKE MADERA
(May 10, 2013) – As the regular season ticks away, it is all about seeding for the West Haven baseball team. Needing to pick up as many victories as possible, the Westies added another to the list Friday afternoon.
Behind the pitching of Tyler Gambardella and the hitting and relief effort of Nick Price, the Westies defeated the Panthers 5-1 at Platt Tech.
Gambardella and Price combined to allow only 4 hits. Gambardella went 5 innings, striking out 5, walking 1 and allowing just 1 run, while Price threw the final 2 innings, striking out 2 batters and not allowing a hit.
"We got the win," West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. "Tyler was pretty good as he struck out 5 and allowed just 4 hits. Nick (Price) came in and he was tough the last 2 innings."
West Haven got all the runs it would need in the first inning as the Westies scored 3 times.
Gambardella led off the game with a walk, Jay Wilkerson reached on an error and a sacrifice by Michael Brand put a pair of runners in scoring position. After Cameron Stone reached on an error to load the bases, Price doubled to left to clear the bases for a 3-0 lead.
The Westies had numerous opportunities throughout the game, but could not get the big hit.
The Westies left runners on second and third in the second inning, a runner on second in the third and runners on second and third in the fourth.
Platt Tech escaped in the fourth as West Haven's Gambardella led off with a single and Wilkerson reached on an error to purt a pair of runners in scoring position. Panthers' starter Mike Raccio settled down as he struck out Brand and Stone and got Gary Donovan on a pop out after Price had walked to load the bases.
"It was a good win, but we left so many guys on base especially in the fourth inning," Anquillare said. "We did not break the game open. We left a lot of guys on. We did not get the clutch hit."
After stranding anothe runner in the fifth, West Haven extended the lead to 5-1 in the seventh. Donovan walked, Matt Carter doubled and Rick Balzano hit a sacrifice fly to score Donovan. The Panthers' Todd Petrucci tried to pick off Carter but a pair of errors by the Panthers allowed Carter to score for the 5-1 lead.
"That was a big seventh inning," Anquillare said. "We were able to extend the lead."
Gambardella led the Westies with 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 stolen bases and a run scored.
On to the Postseason
Westies beat Hamden to improve to 8-7
By MIKE MADERA
(May 6, 2013) – Needing a win to snap a two-game skid and to feel good about itself once again, the West Haven baseball team turned to one of its most reliable pitchers. That pitcher, Nick Price, did not disappoint.
Pitching a complete-game six-hitter, Price helped West Haven to a 4-1 victory overHamden at Piurek Field Monday afternoon. Price threw 74 of his 109 pitches for strikes, including 21 first pitch strikes to the 29 batters he faced.
Price struck out 7 and walked just one in helping West Haven clinch a berth in the state tournament. With the win, West Haven improved to 8-7on the season.
Nick Price gave the Westies exactly what they needed in a 4-1 win over Hamden, May 6, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After Hamden took a 1-0 lead in the third on a run-scoring double by Moskal, West Haven answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good.
Tyler Gambardella started the rally with a leadoff triple and immediately scored on Jay Wilkerson’s single.
Michael Brand followed with a double to put a pair of runners in scoring position before Cameron Stone singled to score Wilkerson for a 2-1 lead. Price followed with a single to score Brand, giving the Westies a 3-1 advantage.
West Haven left a pair of runners on in the inning, but increased the lead to 4-1 in the fourth. Joe Sette led off the inning with a single, advanced to third on an error and scored on Gambardella’s single to center.
The Westies went down quietly in their last two at bats and watched as Price worked out of a bit of a jam in the final two innings.
Price allowed a two-out single in the sixth, then saw Hamden rally with a walk and a single with two outs before he got a strikeout for the final out of the game.
Xavier pounds Westies
Big 2nd inning leads Falcons to 13-5 win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 3, 2013) – The West Haven baseball team was looking for the win to qualify for a berth in the state tournament. Instead, the Westies saw an 8-run second inning lead Xavier to a 13-5 victory in Middletown Friday afternoon.
With the loss, West Haven dropped its second straight contest and fell to 7-7 on the year. Xavier improved to 14-1.
Strapped for pitching as Cameron Stone left the contest against Notre Dame early, forcing Tyler Gambardella into action, West Haven turned to Jay Wilkerson and others but could not contain a powerful Xavier offense.
The trio of Wilkerson, Matt Carter and Joe Sette allowed 13 runs as West Haven could not hold a 2-0 first inning lead.
The big blow in the game came when Jack Gethings hit a 3-run triple to highlight the 8-run second inning. Laurence Hill also hurt the Westies with 2 hits and 4 runs batted in while John Signore improved to 5-0 with the win.
"We came into the game having used our pitching during the week," West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. "We jumped out o a 2-0 lead, but they scored eight times in he second inning. We could not hold them."
West Haven jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Gambardella singled to lead off the game and Michael Brand and Nick Price followed with one-out singles to produce one run. With runners on the corners, the Westies executed a double steal for a 2-0 lead.
That was all the West Haven scoring until the seventh inning. By that time, West Haven trailed 13-2.
"We jumped out early and put a couple more on the board in the seventh," Anquillare said. "It was a tough day."
In the seventh, Xing Canteras singled with one out,Wilkerson walked and Brand singled to score a pair. Price's single scored Brand to round out the scoring.
Westies fall to Green Knights
ND sweeps city series from WH
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 1, 2013) – Looking to clinch a spot in the postseason, the West Haven baseball team ran into Notre Dame junior John Amendola Wednesday afternoon. Amendola proved to be more than the Westies could handle.
Recording the first seven outs of the game by way of strikeouts, Amendola set the tone of the contest and never let up until tiring in the sixth. By that time, Notre Dame had a 6-run lead and held on to defeat the Westies 6-3 at Piurek Field Wednesday afternoon.
The win was Notre Dame’s fourth in five games and helped the Green Knights improve to 9-5. West Haven saw its 4-game winning streak snapped, lost Cameron Stone to an apparent arm injury after two innings and remained one win short of qualifying for the postseason at 7-6.
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin here
Price and Stone hurl Westies past North Haven
WH wins 5-2 to improve to 7-5
By MIKE MADERA
(April 29, 2013) – West Haven coach Mike Anquillare is well aware his team’s success is based around the pitching staff. With several solid arms, Anquillare knows as the staff goes, so goes the team.
Monday afternoon in North Haven again confirmed this as the Westies rode the pitching of Nick Price and Cameron Stone to a 5-2 road victory over North Haven.
Price went the first 5 2/3 innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 4 and striking out 5. Stone came into the game in the sixth inning with two runners on and two runs in and recorded a strikeout to end the frame.
Stone allowed a leadoff single and a one-out walk in the seventh, but recorded all 3 outs by way of strikeout to save the win, which allowed West Haven to improve to 7-5.
“This is a big win for us,” Anquillare said after his team won its fourth straight game. “We have won our last four. I am happy with the way the kids played. We had solid defense and we got two-out hits again. We put runs on the board and our pitching has been outstanding.
“Nick Price threw the ball well again. He kept them off balance the entire game. He gave us six quality innings.”
After Tyler Gambardella doubled and was stranded in the first inning, West Haven got on the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the fourth inning.
Stone reached off North Haven pitcher Chandler Andrewsen with a one-out walk, Price reached on an error and Gary Donovan singled with two outs to score Stone. Ricky Balzano followed with a single to score Price for a 2-0 lead.
West Haven increased the lead to 5-0 in the fifth inning. Gambardella and Jay Wilkerson opened the inning with singles and moved into scoring position on a ground out by Michael Brand. After Stone was intentionally walked, Price doubled to clear the bases for a 5-0 lead.
“We got some clutch hits today,” Anquillare said. “Nick Price’s bases clearing double put us ahead by five. That was a big turning point of the game.
“We scored five runs in two innings. We had back to back, two-out hits by Gary Donovan and (Ricky) Balzano.”
Gambardella led the West Haven offense with 2 hits and a run scored, while Balzano had 2 hits and a run batted in.
For all of your heating oil needs, contact Oyster River Petroleum or visit here
Championship teams - 1967, 1973, 1984, 1988, 2009 (No. 1 in Ct.)
All-State Players - Anthony Pacileo '84; Mel Wearing '85; Mike Anquillare '86; Nick Piombino '88; Paul Mulligan '88; Dave Anquillare '89; Aaron Sellner '92; Kevin Jason '92; Shane Russell '93; Rob Farnen '94; Jason Criscio '95; Gary Tarquino '95; Pete O’Neill '96; Joe DeCrescenzo '97; Jerry Gambardella '00; Matt Cavallaro '02; Rich Mordente '03; Matt Gianini '03, '04; Nico Gambardella '05; Tom Lawrence '09; Eric Stone '10; Tyler Gambardella '13
Retired Numbers - Jerry Gambardella (Class of 2000) #21
THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS
On a Roll
Stone drives in 4 as Westies pound Shelton
By MIKE MADERA
(April 26, 2013) – Having won just 5 games at the half way point in the season, the West Haven baseball team knew it needed to pick up the pace in the second half. Two games later, the Westies are just one win away from playing in the postseason.
Led by 2 hits and 4 runs batted in from Cameron Stone, 2 hits and a run batted in by Joe Sette and 3 hits from Gary Donovan, the Westies defeated Shelton 12-3 at Piurek Field Friday afternoon.
Tyler Gambardella went the distance for the Westies, striking out 7. Gambardella allowed 2 earned runs, walked 5 and allowed 5 hits in another solid performance.
West Haven got on the scoreboard first in the second inning, taking a 1-0 lead when Nick Price singled, Donovan followed with a two-out single and Rick Balzano reached on an error to score Price.
The Westies put the game away in the third inning with 6 runs. Gambardella led off with a triple, Jay Wilkerson walked and Michael Brand walked to load the bases. Stone made it 4-0 when he tripled to clear the bases.
After Price popped out, Matt Carter reached on an error to score Stone for a 5-0 lead. A single by Donovan was followed by another single by Balzano to score Carter and Donovan for the 7-0 advantage.
Shelton got one run back in the top of the fourth off Gambardella when V Backert scored on an error, but the Westies answered in the bottom of the inning.
Brand opened the frame with a double to left and Stone singled to score Brand. After Stone stole second, Donovan’s two-out single gave the Westies a 9-1 lead.
The Gaels struck back in the fifth, scoring twice as Patrick Murphy singled and scored on Tyler Tice’s triple and Tice scored on a ground out by Michael Cowell.
As was the case the entire game, the Westies answered in the bottom of the inning with 2 runs. Sette opened the inning with a double and scored on Wilkerson’s triple, before Wilkerson scored on a grounder by Brand.
Sette’s run-scoring single in the sixth scored Jesse Tejero for the 12-3 final.
Stone, Gambardella lead WH past Career in 11 innings
By MIKE MADERA
(April 24, 2013) – The West Haven baseball team has been struggling a bit since a quick start to the season. With four days off, the Westies used the time wisely.
Led by the pitching of Cameron Stone and Tyler Gambardella, the Westies defeated Career 3-1 in 11 innings at West Rock Park Wednesday afternoon.
Stone was brilliant on the day as he allowed just 1 run on 3 hits in 8 innings, while striking out 16 and walking 3. Gambardella was equally impressive as he tossed three innings of shutout baseball, striking out three and not allowing a hit or walking a batter.
"Cameron was unbelievable," West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. "He did an unbelievable job. Him and Tyler Gambardella did an excellent job keeping their composure. They did not have good days at bat, but they never took that to the field. They kept us in the game and did what captains do."
With neither team scoring in the first three extra innings, West Haven finally took the lead for good with two runs in the eleventh.
Jay Wilkerson led off the inning with a single to left, moved to second on Matt Carter's sacrifice and scored on Nick Price's single to left. Price advanced to second on an error, third on Gary Donovan's grounder to short and scored on Joe Sette's single to left.
That was all Gambardella needed to pick up the victory. The senior recorded a pair of fly outs and a strikeout to end the game, sending West Haven to its fifth victory.
The game would not have gone to the eleventh inning without some dramatics in the seventh. Down 1-0 and getting close to squandering the effort by Stone, the Westies rallied.
Wilkerson again was at the center of the rally as he opened the seventh with a walk and moved to second when Carter reached on a fielder's choice. After Mike Savino flied out to center and Donovan popped out for the second out, Sette walked to load the bases and Gambardella walked to force in Wilkerson with the tying run.
"We were down 1-0 in the last inning and we had two walks on 3-2 pitches," Anquillare said. "We were down to our last pitch twice and won the game."
The Westies (5-5) left the bases loaded as Mike Brand grounded out, but the damage had been done.
Career looked to threaten in the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff walk, but Stone struck out the next three batters to end the frame.
After West Haven went down in order in the eighth, Stone struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the inning and got a fly ball out to end his day.
West Haven had its chances in the next two innings but could not capitalize. Donovan reached on an error with two outs in the ninth, but was left stranded and Brand reached on an error in the tenth with one out but went no further.
The Westies had their share of opportunities in the game, but did not capitalize until the later innings. In the first inning, Brand doubled and Bobby Moretti reached on a fielder's choice, but West Haven was unable to score. Brand walked with two outs in the third, Moretti singled to lead off the fourth, Donovan walked to lead off the fifth and Brand led off the sixth with a single, but none of the runners would score.
"I was not happy with the way we swung the bats, but the pitching and defense were excellent," Anquillare said. "We did not play very well offensively, but we did enough to win."
Career scored its only run of the game in the third inning on a passed ball.
Brand led the West Haven offense with three hits, while Wilkerson had one hit and scored both runs.
Price is Right
Pitcher tosses 4-hitter in 4-0 win over Titans
By MIKE MADERA
(April 19, 2013) – If ever a team needed a victory, that team was the West Havenbaseball squad. Having lost four games in a row, including three by one run, the Westies needed to get back on track.
Junior Nick Price came up big. The West Haven pitcher tossed a complete game shutout, allowing just 3 hits as the Westies defeated Sheehan 4-0 at Piurek Field Friday afternoon. Price walked 4 and struck out 5 in the 105-pitch effort.
“Nick Price was great,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “He came up big when we needed a win. We made the plays behind him. It was a nice effort by Nick and a big win for us.
“He threw the ball well. He kept the hitters off balance. He had to wiggle out of trouble in the first inning which was big. It changed the whole momentum.”
Nick Price, seen here in 2012, pitched a 3-hitter as West Haven defeated Sheehan, 4-0, Friday, April 19, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Playing with a different lineup as senior Cameron Stone missed the game for family reasons, Jay Wilkerson had a hit and scored in the second slot and Michael Brand had a hit and a run batted in from the third spot. The bottom of the order consisting of Gary Donovan, Rick Balzano and Joe Sette contributed 4 hits, 2 runs scored and a run batted in, with Sette picking up a pair of hits.
“It was a good effort,” Anquillare said. “Joe Sette had two hits. We got some two-out hits and we did the little things.”
Price got himself out of trouble in the first inning after walking the first two batters as he struck out Kevin Duffy and got Rob Sprafke to hit in a double play to end the inning.
West Haven knocked Sheehan starter Sal Gozzo out of the game after two innings, scoring twice in the first and taking a 3-0 lead after two.
West Haven put the pressure on early as Tyler Gambardella walked, Wilkerson doubled and Bobby Moretti walked one out later to load the bases. After Matt Carter struck out for the second out, Price walked to force in Gambardella and Donovan singled to score Wilkerson.
“We did the little things right,” Anquillare said. “We got some two-out hits.”
Moretti was out attempting to score, but West Haven led 2-0 after one inning of play.
After Price retired the Titans in the second inning by getting out of a first and third situation with a fly ball by Nolan Cloutier, West Haven increased the lead to 3-0 in the second frame.
Balzano led off with a double to center, moved to third on Sette’s sacrifice and scored on a passed ball. The Westies had an opportunity for a bigger inning as Gambardella walked, but was caught stealing. Wilkerson followed with a walk and Brand reached on an error, but Moretti grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Price got out of another jam in the third as the Titans had two runners on with no one out. Price escaped without any damage as he sandwiched a pair of fly balls around a strike out to Sprafke to end the frame.
West Haven closed the scoring with a run in the fourth inning. Sette singled, moved to second on Gambardella’s sacrifice and scored on Brand’s double.
Westies fall to Jesuits
Miscues costly again in 4-1 loss
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (April 17, 2013) – In the midst of a 3-game losing streak, there have been some constants for the West Haven baseball team. Unfortunately for the Westies, those constants have not been of the positive variety.
With a lack of clutch hitting and defensive miscues playing a big part in the three losses, West Haven was hoping to avoid that formula Wednesday afternoon against Fairfield Prep. For five innings, West Haven looked as if it would break the streak.
The sixth inning was a different story. The Jesuits took advantage of a hit batter and an error to score twice and held on to defeat the Westies 4-1 at Piurek Field.
“We are not doing enough to win,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “We are not getting a clutch hit or making a clutch play. We are not doing enough.”
Kevin Stone led off the sixth with a single off West Haven starting pitcher Tyler Gambardella and Jesuit pitcher David Gerics was hit by a pitch. After Jake Berry struck out attempting to bunt, Gambardella threw wildly to first in an attempted pickoff to put runners in scoring position.
Pinch-hitter Mike Carter then came through with a line single to right to score Stone and Gerics for a 2-1 lead. After Lockery walked and Kenny Collins walked to load the bases with two outs, Gambardella escaped without further damage as he got Chris Collins on a fly ball to center.
“We are finding out what we can do,” Fairfield Prep coach Rudy Mauritz said. “This is a big win for us. We were able to tough it out at the end.”
The Jesuits added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh inning as Carter could not catch Berry’s fly ball, allowing Stone to score the first run. Lockery singled to scoreBerry for the 4-1 lead.
“We did enough to stay in the game, but not enough to win,” Anquillare said. “We did not deserve to win.”
West Haven (3-5) finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth inning, taking advantage of two Fairfield Prep errors. Matt Carter started the rally with a one-out single and advanced to third when Rick Balzano’s grounder was misplayed by Prep’s Dean Lockery to put a pair of runners in scoring position.
Jay Wilkerson delivered the first run of the game when his single scored Carter. An error on the play put two runners in scoring position, but West Haven could not capitalize as Gambardella struck out and Joe Sette grounded to second for the final out of the inning.
“We couldn’t get a clutch hit,” Anquillare said.
The Westies had limited scoring opportunities in the contest. In the first, Gambardella reached on an error but was picked off first.
In the third inning, Balzano singled with one, but was left stranded when Wilkerson and Gambardella were retired by Gerics. Bobby Moretti singled with two outs in the fourth, but was left stranded when Brand hit a fly ball to center.
Gambardella was crafty through the first five innings as he stranded one runner on in the first, two in the third, and the bases loaded in the fifth. Gambardella’s best job came in the fifth as he got Shawn Blake to pop out to Brand at third for the final out with the bases loaded.
“We are in a tough spot,” Anquillare said. “We have to turn it around. We work hard in practice, but it is not translating into the games. We are not inexperienced any more. We are eight games into the season.”
Westies fall to Hamden
Gem by Stone wasted in 3-2 defeat
By MIKE MADERA
(April 15, 2013) – In the midst of a stretch of games which included Notre Dame, Xavier, Hamden and Fairfield Prep, West Haven coach Mike Anquillare knew his team would be in for a battle in each. Anquillare could not have imagined what his team has gone through in the first three games of the stretch.
Playing good enough to win in each of the games, West Haven has dropped all three by one run. The latest loss came Monday afternoon at Hamden High where Hamden scored three unearned runs in the fourth inning and held on to defeat West Haven, 3-2.
"It has been a lack of execution with the defensive plays," Anquillare said. "It has been one thing or another. We botch a play and we pay every time."
The loss was particularly painful for the Westies as starting pitcher Cameron Stone was on his game. Stone tossed a complete game, allowing just five hits, walking one and striking out 13.
"Cameron Stone was in control the first three innings," Anquillare said. "He was unbelievable. We make an error with two outs and we drop a ball at the plate. They capitalized on our mistakes."
Unfortunately for Stone, a two-out error in the fourth inning led to three runs and the Westies never recovered.
The West Haven baseball team suffered its third straight one-run loss against Hamden, April 15, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After Stone worked around a double by Luke D’Ostilio in the second with a pair of strikeouts and striking out the final batter in the third after Dylan Kelly singled, the senior looked as if he would cruise through the fourth inning.
Stone got the first two outs on a pop out and a strikeout, before D’Ostilio singled to left. Jim Magson reached on an error by Joe Sette at short and Paul Wetmore singled to left to score D’Ostilio for a 1-0 lead.
With both runners advancing to scoring position on the throw, Stone needed to get a big out. Tyler Mitchell had other ideas as Mitchell singled to right to score both Magson and Wetmore for a 3-0 lead. Stone struck out Kelly two batters later to end the frame, but the damage had already been done.
"In all of these one-run games, it has been a lack of execution on defense which has hurt us," Anquillare said. "If we make a play, we win all three games. We just have to make a play. The key in this stretch is the other teams have not made any errors. We have made the errors. That's the difference."
West Haven battled back in the fifth inning with a pair of runs. Matt Carter was hit by a Matt Moskal pitch with one out, Jason Wilkerson followed with a single and Sette atoned for his error with a triple to right, scoring Carter and Wilkerson.
The Westies were set up with the tying run at third, but Sette never moved. Moskal ended the threat by striking out Tyler Gambardella and Gary Donovan.
The strikeouts would mark the final opportunity for West Haven as Moskal retired West Haven in order in the final two innings to help Hamden regroup after the Green Dragons allowed 6 runs in the seventh inning against Notre Dame on Saturday in a tough loss.
"We were very undisciplined at the plate," Anquillare said. "We did not have a lot of guys on base. We did not hit many balls hard. It was an awful performance at the plate by us."
West Haven’s chances were limited in the contest as Moskal threw a complete game, allowing four hits, while striking out six and not walking a batter.
Stone doubled with two outs in the first but was left stranded when Bobby Moretti lined to second. In the third, Wilkerson singled and Gambardella was hit by a pitch, but Donovan hit into a double play to end the frame.
Wilkerson led the West Haven offense with two hits and a run scored. D’Ostilio ledHamden with two hits and a run scored.
Xavier nips Westies
Falcons score in 9th to defeat West Haven 3-2
By MIKE MADERA
(April 13, 2013) – The West Haven baseball team entered the week knowing it would face some tough competition. With Notre Dame and Xavier on the schedule, the Westies knew they would need timely hitting and excellent pitching.
The Westies got half of that formula. Nick Price followed Tyler Gambardella’s gem against Notre Dame with a solid outing against the Falcons, but the lack of a clutch hit hurt the Westies in a 3-2 loss in nine innings at Piurek Field Saturday afternoon.
Price went the distance for the Westies, allowing only two earned runs on 12 hits. TheWest Haven pitcher struck out four and walked just one in an effort which saw him throw 115 pitches, 78 for strikes.
The Falcons used three pitchers effectively in the win. Jon Signore went eight innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits, striking out six and walking one. Sean Carroll finished the contest walking a batter and striking out another, but not allowing a run in the bottom of the ninth.
"It was a tough loss to a good team," West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. "The game was there for the taking. We did not step up and take it."
West Haven took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning when Michael Brand opened with a single to center, moved to second on a sacrifice by Matt Carter and scored on Jay Wilkerson’s single to left. The Westies failed at a chance for more runs when Wilkerson was thrown out trying to score on Joe Sette’s single.
Michael Brand, seen here against Notre Dame, singled and scored in the fourth, but it was not enough in a 3-2 loss to Xavier, April 13, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The failed opportunity would hurt West Haven as Xavier scored the equalizer in the fifth. Matt Albanese singled to center with one out, stole second and scored on Mike Purcell’s single to right.
The Falcons loaded the bases in the inning before Price got out of the jam. Laurence Hill hit a fly ball to left and Purcell was out at home trying to score for the third out of the inning.
Bobby Moretti, seen here against Notre Dame, and the West Haven offense could not get a big hit in suffering a 3-2 loss to Xavier, Saturday, April 13, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Xavier had more chances before the ninth to win the game, while West Haven was relatively quiet in its final five at bats. In the eighth, Hill singled, stole second and moved to third on a grounder, but Price got out of the inning with a strikeout.
Xavier opened the scoring in the first inning as the Falcons took advantage of twoWest Haven errors. Jack Gethings doubled with one out, moved to third when Albanese reached on an error and scored when Pat Downey reached on an error.
After stranding Gary Donovan at second in the first inning, West Haven evened the contest in the second. Price opened the inning with an infield single and scored one out later when Carter doubled to left.
Gethings led the Falcons with two hits, two runs scored and a run batted in. Albanese and Purcell also had two hits apiece in the win for the Falcons.
Lack of execution key in 2-1 loss to Notre Dame
By MIKE MADERA
(April 10, 2013) - With Notre Dame pitching ace Greg Zullo and outfielder Griffin Garabedian out for an indefinite amount of time with injuries, Notre Dame coach Lou Kessler is well aware his team may have to scratch out a few victories early in the season. Wednesday afternoon at Quigley Stadium may have been a perfect example of what it will take for the Green Knights to be successful this year.
Behind the 6-hit pitching of junior John Amendola and a little bit of small ball, Notre Dame won the first round of the city rivalry against West Haven, 2-1.
“The key with us is we did not make any errors and we have not made any errors in the last two games,” Kessler said. “We are not hitting right now. We have to play defense, get the pitching and timely hitting. We did that today.”
Amendola retired the first 10 batters of the game, ran into some trouble, then retired the final six West Haven batters, five by strikeout. The junior struck out eight in the win.
“John threw the ball well,” Kessler said of Amendola who improved to 2-0. “He did a nice job today.”
Not to be outdone was West Haven pitcher Tyler Gambardella. The senior also went the distance, allowing just three hits, walking four and striking out three.
Tyler Gambardella tossed a 3-hitter, but West Haven fell to Notre Dame 2-1, April 10, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“Tyler was outstanding,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “He allowed three hits. He was on top of his game today."
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin here
West Haven's Gary Donovan is tagged out at the plate by Notre Dame's Bryan McKane in the fourth inning, April 10, 2013. Photos courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Stone wins second game of year as Westies beat Branford, 5-0
By MIKE MADERA
(April 8, 2013) – After falling to Amity Saturday afternoon, an early test awaited the Westies in Branford Monday afternoon. With ace Cameron Stone on the mound, the Westies passed with flying colors as they defeated Branford 5-0. .
Stone went the distance in the game, allowing just 2 hits and striking out nine. While Stone walked six batters in the game, the ace twice got the Westies out of jams.
In the bottom of the first with one out following an error and two walks, Stone struck out the final two batters in the inning. In the fourth inning, Branford had runners on second and third with one out but failed to score as Stone got a pair of strikeouts to end the frame.
“He (Stone) came up big in some big spots,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “It was a gutsy performance by Cameron Stone. He did what he needed to do on the road.”
West Haven got on the board first when the Westies scored twice in the top of the first inning. With one out, Gary Donovan singled, Stone reached on an error to put runners on the corners and Bobby Moretti delivered Donovan with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Donovan. Stone stole second and scored on Nick Price’s single.
“It was nice to see us score with two outs,” Anquillare said.
West Haven increased the lead to 3-0 in the third inning as Michael Brand delivered a run-scoring single and Gambardella doubled in the sixth to score Matt Carter.
West Haven capped the scoring in the seventh when Brand delivered pinch-runner Makiem Miller with a single.
“Overall, I thought it was pretty solid,” Anquillare said. “This game was big for us. We made a couple of errors but we had 10 hits.”
Cameron Stone looks to make the tag against Amity in a 10-5 loss, April 6, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Westies fall to Amity
Spartans use quick start in 10-5 victory
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (April 6, 2013) – With Amity entering the season as the top-ranked team in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll and West Haven winning two straight games to start the season, something had to give Saturday afternoon when the two teams met at Piurek Field.
When all was said and done, the Spartans showed why they are deserving of the top ranking, scoring four times in the first inning and cruising to a 10-5 victory over the Westies.
“It’s early,” Amity coach Sal Coppola said after his team improved to 2-0. “It is nice to start 2-0. I am really pleased with the pitching and defense so far.”
The Amity bats did not miss a beat, knocking around 12 hits in the game. Anthony Capozziello led the offensive attack for the Spartans as he had a pair of hits, scored three runs, stole two bases and drove in a run.
Justin Ashworth also had two hits and drove in three runs, while Sebastian DiMauro stole two bases, scored twice and drove in three runs.
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin here
Rick Balzano looks to make a tag against Amity in a 10-5 loss, April 6, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Out of the Gates
WH opens season with second straight victory
By MIKE MADERA
(April 4, 2013) – Just two games into the regular season, the formula has been an easy one for the West Haven baseball team. Scoring early and often, the Westies improved to 2-0 with a 7-2 victory over Wilbur Cross Thursday afternoon in New Haven.
One day after scoring three times in each of the opening two innings in the first contest of the year, the Westies were at it again Thursday afternoon. West Havenscored four times in the first inning, added three more in the second and never looked back.
"I have been really happy with our offense," West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. "We have hit the ball hard. I did not like our swings in the last couple of innings, but in two days, we got 28 hits. That's a pretty good 48 hours."
Tyler Gambardella was the story of the game for the Westies. Gambardella tossed a complete game four-hitter on the mound and doubled and tripled at the plate.
Gambardella finished with three hits, two runs scored and a stolen base. Bobby Moretti also added a pair of hits and drove in a run.
Gambardella was efficient on the hill as he went the distance. The senior struck out 10, walked 4, and allowed 1 earned run in the complete game effort.
"I thought Tyler threw a great game," Anquillare said. "He had control of his fastball and his off speed stuff. He attacked the hitters. We got him a nice early lead and he was very aggressive."
West Haven jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Gambardella led off with an infield single, moved to second on a sacrifice by Gary Donovan and scored on Moretti's two-out single.
Bobby Moretti, seen here against Lyman Hall, had another two hits against Wilbur Cross in a 7-2 victory, April 4, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After Nick Price singled, Matt Carter tripled to score Moretti and Price for a 3-0 lead. Carter scored on an error for a 4-0 advantage.
"That has been the key," Anquillare said of his team scoring early in the first two games. "We have given our pitchers a little leeway. We talked about starting quickly."
The Westies increased the lead to 7-0 in the second inning. Gambardella again started the rally with a one-out double, Donovan followed with a double to score Gambardella and Cameron Stone singled to score Donovan. After Stone stole second, he would score on Price's two-out single.
Nick Price, seen here against Lyman Hall, has been part of a solid West Haven defense thus far in the 2013 season. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"That was our goal, especially with the week we have coming up," Anquillare said of winning the first two games. "I thought Tyler kept control of the game."
Price finished with two hits on the day.
Westies open season with 18-5 thumping of Lyman Hall
By MIKE MADERA
Senior Matt Olenick contributed to this article
(April 3, 2013) - The West Haven baseball team got exactly the start to the season it was hoping for Wednesday afternoon. With solid pitching from Cameron Stone and an offensive attack which featured 18 hits, the Westies defeated Lyman Hall 18-5 at Piurek Field in the season opener for both teams.
Stone did his job on the mound, allowing just 4 hits and 1 run in five innings of work, while striking out 6. The senior had little stress to deal with as the Westies scored three times in each of the first two innings, then added six more runs in the third inning for a 12-0 lead.
Cam Stone fires a pitch in the fourth inning of West Haven's 18-5 win over Lyman Hall, April 3, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We jumped out early," West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. "We are really trying to take advantage on the bases. We run the bases well. We scored three runs in the first on a couple of stolen bases and an error. We were able to take the extra base.
"I thought he (Stone) threw well. He gave up four hits and one unearned run. He got ahead on a very tough day to pitch. The wind was blowing very hard and he stuck mainly with his fastball."
West Haven had hits throughout the order as everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit. Gary Donovan and Mike Brand led the way with three hits apiece.
West Haven got on the board in the first inning when Tyler Gambardella led off with a walk, Donovan was hit by a pitch and both advanced on Stone's sacrifice bunt. Gambardella scored the first run of the season on Bobby Moretti's sacrifice fly. Nick Price and Matt Carter both followed by reaching on errors for a 3-0 lead.
West Haven increased the lead to 6-0 in the second inning. Brand and Joe Sette opened the inning with singles and Gambardella drew his second walk to load the bases. Stone was hit by a Dan Russell pitch with one out to force in Brand, Sette scored on a wild pitch and Price reached on another error to score Gambardella.
"We jumped out early on a real tough day to play," Anquillare said. "We had some pretty good swings."
The Westies put the game away with six runs in the third inning. Carter opened with a single to left and scored on Brand's one-out triple to right. Sette drove in the second run of the inning on a grounder to third, scoring Brand for an 8-0 lead.
Gambardella walked for the third time, stole second and scored on Donovan's single. Donovan went to second on the throw home and scored on Stone's single for a 10-0 advantage.
Mike Brand delivers a run-scoring triple in the third inning against Lyman Hall, April 3, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With Justin Brown now pitching for Lyman Hall, Moretti doubled to score Stone and Price delivered a run-scoring double to score Moretti for a 12-0 lead.
After Lyman Hall got on the board in the fifth, West Haven put the game away in the bottom of the inning with five more runs.
Moretti opened the inning with a single, Price doubled and both scored on Carter's single. Gambardella and Donovan hit run-scoring singles in the inning and Stone was hit by a pitch to force in anothe run for a 17-1 lead.
"I was really pleased with the way we played," Anquillare said. "We stressed how important the first game was. We came to play today. We were not satisfied being up three runs or six runs. We added runs in every inning. We swung the bats well."
Gambardella, Moretti, Price, Carter and Sette all had two hits apiece in the game.
Quality arms leave West Haven optimistic about 2013 season
By MIKE MADERA
Nine months have passed since the season last ended for the West Haven baseball team in a playoff loss against Xavier. With Cameron Stone throwing a gem, the Westies had hoped to advance to the second round of the state tournament.
The next round never arrived for the Westies. One year later, the Westies return with the same goal of playing in the postseason. This year, however, the Westies look to have what it takes to play deep in the state tournament.
“Our goals are always the same,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “First, our goal is to make the tournament. Second, it is to make a run deep into the tournament. We want to be playing our best baseball at the end of the year.”
Knowing pitching is always a big key to any success teams may have, Anquillare has to like what he sees from his pitching staff. That staff is anchored by Stone and will also see senior Bobby Moretti, junior Nick Price, senior Tyler Gambardella and Notre Dame junior transfer Matt Carter log plenty of innings.
Senior co-captain Cameron Stone will anchor a pitching staff which hopes to lead the Westies deep into the postseason in 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
All five have experience, are capable of throwing complete games and all will be counted on to produce victories.
“Thus far, our pitching has been okay,” Anquillare said. “We will get better challenged as we go on. This is probably one of our toughest schedules since 2004.
“We have to do the basics. We need to have good pitching. We have to do a lot of the fundamental stuff. We will have to bunt and we will be running the bases a lot more. We have guys with speed. We have to take advantage of that.”
Leading the way for the Westies will be senior co-captains Stone and Gambardella. Stone will pitch and play second base, while Gambardella, who threw well in the summer during American Legion and has thrown well in the preseason, will pitch and anchor the outfield in center field.
Senior co-captain Tyler Gambardella will play a pivotal role in West Haven's hopes of playing in the postseason in 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“They are two quality captains,” Anquillare said. “Cameron Stone has already committed to play baseball at Stony Brook. Tyler is waiting on Central (Connecticut). These two guys each have four years worth of experience. They are good quality captains, not only on the field, but off the field as well with their academics.”
Stone will anchor a pitching staff, which will see Moretti, Price, Gambardella and Carter battling to fill in the slots.
Stone comes off a junior season where he was 5-2 with a 1.29 earned run average. In 49 innings of work last season, Stone allowed 34 hits, 14 runs, 9 of which were earned, walked 20 and struck out 74.
Moretti only pitched 13.1 innings as he suffered with control problems, but Anquillare has seen a different pitcher thus far. Moretti, who has a powerful right arm, will look to improve as he allowed 18 hits, 16 earned runs and 19 walks in 2012. Moretti is a big part of the team as he will also see time at the designated hitter position after hitting a team-leading .413 last season.
Price will also be counted on by the Westies. The junior was 1-1 in 21 innings last season, allowing 12 earned runs, walking 11 and striking out 13. Gambardella threw 9.1 innings last season and will carry a bigger role in 2013.
Nick Price will log plenty of innings for the Westies in 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“Nick (Price) had a good year last year on the mound,” Anquillare said. “He also swung the bat well.”
Defensively, the Westies will have to make the plays behind the pitching staff. The infield looks to be a little more settled than the outfield as the regular season approaches with junior Rich Balzano anchoring the pitching staff behind the plate.
Price looks to be at first base when he is not on the mound, while junior Gary Donovan will be at second base when Stone pitches. The left side of the infield will have more stability as sophomore Joe Sette has the inside track at shortstop and junior Mike Brand, who hit .333 last year in 20 at bats, will play third base.
Gambardella will lead the outfield in center field with the corner spots up for grabs. Carter looks to play right field with juniors Jay Wilkerson, Jim Morrissey, Makiem Miller and Jesse Tejero battling for a spot as well. Wilkerson will also play first when Price pitches.
“We have a lot of unsettled business,” Anquillare said. “Nothing has been completely settled. The infield is somewhat settled but the outfield is up in the air. We will play the hot bat.”
Juniors Alex Scranton will play in the outfield and will also see time on the hill, while junior Angel Gonzalez will battle for time on the mound as well. Sophomore Mike Savino will see time as a utility infielder as well as designated hitter and another junior transfer from Notre Dame, Sedrick Acosta, will be Balzano’s backup at catcher.
“So far, the team chemistry has been good,” Anquillare said. “We still have a lot of work to do. We have swung the bats well on occasions and okay on occasions. The defense has been the same. We have not been consistent.”
On the offensive side, Moretti, Gambardella and Stone were three of the team’s top four hitters last season and will look to lead the team once again. In 2012, Moretti hit a team-leading .413 with a .458 on base percentage. The senior drove in 19 runs and scored 12 runs.
Stone finished with a .333 batting average, driving in 15 runs and scoring a team-leading 20 runs. Gambardella also hit well with a .313 batting average, scoring 11 runs and driving in 6.
West Haven opens the season April 3 against Lyman Hall at Piurek Field at 3:45 p.m.