Mike Savino delivers one of his three hits on the day against Sheehan, April 27, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Ascenzia signs with River City
Former Westie to play in Frontier League
By MIKE MADERA
(January 5, 2016) - Former West Haven baseball star John Ascenzia has signed on to play baseball with the River City Rascals of the Frontier League in O'Fallon, Missouri.
John Ascenzia. Photo courtesy of John Ascenzia.
The league, which has no affiliation with Major League Baseball, was founded in 1993 and has 12 teams competing in the league which is broken into the East and West Divisions.
River City is in the West Division of a league which is equivalent to Single A ball.
Ascenzia comes off a collegiate career at the University of Bridgeport which saw him break the school's all-time hit record.
The Rascals will play their games at T.R. Hughes Ballpark.
Westies fall to Shelton in the opening round of Class LL state tournament
By MIKE MADERA
(June 3, 2015) - The West Haven baseball team was well aware it would face tough pitching in the opening round of the state tournament against Shelton. While the Westies found a way to solve the Gaels' pitching, they were unable to stop the Shelton offense.
Pounding 14 hits off three different West Haven pitchers, No. 6 Shelton defeated 27th-seeded West Haven, 14-7, in the opening round of the CIAC Class LL state tournament in Shelton Wednesday afternoon.
Mike Savino and the Westies fell against Shelton, June 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"I am proud of the way our kids kept fighting back," West Haven coach Ron Luneau said. "It's a tribute to our six seniors and their leadership."
With the loss, West Haven concludes its season 10-11 under first-year coach Ron Luneau.
Ron Luneau (l.) and Lou Masselli (r.) look on as West Haven fell against Shelton, June 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Shelton put West Haven in chase mode right from the start, scoring once off West Haven starter Jason Wilkerson in the first inning and adding four more in the third for a 5-0 lead.
West Haven cut into the deficit in the fourth inning, scoring once as Joe Sette singled and Wilkerson followed suit one out later. With two outs, Lou Masselli drove in Sette with a single to left, but Shelton pitcher Mike Cowell escaped further damage. After Alex Tejero singled to load the bases, Cowell struck out Tim McCarthy to end the frame.
Jake Kelly and the Westies fell against Shelton, June 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Gaels scored five times in the fifth to take a 10-1 lead, before the Westies answered with four more runs in the sixth.
With one out in the sixth, Jake Kelly singled to center and scored on Masselli's double to center. After Tejero was retired on a fly ball to right, McCarthy walked and Xing Cantres doubled to left to score Masselli and send McCarthy to third. Frank Johnson cut the deficit to 10-5 when his single to left scored McCarthy and Cantres.
Jason Wilkerson and the Westies fell against Shelton, June 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Gaels answered with four more runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 14-5 lead, before Kelly delivered West Haven's final runs of the season when he followed Mike Savino's single with a two-run homer.
Joe Sette (7) and the Westies fell against Shelton, June 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Masselli led West Haven's 13-hit attack with three hits, two runs batted in and a run scored. Johnson and Kelly each finished with two hits and two runs batted in, with Kelly also scoring twice, and Cantres added two hits, drove in a run and scored once. Wilkerson started for West Haven on the mound, going four innings and allowing six runs, four of which were earned, on eight hits. Wilkerson walked three and struck out three, throwing 82 pitches.
Cowell went 5 2/3 innings for the Gaels, allowing eight hits and four earned runs, while striking out seven.
Read GameTimeCT for its article on the contest.
Four in a Row
Masselli, Wilkerson, Johnson lead WH past Foran
By MIKE MADERA
(May 21, 2015) - After falling to Sheehan just over a week ago, the West Haven Baseball team needed two wins in its final four games to play in the postseason. The Westies never flinched.
Winning their last four games of the regular season, including Thursday afternoon's 9-6 win over Foran at Piurek Field, the Westies capped the regular season on a high note and now wait for their opponent when the CIAC Class LL state tournament begins.
"These kids rallied to win four games in a row," West Haven coach Ron Luneau said after his team finished the regular season at 10-10. "A lot of different kids stepped up in different situations. We feel we are a good hitting team. We have done a nice job."
Lorenzo Davis picked up the win for West Haven on the hill, going five innings and allowing six runs, while striking out three and walking two. Adrian Urbina pitched the final two innings to seal the West Haven win.
Offensively, Lou Masselli led the way as he had three hits and three runs batted in, Frank Johnson had two hits and scored twice, and Jason Wilkerson and Alex Tejero each had two hits and one run scored.
Mike Savino makes the play against Foran, May 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Senior Mike Savino had one hit to tie the team record with 35 hits in a season, while also scoring three times and driving in one run. Savino is hitting .515 on the season, while Wilkerson is hitting .460.
"Those guys have come up with a lot of hits this year," Luneau said. "They have done a great job."
After Foran took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, West Haven evened the contest in the bottom of the inning. Wilkerson's double to left with one out scored Johnson, and Jake Kelly's ground out scored Savino with the equalizer.
Foran again took the lead in the second, but West Haven evened the game when Joe Sette singled to score Tejero.
Jake Kelly records the out against Foran, May 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies took the lead for good in the third when Masselli singled to score Wilkerson.
West Haven increased the margin to 6-3 in the fourth as Masselli doubled to left to score Savino and Kelly.
The Westies sealed the game with three more runs in the fifth. Sette's sacrifice fly scored Xing Cantres, Savino singled to score Johnson and Wilkerson singled to left to score Savino.
Westies cruise past Panthers
Alex Tejero leads way in 22-hit attack
By MIKE MADERA
(May 19, 2015) - One day after qualifying for the postseason, the West Haven baseball team erupted for 22 hits in a 21-5 win over Platt Tech on Senior Night at Piurek Field Tuesday evening. Scoring in every inning, including five runs in the second and eight more in the third, the Westies cruised to their third straight win to improve to 9-10.
Jason Wilkerson picked up his fifth win of the year, tossing five innings of five-hit ball, allowing one earned run, striking out five and walking three.
Twelve different players had hits, including nine with multiple hits. Alex Tejero led the offense with three hits, two runs scored and a run batted in, while Joe Sette, Mario Kiaunis, Mike Savino, Wilkerson, Jake Kelly, Tim Gates, Tim McCarthy and John Cambino each had two.
Savino scored three times and drove in four runs, while Frank Johnson, Sette, Wilkerson, Tejero, McCarthy, Cambino and Xing Cantres all scored two runs apiece.
Xing Cantres scores against Platt Tech, May 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Savino drove in Johnson in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, McCarthy scored on an error, Cantres scored on Sette's single, and Savino single to score Johnson and Sette. Kelly's single delivered Savino with the fifth run of the inning.
Jake Kelly makes the play against Platt Tech, May 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
In the third, Cantres doubled to score Tejero, McCarthy scored on Johnson's sacrifice fly and Savino doubled to score Sette for a 10-0 lead.
On to the Postseason
Westies thump Branford to improve to 8-10
By MIKE MADERA
(May 18, 2015) - Too many times this season, the West Haven baseball team has been the victim of a big inning. Monday evening against Branford, the Westies finally turned the tide.
Scoring 11 runs in the second inning, West Haven cruised to an 11-2 victory over the Hornets at Piurek Field. With their second straight win, the Westies improved to 8-10 and qualified for the state tournament in coach Ron Luneau’s first year at the helm.
“This is a very big win for the program,” Luneau said. “It means a lot. I know how important baseball is in West Haven. I understand that. We work hard and try to get the most out of the program.”
While the West Haven offense put on a show in the second inning, the pitching of Adrian Urbina did not go unnoticed. Urbina needed just 80 pitches, 51 of which were strikes, to toss a complete game seven-hitter, striking out two and walking two to improve to 1-3 on the year.
Adrian Urbina pitched a seven-hitter in an 11-2 win against Branford, May 18, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"He just keeps getting better and better,” Luneau said of Urbina. “He has the ability to hit corners and he works hard.”
The West Haven offense had 12 hits against three different Branford pitchers with Frank Johnson leading the way with three hits, two runs batted in and a run scored. Joe Sette, Lou Masselli, Tim McCarthy and Xing Cantres each had a pair of hits, with Masselli and McCarthy each knocking in three runs and scoring twice, and Sette driving in a pair.
Tim McCarthy drove in three runs against Branford, May 18, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"It is always good to get off to a quick start,” Johnson said. “It gives us confidence and we all play better. This is a big win for us, and for the seniors, it is big to extend our season.”
The eventful second inning for the Westies saw 17 batters come to bat. West Haven picked up nine hits, had two batters hit, and took advantage of a Branford error.
Jake Kelly got things going when he reached on an error, Masselli singled off Branford starter Dan Driscoll, and with one out, McCarthy singled to center to score Kelly and Masselli for a 2-0 lead. After Cantres was hit by a pitch, Johnson doubled to left to score McCarthy for a 3-0 advantage.
“It is huge to get in (state tournament) in Coach’s first year,” Johnson said. “We had a lot of guys step up. A lot of the younger guys stepped up. It is big for us.”
Sette followed with a single to score Cantres and Johnson, and with the bases loaded, Masselli doubled to left to score Sette, Wilkerson and Kelly. McCarthy’s second hit of the inning, a single to left, scored Masselli, and Cantres ended the scoring when he doubled to center to score Alex Tejero.
“They scored eleven runs in an inning,” Branford coach Ed Bethke said after his team fell to 7-11 with its third straight loss. “Not many teams can overcome that. We were not aggressive at the plate. We did not go up there with the right approach. We took too many called strike one and strike two. We put ourselves in a hole.”
Branford scored its two runs in the sixth inning. With one on and two outs, Jordan Botte doubled to left to knock in the first run and Luke DiStasio singled to score Botte to get the Hornets within 11-2.
The sixth inning was the only blemish for Urbina as he used a solid defense by his teammates to help navigate through the game.
“We have been a good hitting team,” Luneau said of the Westies. “We have been looking to get the pitching and defense to come around. Everything worked well tonight. We have had two or three games where we have had the big innings against us. This is the first time we have had a huge inning like that.”
With two games remaining at Guilford on Wednesday and home for Sheehan on Friday, Branford needs one win to qualify for the postseason.
Tyler Criscuolo led Branford with two hits.
WH scores 7 in first in 13-0 win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 15, 2015) - Scoring seven times in the first inning, the West Haven baseball team defeated Cross 13-0 in New Haven Friday afternoon. With the win, West Haven improved to 7-10 on the season and needs one win in its final three games to play in the postseason.
Jason Wilkerson picked up his fourth win of the season, needing only 65 pitches, 44 strikes, allowing three hits while striking out three. Wilkerson did not walk a batter.
Jason Wilkerson, seen here earlier in the season, and the Westies defeated Cross, May 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Mike Savino led the offense with five hits to increase his team lead to 31, while scoring three times and driving in two more. Frank Johnson had three hits and two runs scored in the 15-hit attack, and Wilkerson and Xing Cantres each added a pair of hits.
Wilkerson's sacrifice fly scored Joe Sette for the first run of the first inning, Jake Kelly singled to score Savino, an error scored Kelly and another error scored Lou Masselli and Alex Tejero for a 5-0 lead.
Johnson singled to score Adrian Urbina and Cantres scored on a passed ball for the 7-0 lead.
Savino singled to score Cantres in the third and Johnson scored on a passed ball in the inning for a 10-0 lead.
Sheehan shuts out Westies, 7-0, as skid reaches 5 games
By MIKE MADERA
(May 13, 2015) - Getting the final two games to qualify for the state tournament is proving harder than it may have looked a handful of game ago for the West Haven baseball team.
Playing a Sheehan team it dominated earlier in the season, the Westies watched as the Titans returned the favor Wednesday evening, blanking the Westies, 7-0 at Piurek Field. The loss was West Haven's fifth in a row and dropped the team to 6-10 on the year.
West Haven needs a pair of wins in its last five game if the team hopes to play in the postseason once again.
Lorenzo Davis and the Westies fell to Sheehan, May 13, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Lorenzo Davis, who was on the hill when the Westies posted the shutout in Wallingford a few weeks back, could not do the same the second time around as the Titans scored seven times in the fourth inning for the only runs they needed.
Sheehan's Brandon Rentas and Tyler Daly combined to allow only four West Haven hits, striking out six. Jason Wilkerson led the Westies with a pair of hits, while Mike Savino and Adrian Urbina picked up the other hits for West Haven.
Nolan Cloutier had a big day for West Haven with three hits, two runs batted in and a run scored.
West Haven only had one runner in scoring position when Wilkerson reached third in the second inning but went no further.
Davis went the distance, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs, striking out four and walking two in the loss.
ND sweeps Westies
WH falls to 6-9 with 11-4 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(May 11, 2015) - Through four innings Monday evening, the Notre Dame baseball team was unable to string together any clutch hits. The Green Knights more than made up for it in the last three frames.
Scoring 11 times, including three in each of the fifth and seventh innings and five in the sixth, Notre Dame rallied to defeat cross-town rival West Haven, 11-4, Monday evening in a Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac Division contest at Piurek Field.
“They were huge,” Notre Dame coach Don Martone said of his team’s clutch hits. “We stuck with our preparation. We know what we are prepared to do. We were able to get some big hits. We talk about quality at bats every day.”
Senior Ben LaCroix, who got things going with a double in the fifth inning, reached base four times with a walk, double and two triples, scored three times and drove in four runs to lead an 11-hit attack. Matt Montano singled twice, doubled and drove in three runs and Evan Lumpinski had a pair of doubles and a single to go along with one run batted in as Notre Dame improved to 11-4 on the year with the season sweep of the Westies.
“We were slow coming out of the gate,” LaCroix said. “We do a good job in practice with quality at bats. We are not afraid to hit with two strikes. We have a good approach.”
Jason Wilkerson against Notre Dame, May 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Trailing 1-0 after West Haven’s Jason Wilkerson singled in the third to score Mike Savino, the Green Knights took the lead for good with three runs in the fifth.
Dylan Reynolds, who scored three runs, started the rally with a one-out walk off West Haven starter Adrian Urbina and LaCroix doubled deep to right. Montano evened the contest with a sacrifice fly to left to score Reynolds, Zach Ardito’s single brought home LaCroix and Evan Lumpinski doubled to left to plate Ardito for a 3-1 Notre Dame lead.
“The bottom line is this,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said after his team fell to 6-9. “We came out for five innings and it was a great game. Then, we made some mistakes and you can’t do that against a good team. They mistakes opened the flood gates.”
Adrian Urbina throws a pitch against Notre Dame, May 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the inning off Ardito, but only pushed across one run.
Savino, who had three hits in the contest, led off with a triple and scored when Lou Masselli reached on an error. Wilkerson hit a one-out single, but the rally ended when Alex Tejero’s pop out to first was turned into an inning-ending double play.
“To beat a good team, you have to play very good,” Luneau said. “You can’t just play good.”
Sparked by the double play, the Green Knights put the game away with five runs in the sixth. LaCroix hit a one-out triple to score Rolando Marcano and Reynolds, Montano singled to score LaCroix, and Ryan Muir delivered the final run of the inning with a single to right.
“Ben LaCroix had some quality at bats,” Martone said. “That is all we work on every day in practice. My assistant coaches go a great job with that. We go over situations every day. It has been beneficial.”
A triple by Lacroix in the seventh delivered Marcano and Reynolds before LaCroix scored on Montano’s double for an 11-2 lead.
“We have seven returning starters from last year,” LaCroix said. “We have almost the whole lineup returning. That has been big.”
Notre Dame’s Ardito started and went the first 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, none earned, on seven hits. Jon DavidCascio went the rest of the way, allowing two runs on two hits, while striking out two and walking one.
West Haven’s Jake Kelly closed the scoring in the seventh with a two-run homer to left.
Lions roar past Westies
WH suffers third straight defeat
By MIKE MADERA
(May 8, 2015) - Looking to inch closer to the postseason, the West Haven baseball team stumbled against Foran Friday afternoon. Watching the Lions score five times in the sixth inning, West Haven fell, 10-2, and dropped to 6-8 on the season.
Mike Savino makes a play against Foran, May 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven managed only five hits in the contest and never led despite scoring twice in the fifth to get within 3-2. Foran responded against West Haven pitcher Jason Wilkerson, scoring twice in the bottom of the inning and five more times in the sixth to ice the contest.
Jason Wilkerson pitches against Foran, May 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies could not cash in early as Frank Johnson doubled in the first and Mike Savino followed with a walk, but Louis Masselli struck out and Jake Kelly lined out to end the frame.
Wilkerson reached on an error to lead off the second, but was left stranded, and Wilkerson doubled with two outs in the fourth, but Xing Cantres struck out to end the inning.
Trailing 3-0, West Haven finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth. Alex Tejero and John Cambino both singled to start the inning and both advanced into scoring position on a passed ball.
Tejero scored on a wild pitch and Cambino moved to third, before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Johnson. Savino doubled, but did not advance as he was erased on a fielder's choice.
Wilkerson gave up 10 runs, , eight earned, on 15 hits, striking out three and walking two.
Hamden scores 4 in seventh to beat Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(May 6, 2015) - The West Haven baseball team entered the seventh inning of Wednesday afternoon's contest against Hamden with a three-run lead and Jason Wilkerson on the mound. With all signs pointing to a West Haven victory, Hamden had other ideas.
Scoring four times in the seventh inning, Hamden rallied for a 15-14 win over the Westies at Hamden High Wednesday afternoon.
Frank Johnson started on the mound against Hamden, May 6, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The loss was West Haven's second straight and dropped the Westies to 6-7 on the season.
"It was a great hitting display by both teams," West Haven coach Ron Luneau said. "It is too bad we finished on the wrong end of the box score."
Jake Kelly had a big day with two hits, including two home runs, four runs batted in and three runs scored. Jason Wilkerson also came up big with three hits, including a homer, five runs batted in, and two runs scored, while Frank Johnson, Mike Savino and Lou Masselli each had a pair of hits, with Johnson scoring three times and Savino and Masselli twice.
John Cambino make a sliding catch against Hamden, May 6, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Four West Haven pitchers allowed 15 runs, 11 of which were earned. Wilkerson took the loss, pitching the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing four runs, none of which were earned.
After a pair of West Haven errors in the seventh led to Hamden getting within 14-12, Jim Magson launched a 3-run homer to leave the Westies on the field.
"I was very proud of my team to come back from an 8-1 deficit," Luneau said.
Trailing 8-1 after two innings, West Haven rallied with four runs in the third. With two outs and Frank Johnson on base, Masselli singled and Kelly, who homered to lead off the second, walked to load the bases.
Jake Kelly hit two home runs against Hamden, May 6, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Wilkerson singled to score Johnson and Masselli and Xing Cantres doubled to score Kelly and Wilkerson.
Johnson delivered a run with a fielder's choice in the fourth and the Westies scored five runs in the sixth for an 11-8 lead.
Masselli singled to score Johnson, and Wilkerson followed with a 3-run homer for a 10-8 lead. John Cambino singled to score Alex Tejero for a three-run lead later in the frame.
After Hamden knotted the game in the sixth, Kelly's 3-run homer gave the Westies a 14-11 advantage in the seventh.
West Haven celebrates Jake Kelly's (29) home run against Hamden, May 6, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Xavier crushes Westies
Falcons post 14-5 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(May 4, 2015) - The West Haven baseball team is looking to qualify for the postseason. Needing two wins, the Westies were put to the test Monday afternoon, traveling to Middletown to face Xavier.
Behind eight runs in the fourth inning, the Falcons erased a two-run deficit and posted a 14-5 victory over the Westies.
Frank Johnson, seen here against Notre Dame earlier in the season, and the Westies fell to Xavier, May 4, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven had just taken a 4-2 lead in the top of the inning as Mike Savino, Lou Masselli and Jake Lynch all walked to open the inning. Jay Wilkerson doubled to left to score Savino and Masselli for a 3-2 lead, before Xing Cantres grounded out to score Kelly.
The Falcons ended any thoughts of a West Haven comeback with eight runs in the bottom of the inning, knocking Lorenzo Davis from the game after 10 runs on 12 hits.
Trailing 2-0, West Haven cut the deficit in half in the second as Kelly reached on an error, moved to third when Cantres singled and later scored.
The Westies squandered opportunities from the start, stranding Savino at second after a one-out double n the first, and stranding two in the fifth.
Back on Track
Wilkerson leads Westies to 3-0 win over Lyman Hall
By MIKE MADERA
(May 1, 2015) - Jason Wilkerson has clearly been the ace of the West Haven baseball team thus far this season. Friday afternoon in Wallingford, the Westies turned to their ace to get back on the winning track.
Wilkerson delivered, tossing a complete-game four-hitter as West Haven defeated Lyman Hall, 3-0 at Pat Wall Field in Wallingford. Wilkerson struck out four and did not walk a batter as he threw just 83 pitches, 60 for strikes.
The West Haven senior was on his game from the start as he started 18 of the 26 batters he faced with strikes.
“Any coach will tell you when you start a hitter with an 0-1 count, you put the hitter at a huge disadvantage,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said. “He (Wilkerson) pounded the strike zone. He limited his pitches. I thought he was great.
“This was a huge game for us. We are playing three away games next week against three very competitive teams in Xavier, Hamden and Foran who are all going for that same goal as us. This week is going to be a very hard and competitive week.”
Lou Masselli led the offense with two hits and a run scored, while sophomore Tim McCarthy drove in a pair of runs.
Tim McCarthy, seen here against Platt Tech, drove in a pair of runs in a win over Lyman Hall, May 1, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Lyman Hall starting pitcher Andrew Mastroianni (0-2) was the hard-luck loser as he did not allow an earned run. Mastroianni gave up six hits, while throwing just 77 pitches, 51 for strikes.
“We got a great pitching performance from Andrew Mastroianni, but the kid Jason Wilkerson just stopped us,” Lyman Hall coach Charles Burghardt said. “We have had an awful time hitting. We have been in a team slump. We have scored five runs in four games this week. Andrew has pitched 16 innings for us this year and allowed just five runs, all of them unearned.”
West Haven (6-5) got all the offense it would need with two runs in the second inning. Jake Kelly started the rally when he reached on an error, Masselli followed with a double and McCarthy grounded out to first to plate Kelly and move Masselli to third. Xing Cantres then brought in Masselli for a 2-0 advantage.
“Tim is doing a good job in the outfield for us and he is really starting to put the ball in play,” Luneau said of McCarthy. “That is the key. When you do that, anything can happen.”
That would be all the run support Wilkerson needed as the senior retired the first eight batters he faced before an error allowed the first Lyman Hall base runner of the game.
The senior pitcher retired the side in order in the fourth, before Lyman Hall's Anthony Kanios picked up the team's first hit with one out in the fifth. The Trojans could not take advantage as Wilkerson got Chris Ames and Tucker McClure on ground outs to end the inning.
Wilkerson, who improved to 3-1, allowed a two-out single to Brendon O'Connell in the sixth, before Lyman Hall, which fell to 2-9 with its sixth straight loss, staged a two-out rally in the seventh. With two ground ball outs to start the frame, Wilkerson looked as if he would cruise to victory, allowing just a pair of hits.
Things would not be that easy as Kanios picked up his second hit of the game and Ames followed with the second straight hit to left to bring the tying run in McClure to the plate. Wilkerson escaped and finished his gem, getting McClure to fly to Adrian Urbina in left to seal the 3-0 win.
The Westies, who stranded a pair of runners on base in the fourth, and two more in the fifth, finally gave Wilkerson an insurance run in the sixth as Savino reached on an error and Kelly and Masselli singled to load the bases with no one out.
McCarthy picked up his second run batted in of the day when he lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Savino.
Lyman Hall's Mastroianni did a nice job escaping further damage when he retired Cantres and Urbina on grounders to end the inning.
Prep silences Westies
Jesuits top WH, 6-0
By MIKE MADERA
(April 29, 2015) - There are many reasons why the Fairfield Prep baseball team has started the season with 11 straight wins and the top ranking in the Register/GameTimeCT Top 10 poll. Solid fielding and timely hitting have been key, but the pitching has dominated.
Holding teams to one run or less five times, two runs twice and three runs three times, the Jesuits have made a statement on the hill. Wednesday afternoon at Alumni Diamond on the campus of Fairfield University was no different.
Behind a five-hit performance from junior Grant Stone, the Jesuits shut out West Haven 6-0 to improve to 11-0 on the year. The Jesuits shut out the Westies in both contests this season, holding a combined 13-0 advantage.
“Pitching is obviously a big part of the game,” Fairfield Prep coach Rudy Mauritz said. “You have to have the starting pitching. All of our pitchers have done a fine job this year. They are mixing in different pitches and they are also letting the guys in the field do the work as well.”
Jason Wilkerson and the West Haven baseball team fell against Fairfield Prep, April 29, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Stone, who improved to 4-0 on the year, needed just 85 pitches in an economical day, striking out seven and walking two. The Prep pitcher was never in trouble as the Westies did not get a runner in scoring position until the seventh inning when Frank Johnson walked and Mike Savino singled to open the inning.
Stone got the meat of the Westie order to preserve the win as Jake Kelly and Lou Masselli hit fly balls, and after Tim McCarthy walked to load the bases, Stone struck out Xing Cantres looking on his 85th pitch of the day to end the game.
“He was able to locate his fastball today,” Mauritz said of Stone. “More importantly, he had the effective use of his changeup. His change is significantly different in terms of speed. He has good arm action with it. The ball moves quite a bit.”
While Stone was taking care of business on his end, the Jesuits took an early lead off West Haven starter Joe Sette and never looked back, scoring twice in each of the first two innings for a 4-0 lead.
With one out in the first inning, Simon Whiteman and Kevin Stone singled to produce a run and Juan Lopez singled to score Brett Stevenson for a 2-0 lead.
In the second, John Carroll singled, moved to second on Jack Oricoli’s sacrifice and scored on James Colihan’s single. Colihan later scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Stone for a 4-0 lead.
“In any game of baseball, you want to get off to that quick start,” Mauritz said. “Getting that lead allows us to play the kind of baseball we want to play.”
The Jesuits put the game away with two more runs in the fourth inning off West Haven reliever Adrian Urbina.
Carroll reached on an error and one out later scored on a double to left by Colihan. When Whiteman reached on an error, Colihan scored for a 6-0 advantage.
“We did not come ready off the bus to play,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said after his team fell to 5-5. “We need to be a lot more intense. We were flat coming out. We made some crucial base running errors. I thought we would have more intensity playing the number one team in the state. We did not get that until the third or fourth inning.”
West Haven, which pounded tenth-ranked Sheehan on Monday, squandered a leadoff single by Sette in the first, a one-out single by Masselli in the second and another leadoff single in the fourth by Sette. Kelly led off with a single in the fifth and Alex Tejero singled with one out in the sixth, but Grant Stone never allowed West Haven to threaten over the first six innings.
Prep’s defense also came up big with Joe Ganim setting the tone in the first inning in center. Ganim tracked down a ball hit by Savino and turned the catch into a double play.
“Joe Ganim, the last two games, has made some highlight reel plays,” Mauritz said. “We have a pretty quick team. That helps in running the bases and playing the field. We are able to keep singles singles and get the balls in quickly.”
Whiteman led the Prep offense with three hits, while Colihan and Kevin Stone each had a pair of hits. Colihan and Kevin Stone each drove in a pair with Colihan also scoring twice.
Sette lasted three innings for West Haven, allowing seven hits and four earned runs, before Urbina closed out the final three innings, allowing two runs, none of which were earned.
Davis stymies Sheehan
Westies post 10-0 victory over Titans
By MIKE MADERA
(April 27, 2015) - Coming off a pair of disheartening losses, the West Haven baseball team knew the importance of Monday afternoon’s contest at Sheehan-Wallingford. Turning to junior Lorenzo Davis, the Westies got back on track in emphatic fashion.
Davis kept the potent Sheehan lineup off balance throughout, allowing just four hits, while striking out three and walking just one. The Titans, ranked tenth in the Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, had more than one runner on base just once, in the sixth inning, and Davis got a ground out from Brandon Rentas to end the threat.
“Coach (Tom) Lawrence called a great game,” Davis said. “This was a huge game. We had to get one. Now, we can go after two wins this week. My defense really helped. They caught everything hit at them. Our defense was excellent.”
Lorenzo Davis, seen here earlier in the season, pitched a 4-hitter against Sheehan, April 27, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven’s offense was just as good, pounding out 15 hits, with Joe Sette, Frank Johnson and Mike Savino each having three hits. The top three hitters in the West Haven order set the tone all game and the rest of the lineup also came up big in both the second and third innings when West Haven scored twice in each for a 4-0 lead.
In the second, Tim McCarthy, who had a pair of hits and drove in two runs in the game, started the rally with a two-out single, moved to third when Alex Tejero reached on an error and both scored on Sette’s double to right.
In the third, am error on a grounder off the bat of Jason Wilkerson scored Jake Kelly and another error on a ball hit by McCarthy scored Lou Masselli, who reached on a fielder’s choice.
“This was a big game for us,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said after his team improved to 5-4. “Any time you can beat them, it is a good win. That is a good team over there. We had two tough losses with Notre Dame and Hamden. This is big for us to get back in the win column.”
The Westies increased the lead to 5-0 in the fourth off Sheehan starter James Judenis (0-2) as Sette reached on an error to lead off the inning, moved to second on a single by Johnson and scored on Masselli’s single to left. Johnson’s single knocked Judenis from the game and brought in Griffin Andrews.
Neither Sheehan pitcher received much help from their defense as the Titans committed six errors in the game, extending three West Haven innings.
“We have done this for two games,” Sheehan coach Matt Altieri said of his team’s errors after Sheehan fell to 7-3. “We did the same thing against Shelton. It is just fundamental things. We pick up ground balls, but do not make the throws. I thought James (Judenis) threw the ball fairly well. We did not help him at all.”
West Haven put the game away with three more runs in the sixth and a pair in the seventh. In the sixth, Savino led off with a double and Masselli produced the run when he reached on another Sheehan error. McCarthy plated two more with a double.
“This was a big game for us,” Savino said. “We needed this. “We have to get back to states. We are three away.
“We picked it up with the bats. Lorenzo (Davis) threw the ball great. He was throwing three pitches for strikes. That’s tough to beat.”
In the seventh, Sette led off with a single and Johnson followed suit. Both scored when Masselli singled to center and Sheehan committed yet another error on the play.
Davis threw 96 pitches in the win, 62 for strikes. The junior threw first pitch strikes to 17 of the 24 Sheehan batters he faced.
“Lorenzo was great today,” Luneau said. “He mixed his pitches well. He got his chance today and went out there and did a great job.”
Paul Gozzo, Nolan Cloutier, Tyler Daly and Pete Abate had the Sheehan hits in the loss.
Hamden thumps Westies
Quick start propels Green Dragons
By MIKE MADERA
(April 23, 2015) - The Hamden Green Dragons wasted no time dictating play Thursday afternoon. Scoring five runs in the first inning, Hamden cruised to a 16-1 victory over West Haven at Piurek Field.
The Green Dragons broke the contest open with seven runs in the fourth inning, one in the fifth and three more in the sixth.
Paul Wetmore led Hamden with four hits, three runs batted in and two runs scored. Luke D'Ostillio added three hits, three runs batted in and four runs scored, and Jim Magson, Christian Colon, Mike Ferrett, Ron Grant and Khaleb Cyril each added two hits as Hamden knocked around 20 hits off three West Haven pitchers.
Adrian Urbina and the Westies fell to Hamden, April 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Wetmore and Nick Tagliaferri stymied the Westies, allowing just four hits. Joe Sette, John Cambino, Lorenzo Davis and Alex Tejero posted the West Haven hits with Adrian Urbina scoring the lone West Haven run in the third inning.
The Westies never got going in the contest as Joe Sette led off the first with a single, but was left stranded, Jason Wilkerson walked, but was stranded in the second and West Haven had three walks in the fourth but could not score.
West Haven's lone run came in the third as Urbina walked and later scored on a wild pitch.
ND takes Round One
Late rally propels Green Knights
By MIKE MADERA
(April 22, 2015) - Trailing on a rain-soaked day at Quigley Stadium, the Notre Dame baseball team rallied for four runs in the sixth inning to defeat West Haven 5-2 Wednesday afternoon.
Mike Savino and the Westies fell to Notre Dame, April 22, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven starting pitcher Jason Wilkerson had allowed just one run through five innings, before Notre Dame exploded for four runs in the sixth.
With the loss, West Haven fell to 4-3, while the Green Knights improved to 6-1.
Read Henry Chisholm's article at GameTimeCT here.
Westies pound Panthers
Sette and Davis pitch well in win over Platt Tech
By MIKE MADERA
(April 21, 2015) - The West Haven baseball team won its second straight contest with a 22-2 pounding of Platt Tech Tuesday evening. The "road" game was played at Piurek Field and helped the Westies improve to 4-2 on the year.
Joe Sette picked up the win against Platt Tech, April 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven hit from the start, pounding 25 hits in the victory. Joe Sette, Mike Savino and Jake Kelly led the offense with three hits apiece, while Lorenzo Davis, John Cambino, Lou Masselli, Adrian Urbina, Xing Cantres and Alex Tejero each had two hits.
Jason Wilkerson, Masselli, Kelly, and Savino each scored three times, while Sette, Davis and Cambino scored twice. Masselli, Kelly, Wilkerson and Cantres each drove in three runs, while Savino, Urbina and Tejero each drove in a pair.
Lorenzo Davis pitched the final three innings against Platt Tech, April 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Joe Sette threw the first four innings, allowing five hits and two runs, striking out four and walking two. Davis tossed the final three innings, allowing three hits, striking out two and walking one.
West Haven took a 4-0 lead in the first as Sette and Savino singled and both scored on Kelly's double to left. Masselli's sacrifice fly scored Kelly, and Xing Cantres singled to score Wilkerson, who had reached on an error.
The Westies increased the margin to 9-0 with five more runs in the second. Sette doubled to left and scored on Savino's two-out single to right. With the bases loaded, Wilkerson tripled to score all three runners and Cantres delivered Wilkerson with a single.
Tim McCarthy's double in the fourth scored Masselli and Wilkerson, and McCarthy and Cantres scored on Tejero's single for a 13-2 lead.
Back on Track
Westies improve to 3-2 with win over Governors
By MIKE MADERA
(April 15, 2015) - Two days removed from a tough loss to Xavier, the West Haven baseball team snapped back into the win column with a resounding 8-1 victory over Wilbur Cross Wednesday morning at Piurek Field.
Jason Wilkerson allowed an unearned run in the first inning, before going untouched on the scoreboard the rest of the contest. Wilkerson, who improved to 2-0 on the year, threw 86 pitches, 57 for strikes, and finished with a seven-hitter, striking out four and walking just one.
"Jason threw well," West Haven coach Ron Luneau said of Wilkerson. "He did a good job on the mound. He did enough to get the win."
The win, which snapped a two-game losing streak, allowed the Westies to improve to 3-2 overall.
Trailing 1-0, the Westies took the lead for good in the botttom of the first inning, scoring three times.
Joe Sette got things going as he led off with a walk, stole second and scored on Mike Savino's double. After Jake Kelly walked, both runners advanced on a passed ball and Savino scored on a ground ball by Louis Masselli.
Jake Kelly and the Westies had plenty of offense against Wilbur Cross, April 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Mike (Savino) is doing a good job with the stick," Luneau said. "The top part of the lineup has done a really nice job."
The Westies took a 4-1 lead in the third when Savino tripled with two outs and scored on a double by Kelly.
Any chance of a Cross comeback went away when West Haven scored two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings for a seven-run lead.
In the fourth, Alex Tejero doubled to score Wilkerson, who had led off with a single, and Sette's single scored Tejero.
In the fifth, Masselli delivered a run with a single and Tim McCarthy's walk forced in another run for an 8-1 lead.
"It is nice," Luneau said of getting back over .500. "We are about where I expected to be at this point in the season. We will take it one game at a time. We want to get the games we need to qualify for the state tournament."
Xing Cantres slides into second base against Wilbur Cross, April 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Wilkerson retired the side in order in the second and third innings, used a double play to get out of a two-on, no-out jam in the fourth, and retired the side in order in the fifth. Wilkerson used another double play to escape a one-out jam with runners on the corners in the sixth, and closed the game with a strikeout with two on in the seventh.
Savino led the West Haven offense with two hits and two runs scored, and Masselli drove in a pair in the win.
Late rally not enough in 8-6 loss to Xavier
By MIKE MADERA
(April 13, 2015) - Xavier coach Nick Cerreta was well aware of how tough his team’s schedule was to start the season. With six straight games to open the campaign on the road, and nine of the first ten contests away from home, the Falcons were looking to return to Middletown is good shape for the second half of the season.
Three losses to start the season, including a combined 13-4 on the wrong end of the scoreboard, is not what the Falcons envisioned. If ever Xavier needed a big game, Monday afternoon in West Haven was that game.
Xavier turned nine hits, five walks and four West Haven errors into eight runs, then held off a furious West Haven comeback to pick up its first win of the season with an 8-6 victory over West Haven in a Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac Division contest at Piurek Field.
“We did not hit the first couple of games,” Cerreta said after his team improved to 1-3. “For the kids’ mindset, it is good to get that first win. 1-3 is a lot better than 0-4. We got the win and we want to start rolling in the right direction.”
The Falcons went through four pitchers with senior John Signore coming up big in the final inning, striking out the final two batters of the game with the tying runs on base for West Haven.
“They were not going to go away,” Cerreta said of West Haven. “They are a good team and they kept fighting. John Signore is amazing. He just came in and did the job for us. He is a clutch pitcher.”
Before Signore came in to save the day, Miles Michaud, Kyle Wollman and Mike Peckham looked as if they would keep West Haven at bay, despite the Westies grabbing an early lead in the contest. Michaud went the first five innings, allowing six hits and three earned runs, while striking out five.
The Westies refused to go down quietly in the seventh as Frank Johnson led off with a double and Mike Savino singled to put the runners on the corners. Jake Kelly grounded out to third to score Johnson and Savino moved to second.
Louis Masselli followed with a single to put runners on the corners and Wilkerson singled off Signore to score Savino, putting the tying runs on base.
Signore ended any threat of a West Haven comeback when he struck out Xing Cantres on three pitches and Tim McCarthy shortly after to end the contest.
“The bottom line is we made four errors today,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said. “If we make only two or less, we probably win the game. The errors hurt us. On a positive note, the team never quit. We were down 8-4 and we come back to have the tying runs on base. I was happy we kept battling back.”
West Haven got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. Joe Sette and Johnson opened the frame with singles, Kelly walked with one out to load the bases and Masselli grounded to second to score Sette.
West Haven’s inability to add on runs in the inning would prove to be big as Xavier rallied to take the lead for good in the second off Johnson. Samuel Lane walked to lead off the inning, moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a ground out by Anthony Caramanica. A passed ball allowed Lane to score the equalizer.
Xavier took the lead when Andre Marchesseault continued the inning with a single to center, moved to third on Johnson’s error and scored on Jake Alonzo’s fly ball.
The Falcons extended the lead to 3-1 in the third inning as Johnson again was hurt by a leadoff walk. Elijah Camner walked, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored when Alex Parkos singled to right.
After the first inning, Michaud kept the Westies off the scoreboard until the fifth when McCarthy led off with a double and scored on Sette’s single to left.
For the second time in the game, the Falcons responded to West Haven’s run with a rally of their own in the sixth. Johnson hit Trent Nobile with one out and Nobile scored one batter later when Marchesseault tripled to center. Richard Downey’s sacrifice fly scored Marchesseault for a 6-2 advantage.
“I told the guys after the game if we did not keep coming at them, they were not going to go away,” Cerreta said. “We got some big hits. We did not roll over and be happy with the runs we had.”
Wollman relieved Michaud after Kelly led off the sixth with a single for West Haven and walked Masselli. Wollman then came up big, getting Wilkerson to hit into a double play.
The pitch to Wilkerson would be the biggest of the inning as Cantres walked and McCarthy was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Lorenzo Davis followed with a single to right to score Kelly and Cantres.
With the tying runs on base, Wollman struck out Sette to end the threat. Xavier added two runs in the seventh, marking three times the Falcons responded to West Haven scoring.
With two outs, Alex Pia doubled, Evan Curtin hit a pinch-hit single to score Pia and Nobile followed with another single. After Marcheseault was walked to load the bases, Nick Grasso reached on an error to give the Falcons an 8-4 lead.
West Haven allowed just four earned runs in the game as Johnson went 5 1/3 innings, giving up six runs, three of which were earned. Sette, Johnson and Savino each had two hits for the Westies.
Prep blanks Westies
Jesuits post 7-0 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(April 11, 2015) - Looking to win its first three games of the season, the West Haven baseball team knew it was facing a tough Fairfield Prep squad Saturday afternoon. The Jesuits showed how tough they are by shutting out the Westies 7-0 at Piurek Field.
Kevin Stone was the difference in the game as the Prep pitcher tossed six shutout innings, throwing 89 pitches, 60 for strikes. Stone was tough all day, allowing four hits, striking out nine and walking just one West Haven batter.
Frank Johnson had two of the West Haven hits against Stone, while Mike Savino and Jason Wilkerson each had one hit.
Frank Johnson had two hits in a 7-0 loss to Fairfield Prep, April 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven's pitching held tough through the first five innings, trailing just 2-0, before the Jesuits pulled away with five runs in the sixth inning.
Adrian Urbina went 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and six runs, four of which were earned. Urbina walked three and struck out two in taking the loss.
West Haven did not have many quality scoring opportunities in the contest against Stone.
Johnson singled with one out in the first, but was left stranded, Wilkerson did the same in the second and Alex Tejero walked to lead off the third, but did not score.
West Haven's best chance came in the fourth as Savino led off with a double, but was left stranded at third. Tim Gates reached on an error to start the fifth, but went no further, and Johnson singled with one out in the sixth, but was also stranded.
The Jesuits scored the only run they would need in the third and added another in the fifth, both times capitalizing on West Haven errors.
The Jesuits iced the game with five more n the sixth inning. Jack Oricoli had a run-scoring double, Stone delivered another with a triple, and Brett Stevenson delivered Stone with a single.
Hitting on all Cylinders
Westies continue to roll with 12-3 win over Branford
By MIKE MADERA
(April 9, 2015) - The West Haven baseball team hit throughout the preseason. It comes as no surprise that attack has continued to start the regular season.
Knocking around 15 hits and adding two walks to five Branford errors, the Westies defeated the Hornets 12-3 Thursday afternoon in Branford to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Joe Sette (7) and the Westies have gotten off to a quick start in the 2015 season. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We agreed as a team and as a staff that it was very important to try and get off to a 2-0 start," West Haven coach Ron Luneau said. "We knew that, especially with the two big boys (Fairfield Prep and Xavier) coming up. We wanted to go into those games building confidence."
Jake Kelly led the offense with three hits and three runs batted in, Jason Wilkerson added three more hits, scored twice and drove in two more runs, and Frank Johnson, Mike Savino and Louis Masselli each had a pair of hits in the win for the Westies.
Johnson and Savino each drove in two runs and scored twice, while Masselli drove in a run and scored another,
"We have a lot of guys hitting well," Luneau said. "Jake Kelly is hitting well, so is Lou Masselli. We are hitting throughout the lineup. We struck out maybe three times today. What that means is we are putting a lot of balls in play. It is because of the spring we had where we practiced so hard. It has been good for us."
While the offense was cruising along, pitcher Joe Sette was just as good, throwing 73 pitches in six innings, allowing four hits and one unearned run. Sette also struck out three and walked one.
"We got a great pitching performance today from another senior," Luneau said. "Joe Sette pitched another great game, following Jason Wilkerson yesterday."
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Savino singled with two outs and scored on Kelly's double. The lead increased to 3-0 in the third inning when Kelly singled to score Sette and Johnson.
With Sette keeping Branford off the scoreboard, West Haven tacked on single runs in the fourth and fifth innings for a 5-0 lead. In the fourth, Wilkerson scored on Johnson's single and, in the fifth, Tim McCarthy reached on an error, allowing Kelly to score.
"I am very pleased with our senior leadership," Luneau said. "They have done a great job leading the team. They are a great bunch of kids."
West Haven put the contest away with seven more runs in the sixth inning. Johnson singled in the first run, Savino followed with a two-run single, Masselli doubled to score Savino and Wilkerson doubled to score two more.
Wilkerson's gem leads Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(April 8, 2015) - As the preseason came to an end, West Haven baseball coach Ron Luneau stated he was looking for his pitching staff to improve. Senior Jason Wilkerson got the message.
Allowing just two hits, while walking two and striking out six, Wilkerson led West Haven to a 9-0 victory over Lyman Hall in the season opener for both teams Wednesday evening at Piurek Field in West Haven.
"It is great to start off the season like that," Luneau said. "It is great for the whole program. Jason Wilkerson pitched unbelievable. He threw a two-hitter and he really stepped up like we expected him to."
Wilkerson dominated throughout, throwing 59 of his 87 pitches for strikes and throwing 16 first-pitch strikes to the 24 batters he faced. The senior allowed just a one-out single in the third, a two-out double in the fourth, a leadoff walk in the fifth, a one-out walk in the sixth and was never threatened.
Jason Wilkerson tossed a two-hitter against Lyman Hall, April 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
As Wilkerson cruised, the West Haven offense also came up big, taking advantage of seven hits and five walks to cruise to the win.
Mike Savino led the offense with two hits, two runs scored and two runs batted in and Jake Kelly added two hits, two runs scored and a run batted in. Louis Masselli and Tim Gates each drove in a pair, Joe Sette scored twice and Frank Johnson had a hit and a run scored.
Mike Savino and the Westies opened the season with a 9-0 win over Lyman Hall, April 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Mike Savino is the team leader," Luneau said. "He is the guy who gets us going with everything. I believe he definitely has a future in college baseball."
West Haven gave Wilkerson all the run support he would need with a run in the first inning. With two outs, Savino doubled to left, Kelly singled to put runners on the corners and Masselli reached on an error to score Savino.
With West Haven unable to build on the lead, Lyman Hall hung around. That came to a close in the fifth when the Westies scored three times, before adding five more in the sixth.
"We were able to capitalize on a couple of infield hits and the flood gates just opened," Luneau said.
Masselli was hit by a pitch in the fifth fora 2-0 lead, Gates reached on a fielder's choice to score Savino, and Tim McCarthy reached on an error to score Kelly.
In the sixth, Xing Cantres, Sette and Johnson singled to load the bases and Savino singled to score Cantres and Sette. Kelly followed with a double to score Johnson, Savino scored on Masselli's sacrifice fly and Kelly scored on a grounder by Gates.
Luneau leads Westies into 2015 season
By MIKE MADERA
(April 3, 2015) - When the West Haven baseball team takes the field for its first regular season game on Wednesday at Lyman Hall, there will be plenty of new faces. Among them are first-year head coach Ron Luneau.
Luneau, who was a volunteer coach and head junior varsity coach for seven years at West Haven, takes over for long-time coach Mike Anquillare, who stepped down at the end of last season to spend more time with his family.
"A Ron Luneau team plays hard all the time," Luneau said. "We need to be focused all the time. I can't even begin to tell you what I learned from him (Anquillare). He is a great role model. He was very organized and very professional. If I can be half as organized and half as professional as he was, then I will be okay."
Leading the way for the Westies in 2015 will be senior tri-captains Mike Savino, Frank Johnson and Jason Wilkerson. Savino will anchor the infield at shortstop, Johnson will pitch and play center field and Wilkerson will pitch and play left field.
Senior Mike Savino looks to lead the 2015 Westies into the postseason. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"They are great kids and great leaders," Luneau said of his captains. "I can't say enough about them as leaders. We will need all of our seniors to rise and be as good as they can be, especially our senior pitchers."
The pitching staff Luneau refers to consists of seniors Wilkerson, Johnson and Joe Sette, and juniors Lorenzo Davis and Adrian Urbina. Wilkerson has the most returning experience with three wins last season as the Westies were anchored by the graduated Nick Price and Matt Carter.
Joe Sette will play a key role on the pitching mound for West Haven in 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With the regular season coming up, Luneau is looking for his pitching staff to find its groove. Junior catcher Alex Tejero will have the task of molding the group into a solid unit.
"We have to have our pitching staff get much better," Luneau said.
Savino will anchor an infield which will see junior Louis Masselli at third base, Sette at second and senior Jake Kelly at first. Sette led the team with 18 runs scored a season ago.
Jake Kelly (r.) will be a key player for the 2015 Westies. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Johnson will anchor the outfield in center, senior Xing Cantres will be a strong utility player as will sophomore Tim McCarthy, who can play as many as seven different positions. McCarthy will need to be in the lineup as Luneau likes the way the sophomore swings the bat.
"I have liked our practice and work ethic," Luneau said. "It has been very good. The kids listen and work hard. I like what I see out of our hitting."
The Westies will need to do plenty of hitting and pitch well to contend in what may be the toughest league in the state. With the likes of Notre Dame, Branford, Xavier and Fairfield Prep on the schedule, there are no easy games.
"All you have to do is look at the last two or three years in the L and LL state tournaments," Luneau said. "Our league is well represented. I think our league is the best, top to bottom. We want to have a winning record and make the state tournament."
West Haven will play its home opener Saturday, April 11 against Fairfield Prep at noon.
Jason Wilkerson singles to score Mike Savino against Notre Dame, May 11, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Lou Masselli delivers a run-scoring single against Sheehan, April 27, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
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
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THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS
Joe Sette with a two-run single against Branford, May 18, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Lou Masselli with a three-run double against Branford, May 18, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Lorenzo Davis helps West Haven turn a double play against Sheehan, April 27, 2015. Double click to view full screen.