THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS
WH thumps Platt Tech in season opener
By MIKE MADERA
(April 2, 2022) - The West Haven baseball team opened the season in impressive fashion with a 18-0 victory over Platt Tech in the season opener at Piurek Field in West Haven Saturday afternoon.
K.J. Harp led the offense with four hits, three runs scored and three runs batted in, Tyler DeSanty had three hits, two runs scored and two runs batted in, and Josh Trager and Corey Coggins each had three hits and a run batted in. Gianni Gambardella had two hits and drove in three runs in the win.
Dylan Supan and Trager combined on the 3-hit shutout as Supan struck out five and allowed just one hit in two innings of work. Trager allowed two hits and struck out three in his three innings of work.
West Haven took control of the game, scoring nine times in the first inning and five more in the second for a 14-0 lead.
Harp opened the game with a single, DeSanty reached on an error and Gambardella delivered both with a triple to right. A single by Supan scored Gambardella, two Platt Tech errors scored three more runs, a single by Harp scored another, and a single to left by Gambardella score two more for a 9-0 advantage.
The Westies increased the lead in the second as Trager tripled to score Ray Gilbert, who reached on a walk, Corey Coggins singled to score Trager, and Harp tripled to score two more. When DeSanty doubled to score Harp, West Haven led 14-0.
Westies top Green Knights
Gambardella, Gilbert lead WH past ND
By MIKE MADERA
(April 4, 2022) - It may be early in the season, but it is never too early to kick start the rivalry in the Battle of West Haven.
The calendar may have said April, but Monday afternoon’s contest between West Haven and cross-town rival Notre Dame had a postseason feel from the start.
In the end, it was all about pitching as West Haven’s Gianni Gambardella tossed a complete-game five-hitter, striking out 11 as West Haven topped the Green Knights 2-0 at Quigley Stadium in West Haven.
“Gianni was so sharp,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said after his team improved to 2-0 on the year. “He really does look like all that he is built to be. He’s a very, very good high school pitcher. He’s a great high school baseball player. Let me tell you about the type of kid Gianni is. We gave him the game ball, but he gave it to Ray Gilbert because he said he saved him twice.”
Gambardella was on his game from the start, throwing 87 pitches, 62 for strikes. When the senior commit to Maine was not getting outs by way of strikeout, he relied on his defense which came up with several big plays throughout the contest.
The West Haven defense helped thwart a pair of Notre Dame rallies, denying at least a pair of potential runs in the fourth inning.
Trailing 1-0, Notre Dame’s Kevin Milewski led off with a single and Justin Coppola followed with a double to left. West Haven left fielder Ray Gilbert fired a strike to third baseman Dylan Supan as the cutoff, and Supan tagged out Milewski, who rounded third too far, for the first out.
“This is a huge win to start the season,” Gambardella said. “Everyone was making plays out in the field. Hats off to them in the field, a lot of great plays. We did the small things hitting-wise to score runs. Everyone was producing.”
With two outs, Ryan Cotjanle singled to left and Gilbert’s throw home to catcher Corey Coggins nipped Coppola at the plate to keep West Haven on top 1-0.
“We have to score when we have opportunities,” Notre Dame coach Don Martone said after his team fell to 0-2. “We have to make the routine plays. We did not do that today.”
The Green Knights never threatened again, getting only a one-out single by Nick Hunkele in the sixth the rest of the way. Gambardella finished his masterpiece with a pair of strikeouts and a fly out to end the game.
“I think Gilbert did a great job in left field,” Luneau said. “He was making throws. (Dylan) Supan put a tag on and our catcher did a great job putting tags on. I thought defensively we made the plays and that was the difference in the game.”
After stranding the bases loaded in the first inning, West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the second off Hunkele, who also pitched well, going five innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven, while walking five.
With two outs, freshman Evan Jones worked a walk, K.J. Harp was hit by a pitch, and Ty DeSanty singled to load the bases. Gambardella then walked to force in Jones with the only run the Westies needed.
“That game was a great game,” Luneau said. “They did a great job on the mound themselves. They are good pitchers themselves. We hung in there. Gianni hung in there. I always feel comfortable if we can get two or three runs with him on the mound and I know going into every game with him on the mound, we have a chance to win.”
The Westies left a pair of runners on in each of the third and fourth innings, before adding an insurance run in the seventh.
Gambardella led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice by Supan, and third on a single to left by Gilbert. Damian Gazzaneo reached on an error to plate Gambardella for a 2-0 lead.
“I thought (Hunkele) pitched well,” Martone said. “It is a new team and a new year. We are learning and we may have growing pains. We have to execute.”
The Green Knights also had a golden opportunity to strike in the first inning as Hunkele singled with one out and Milewski reached on an error. Gambardella escaped with a pair of strikeouts, keeping the game scoreless.
Amity thumps Westies
WH suffers first loss in 14-2 defeat
By MIKE MADERA
(April 10, 2022) - After starting the season with a pair of victories and not allowing a run in either contest, the West Haven baseball team suffered its first defeat of the season with a 14-2 drubbing at the hands of Amity Sunday afternoon at Piurek Field in West Haven. With the loss, West Haven fell to 2-1 on the season.
The Westies managed only four hits in the game, and defensively, were less than stellar with numerous miscues.
Trailing 1-0 in the first, West Haven evened the game when Tyler DeSanty led off with a single, Ray Gilbert walked, and Gianni Gambardella followed with another walk to load the bases.
Dylan Supan reached on a fielder’s choice to score DeSanty and load the bases, but, after a strikeout, Supan was picked off first for the second out. Corey Coggins was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Amity escaped without any further damage.
Amity then blew the game open with six runs in the second and three more in the third. A pair of singles opened the second, and when the Westies could not get an out on an Amity sacrifice, the bases were loaded.
A double scored two runs for a 3-1 lead, before Amity received a two-out, two-run single for a 5-1 advantage. The Spartans received another two-run single in the inning, putting the Westies in a 7-1 hole.
The Westies loaded the bases with two outs in the second when DeSanty was hit by a pitch, Gilbert singled up the middle, and Gambardella walked to load the bases. The Westies could not capitalize and never got closer in the contest.
Gambardella tosses Gem
Senior strikes out 16 in 1-0 win over Norwalk
By MIKE MADERA
(April 11, 2022) - Just one week after tossing a gem in a victory over cross-town rival Notre Dame, West Haven ace Gianni Gambardella was at it again.
The senior was near flawless in a 91-pitch effort as he allowed just three hits and struck out 16 in a 1-0 victory over Norwalk Monday afternoon at Piurek Field in West Haven. Gambardella did not walk a batter.
Gambardella finished his gem in style, striking out the first two batters of the seventh, before getting a fly ball out with a runner on in the seventh to clinch the victory.
The senior helped his own cause by driving in the only run of the game in the first inning.
After K.J. Harp struck out, but reached on a dropped third strike, Gambardella drove in Harp with a long double to left. Gambardella was left stranded, but that was the only run needed as Norwalk could not muster an attack on the West Haven flamethrower.
Gambardella struck out the side in the second, but saw a pair of runners in scoring position in the third. Gambardella escaped with another strikeout to end the threat.
The West Haven ace then struck out the side in the fourth, struck out two more in the fifth, and retired the side in order in the sixth with the help of another strikeout.
After striking out the first two batters of the seventh, Gambardella hit a batter and threw a wild pitch, before getting the final out of the gem.
The Westies could not produce another run despite a pair of hits in the second, and a two-out single in the third.
With two on in the fourth, a line drive by Evan Jones to first was snared to end the threat, before another threat went by the boards in the fifth as singles by Tyler DeSanty and Gambardella went for naught.
The Westies also left a pair of runners on in the sixth, but Gambardella shut the door in the seventh.
Rally falls Short
Hand tops Westies 7-5
By MIKE MADERA
(April 13, 2022) - Trailing by six runs, the West Haven baseball team looked as if it was going to go quietly in a tough Southern Connecticut Conference contest against Daniel Hand Wednesday afternoon. West Haven rallied, but a long line drive by K.J. Harp with the winning runs on base in the seventh was snared for the final out in a 7-5 loss to the Tigers at Piurek Field.
After Hand took a 7-1 lead after four innings off West Haven starter Josh Trager, the Westies began to rally with two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to get within 7-5.
In the fifth, Cam Cruz singled to lead off the inning, and with two outs, Tyler DeSanty doubled to center to score Cruz. After walks to Gianni Gambardella and Dylan Supan loaded the bases, Ray Gilbert singled to center to get the Westies within 7-3.
The Westies inched closer in the sixth as Corey Coggins led off with a walk and Cruz and Evan Jones followed with singles to load the bases. Harp scored Coggins with a grounder to short, and DeSanty followed with another fielder’s choice to cut the deficit to 7-5.
The Westies tried to rally in the seventh as Damian Gazzaneo, Coggins and Cruz all singled with one out to load the bases. The trio never moved as Hand got the final two outs to preserve the victory.
Trager went three innings, allowing six runs on just two hits, but he walked eight and struck out two. Chase Supan pitched the final four innings, allowing two hits, while walking two and striking out three.
Westies nip Hamden
Gambardella, Gilbert lead way in 3-2 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(April 18, 2022) - The West Haven baseball team won its second game in a row and improved to 5-2 on the year with a 3-2 Southern Connecticut Conference victory over Hamden Monday afternoon at Hamden High.
Senior Gianni Gambardella allowed his first runs of the year, but was again impressive as he struck out 10 and walked one in the victory. Gambardella allowed a pair of earned runs and improved to 3-0 on the year
Along with sophomores Ray Gilbert and Cam Cruz, Gambardella had a pair of hits. Gilbert drove in two runs as well.
Gambardella got out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning, before the Westies scored all the runs they needed in the top of the third inning.
Cruz led off with a double to right, moved to third on a sacrifice, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by K.J. Harp. Tyler DeSanty followed with a walk, Gambardella singled to center, and Dylan Supan walked to load the bases. Gilbert then followed with a two-out single to center, scoring DeSanty and Gambardella for a 3-0 advantage.
Hamden answered with a run in the bottom of the third and got another back in the sixth, but had the tying run thrown out at third for the first out in the sixth. Gambardella then stranded the tying run on second in the seventh to complete his 102-pitch effort.
Cheshire tops Westies in seventh
By MIKE MADERA
(April 21, 2022) - The West Haven baseball team has been a resilient one all season. Thursday afternoon in Cheshire was no different.
Unfortunately for the Westies, the Rams proved to be just as tough. Despite twice rallying from deficits, the Westies fell to Cheshire 6-5 at Cheshire High.
K.J. Harp led the Westies with three hits and two runs scored, while Tyler DeSanty, Gianni Gambardella, and Ray Gilbert each had a pair of hits. Gilbert drove in a pair.
After stranding runners in each of the first four innings and trailing 3-0, West Haven rallied to even the game in the fifth. Harp, DeSanty, and Gambardella opened the inning with singles to load the bases, before Dylan Supan reached on an error to score Harp.
Gilbert followed with a single to center to score DeSanty and Gambardella, but Supan was out at third for the first out of the inning.
The Rams took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the inning, but the Westies responded with two in the sixth for a 5-4 advantage on a passed ball and a run-scoring single by DeSanty.
Cheshire evened the game in the sixth with two outs, then, after the Westies went down in order in the seventh, the Rams used a one-out single with two on to pick up the walk-off victory.
Eight miscues hurt in defeat to Prep
By MIKE MADERA
(April 27, 2022) - It has been a roller coaster season early on for the Fairfield Prep baseball team. Sorting through what will work best for a deep team, the Jesuits have had their ups and downs.
Coming off a loss to Amity, Fairfield Prep was looking to get back on track.
Taking advantage of four West Haven errors in the first two innings, Prep scored five times on its way to a 7-5 victory over West Haven in a Southern Connecticut Conference interdivisional contest at Piurek Field in West Haven Wednesday afternoon.
“We are figuring things out,” Fairfield Prep coach Rudy Mauritz said after his team improved to 6-4. “We know and understand and are receptive to what is needed to win. We understand what that is. It is really about putting all that together to get the win. We are working on it now.”
The Westies did not do themselves any favors in the contest, getting off to a slow start at the plate and committing eight errors in the field.
“The bottom line is we did not come ready to play,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said after his team fell to 6-4 on the year. “It is very similar to the Hand game. The first three innings were basically atrocious. Then, all of a sudden, we turned it on.”
To West Haven’s credit, the team battled back with two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh, and had the tying runs on base. Mauritz turned to Andrew Cutler on the mound and the junior helped the Jesuits prevail when he got Corey Coggins on a grounder to third to end the contest.
“Part of it for us is figuring things out on the mound,” Mauritz said. “We are working on figuring out what we need to do on the mound to be successful. That was a big question coming into the season. We are taking a little different approach to start the season. We are willing to see what guys can do and where they can contribute. It is part of the process.”
The Jesuits got off to a quick start in the game off West Haven starter Josh Trager with three runs in the first as Joe D’Elia stole third and scored when the throw sailed into the outfield.
Jim Aselta followed with a triple and scored when Prep starting pitcher Ryan Preisano reached on an error for a 2-0 advantage. Preisano stole second and scored when Ethan Passanante singled to left.
“We were able to get the runs in the first two innings, but then we slowed down,” Aselta said after finishing with a double and a triple in the game. “We were able to jump on that first good pitch he was giving us. We got back into it and our pitching was tough out there.”
After the Westies went down in order in the first, the Jesuits increased the lead to 5-0 in the second when Mike Iannazzo doubled to score Tim Pearson, and moved to third on an error on the play. When Aselta reached on an error on the next play, Iannazzo scored the fifth run.
“It concerns me,” Luneau said of the slow start. “When we come out firing, we can play with anybody. Our losses have been few run losses. We have to come ready to play.”
The Westies finally showed some life in the third, cutting the deficit to 5-1 on a Ray Gilbert sacrifice fly, but stranded a pair.
After Brayden Mazzoni singled, stole second, went to third on an error and scored on a ground out to second by Pearson in the fourth for a 6-1 lead, the Westies settled down.
Jack Hay relieved Trager in the fifth and fired two scoreless innings to allow the Westies to get back in the contest.
“Give Jack Hay credit,” Luneau said. “It was the first time he was in a pressure situation like that and he came in throwing strikes. He gave us a chance. We had better at bats in the last few innings as well.”
West Haven cut the deficit to 6-3 in the sixth as Gilbert and Dylan Supan singled, before Damian Gazzaneo reached on an error to score Gilbert. With runners on the corners and one out, Coggins grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Supan to get West Haven within 6-3.
Aselta started the seventh with a double to left off Hay and moved to third on an error, before scoring on Preisano’s sacrifice fly to right as the only blemish on Hay’s day.
The senior right-hander went three innings for West Haven, allowing one run on two hits, while striking out one.
For all the mistakes, West Haven made, the opportunity was there in the bottom of the seventh to steal the game.
Tyler DeSanty and Gilbert walked with one out, before Supan brought the tying run to the plate with a single to center to load the bases. Gazzaneo reached on an error to score DeSanty, and a passed ball with two outs scored Gilbert to get West Haven within a pair with two in scoring position.
D’Elia, Iannazzo, and Aselta led the Jesuits with two hits apiece in the win. Supan and John Lindsay each had a pair of hits in the loss for West Haven.
Westies hold on to top North Haven 5-4
By MIKE MADERA
(April 29, 2022) - It may not have been pretty, but the West Haven baseball team inched closer to the postseason with a 5-4 victory over North Haven Friday afternoon at Piurek Field in West Haven. The victory was the seventh on the season for the Westies, who need one more to qualify for the postseason.
After three first inning errors led to a pair of North Haven runs in the top of the first, West Haven rallied to even the game in the bottom of the inning.
Tyler DeSanty hit a one-out single, Ray Gilbert reached on an error and both scored when Dylan Supan doubled to right to even the game at two.
The Nighthawks scored two more in the second for a 4-2 lead, but that was all the scoring on the day for North Haven off Dylan Supan. The West Haven senior tossed a complete game, allowing two earned runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out three.
After North Haven left runners in scoring position in the third and fourth innings, the Westies took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth.
With Cam Cruz on first after reaching on a fielder’s choice, Damian Gazzaneo and Corey Coggins singled to load the bases.
Cruz scored on a ground out by Evan Jones, and after K.J. Harp walked to load the bases, Gazzaneo scored on a wild pitch to even the game at four. Coggins then scored on another wild pitch for a 5-4 lead.
The Westies had to sweat things out in the seventh as the Nighthawks had two on with one out courtesy of a West Haven error and a walk. A fly ball put runners on the corners, but a pop out ended the game to secure West Haven’s seventh win of the season.
ND thumps Westies
Westies fall to 7-5 with 13-2 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(May 2, 2022) - The West Haven baseball team was looking to clinch a postseason spot Monday afternoon. The Westies were also looking to sweep their cross-town rivals for the second straight year.
Taking advantage of 13 West Haven walks and three West Haven errors, the Westies fell to the Green Knights 13-2 at Piurek Field in West Haven.
The loss was West Haven third in fourth games as the Westies fell to 7-5, remaining one win away from qualifying for the postseason.
Four West Haven pitchers combined to allow six hits and struck out five, but the walks proved crucial in the loss as did the West Haven errors.
Trailing 2-0 in the second, West Haven cut the deficit in half as Dylan Supan walked, John Lindsay reached on an error, and with runners on the corners, Corey Coggins delivered Supan with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Green Knights put the game away in the third with six runs on six walks and two hits.
The Westies scored their only other run in the sixth when Ray Gilbert led off with a single and scored later in the inning on a passed ball.
Amity shuts down Westies
Spartans score late to post 8-1 win over WH
By MIKE MADERA
(May 5, 2022) - The Amity baseball team is rich in tradition. An abundance of state title appearances and championships will do that.
Entering Thursday afternoon’s contest, Amity was unbeaten and the top-ranked team in the GameTimeCT/Register Top 10 poll. While the Spartans may have gotten off to a slow start in the contest, the end result was the same.
Scoring five times in the sixth inning, Amity outlasted West Haven 8-1 at Amity High School. The victory helped Amity improve to 13-0 on the year with Notre Dame-West Haven looming on Friday.
“We are taking every opponent very seriously,” Amity coach Sal Coppola said. “Our guys can’t think anyone is going to be easy. It helps having Martin (Zhang) on the mound.”
Leading 3-1, the Spartans broke the game open with the use of small ball in the sixth inning. After Evan Talnose led off with a double, a bunt single by Justin Zamkov put runners on the corners, before Samuel Gettinger laced a pinch-hit single to left for a 4-1lead.
Dylan Russ followed with another bunt single to load the bases, before Andrew Soldra lifted a sacrifice fly to left for a 5-1 advantage. Thomas Waldron followed with a single to center to score Gettinger, and Nicholas Clark reached on a fielder’s choice, and an error on the play to scored two more.
“Small ball wins games all the time,” Coppola said. “We did a good job, and there were guys on the bench that did that. So, our bench guys, we just spoke before the game, saying we have to get these guys in. They are not just bench guys. They executed everything they were supposed to. That made me feel really happy that they contributed. It helps because they want to contribute.”
The long inning spoiled what was a solid start by West Haven’s Jack Hay. The West Haven senior pitched well enough to keep the Westies in the game, but the West Haven offense could not string together much on offense, scoring its lone run in the first inning when Tyler DeSanty walked and came around to score on an error.
“I’m proud of our kids,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said after his team fell to 7-6. “Going into the sixth inning, we are down to the number one team in the state 3-1. We hung in there. We have had difficulty with guys being out of place at their positions. Obviously, we are missing (injured) Gianni (Gambardella) and that doesn’t help out for the last four or five games. Of course when you get that close, you hope you come up with a play and win it.”
Amity responded in the bottom of the first with three runs as Soldra led off with a single, McAllister Burke was hit by a pitch with one out and Clark followed with a double to left to score Soldra. Another double by Steven Cifarelli scored Burke, and a sacrifice fly by Talnose gave Amity a 3-1 lead.
Hay settled down after the opening inning and gave his team a chance as he stranded a runner on base in each of the next two innings, before retiring the side in order in the sixth.
“I thought Jack pitched great,” Luneau said of Hay. “He kept us in the game. He kept believing. He wasn’t afraid to challenge their batters.”
“I give him credit,” Coppola said of Hay. “He was battling his butt off. He pitched a really good game.”
After striking out three in the first despite yielding a run, Amity starter Martin Zhang struck out the side in the second and another in the third before DeSanty reached on an error. The Westies went down in order in the fourth, before picking up their first hit of the game in the fifth, a single off the bat of Corey Coggins to right.
The Westies stranded a pair, ending the day for Zhang, who allowed one unearned run on one hit, while striking out nine in five innings.
“My mindset coming in is competing against whoever it is,” Zhang said. “I was attacking the zone early, landing the slider and pumping the zone with the fastball.
“We can’t overestimate or underestimate anyone we play. We take it day to day. We don’t think about what is behind us or what is in front of us.”
Brock Goodwin tossed the last two innings for Amity, allowing just a one-out single in the sixth, and stranding a pair in the seventh.
“He kept them to one run, an unearned run,” Coppola said of Zhang. “He was the big guy for today. We just scrapped.”
With the loss, West Haven dropped its fourth decision in its last five games.
“I think this will give us some confidence,” Luneau said. “When you can play with them, Amity is Amity. They are well-coached. They have great players. When we can hang with them and play with them, you know it is going good.”Cifarelli led Amity with three hits, while Soldra had two hits in the win.
Westies fall to Hand
Gambardella's return not enough in 4-3 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(May 9, 2022) - The West Haven baseball team has been struggling of late. Even the return of star Gianni Gambardella could not help get the Westies back on track.
Scoring three times in the first and adding another in the fourth, Hand held on to defeat West Haven 4-3 in Madison Monday afternoon. The loss was West Haven’s third in a row and fifth in six games as the Westies fell to 7-7 and remain one game shy of qualifying for the postseason.
Gambardella provided the only offense for the Westies as his long three-run home run in the fifth got the Westies within a run, but it was not enough.
The senior, returning from a leg injury, tossed a complete game, allowing six hits, and three earned runs, while striking out eight. Gambardella did not walk a batter.
West Haven had its chances in the game, but could not capitalize. In the first inning, Tyler DeSanty and Gambardella led off with singles, but the Westies were hurt on the base paths.
Trailing 3-0 in the second, K.J. Harp led off with a double, and Corey Coggins and Evan Jones singled to load the bases, but West Haven again could not capitalize.
After Hand scored on an error in the fourth for a 4-3 lead, the Westies got within a run on Gambardella’s blast in the fifth.
The Westies had one more opportunity in the sixth as Harp led off with a single, but was stranded at second with a pair of strikeouts to end the frame.
Westies fall to Hamden
Miscues hurt in extra inning loss
By MIKE MADERA
(May 11, 2022) - For five innings, it looked as if the West Haven baseball team would be sealing the deal for the postseason. The sixth inning was a different story.
A pair of West Haven errors led to three Hamden runs in the sixth inning, before the Green Dragons scored four times in the ninth inning to defeat the Westies 9-5 at Piurek Field in West Haven Wednesday afternoon.
Struggling to come up with a big hit in its fourth straight loss, the West Haven baseball team turned to some small ball. The end result was a 3-run fifth inning rally and a 5-2 lead over Hamden.
With the game even at two, Ray Gilbert led off the fifth with an infield single, moved to second on a sacrifice and third on a bunt single by K. J. Harp. John Lindsay followed with his second hit of the day to score Gilbert, before a bases loaded single by Corey Coggins plated Harp and Lindsay for a 5-2 lead.
The rally broke open a tie game after Hamden scored single runs in the third and fourth innings to knot the game at two.
West Haven (7-8) got on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Tyler DeSanty started the rally when he reached on an error to lead off, and Gianni Gambardella singled to left to put two on. DeSanty stole third and scored on an error on the play, before Lindsay’s two-out single to right scored Gambardella for a 2-0 lead.
Th Westies failed to extend the lead, stranding the bases loaded in the second, and leaving one on in each of the third and fourth innings.
Westies thump Platt Tech on Senior Night
By MIKE MADERA
(May 12, 2022) - One day after suffering a disappointing extra inning loss against Hamden, the West Haven baseball team rebounded with a 19-2 victory over Platt Tech on Senior Night at Piurek Field Thursday evening. With the 19-hit attack, West Haven picked up its eight win and qualified for the postseason.
The Westies (8-8) took a 2-0 lead in the second, then scored 14 times in the third for a 16-0 advantage.
Senior Damian Gazzaneo led the offense with three hits, two runs batted in, and two runs scored, while Evan Jones had three hits and three runs batted in.
John Lindsay added two hits, four runs batted in, and two runs scored, while Gianni Gambardella had two hits, including a home run, drove in three runs and scored twice.
The Westies took a 2-0 lead in the second when Corey Coggins walked with two outs, Gazzaneo singled, and Jones singled to score Coggins. Tyler DeSanty singled to left to score Gazzaneo with the second run of the inning.
West Haven put the game away with 14 runs in the third. Gambardella led off with a home run to left, Ray Gilbert singled to left and scored on a double by Dylan Supan. After K.J. Harp singled, Lindsay followed with a single to score Supan, before Coggins reached on an error to score Harp.
Gazzaneo and Jones followed with run-scoring singles, Gambardella doubled to score two more for an 11-0 lead, and Lindsay hit a 3-run double for a 15-0 advantage.
Westies Rally Past Cheshire
Two in seventh leads to 4-3 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(May 16, 2022) - The West Haven baseball team had already suffered one tough defeat against Cheshire. The Westies were not about to suffer another.
Behind a game-tying single from Ray Gilbert in the seventh and a game-winning single by Dylan Supan one batter later, West Haven rallied to defeat the Rams 4-3 at Piurek Field in West Haven Monday afternoon.
The late rally made a winner out of sophomore relief pitcher Chase Supan, who tossed two scoreless innings, striking out a pair. Chase Supan relieved started Gianni Gambardella, who allowed six hits and three earned runs, while walking one and striking out six in five innings of work.
West Haven’s winning rally started with a one-out single by Tyler DeSanty, who advanced to second on an errant pickoff. After Gambardella was intentionally walked, Gilbert singled to right to score DeSanty with the equalizer. Dylan Supan followed with a ground single to score Gambardella with the winner.
The Westies took a 2-0 lead in the first, only to see Cheshire get a run in the third and two more in the fourth for a 3- 2 lead over the Westies.
After Gambardella escaped a pair of errors in the top of the first. West Haven got on the board first when DeSanty led off with a single to center, Gilbert reached on a one-out error, and K.J. Harp delivered both with a two-out single to center.
Westies top Branford
WH improves to 10-8 with third win in row
By MIKE MADERA
(May 17, 2022) - The West Haven baseball team won its third consecutive contest and improved to 10-8 with a 7-2 victory at Branford Tuesday afternoon.
Dylan Supan picked up the win on the mound, throwing a complete game 4-hitter. The senior allowed two earned runs, struck out five and did not walk a batter.
Ray Gilbert led the offense with three hits, a run batted in, and a run scored. Gianni Gambardella and John Lindsay each had two hits, two runs batted in, and a run scored, and Tyler DeSanty had a pair of hits and scored twice.
The Westies took a 2-0 lead in the first inning as DeSanty and Gambardella led off with singles and Gilbert was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Lindsay came up with a clutch two-out single to score DeSanty and Gambardella for a 2-0 lead.
After Branford evened the game with single runs in the second and third innings, West Haven took the lead with two runs in the fourth inning.
Corey Coggins hit a one-out single, moved to second on a ground out, and third on a single by DeSanty. Gambardella singled to center to score Coggins with two outs, before Gilbert followed with a single to score DeSanty.
The Westies pulled away with single runs in the final three innings. In the fifth, a ground out by Coggins scored Lindsay, before consecutive sixth inning singles by Gilbert, Supan, and Harp gave West Haven a 6-2 advantage.
Gambardella’s sacrifice fly in the seventh scored Evan Jones with the final run of the game.
Westies fall to Jesuits
Prep tops WH 14-4
By MIKE MADERA
(May 18, 2022) - The West Haven baseball team fell to Fairfield Prep 14-4 Wednesday afternoon in Fairfield in a game stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule. The Westies trailed 7-4 after three innings, but the Jesuits put the game away with two runs in the fourth and five in the fifth.
Corey Coggins led the offense with two hits, one run batted in, and one run scored, while Tyler DeSanty had a hit and drove in a pair.
Jack Hay started on the mound for the Westies and allowed six hits and six earned runs in 3.1 innings of work. Hay walked six and struck out two in the loss.
Trailing 3-0, West Haven tied the game with three runs in the second. With two outs, Coggins singled, Damian Gazzaneo walked, and Evan Jones delivered Coggins with a single. DeSanty followed with a double to left to even the game at three.
The Jesuits answered with two in the second for a 5-3 advantage, before West Haven got a run back in the third.
Ray Gilbert opened the inning with a single, Dylan Supan walked, and K.J. Harp reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Coggins singled to score Gilbert, but the Westies could not get any more as a pair of strikeouts ended the threat.
NH edges past Westies
WH misses SCC tournament with loss
By MIKE MADERA
(May 19, 2022) - Needing a victory over North Haven to qualify for the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament, the West Haven baseball team could not get the job done. Despite limiting the Nighthawks to just three hits, West Haven fell 9-7 in the regular season finale at Piurek Field in West Haven Thursday evening.
The loss dropped West Haven to 10-10 on the year and gave the final seed of the tournament to the Nighthawks.
West Haven, playing as the away team as North Haven’s field was not playable, was undone by the free pass as a trio of Westie hurlers combined to walk 15 batters in the contest.
The Westies took a 1-0 lead in the first as Ray Gilbert walked with two outs, moved to second on an error and scored when Dylan Supan reached on an error.
With the game even at one, West Haven took a 5-1 lead in the top of the second as singles by John Lindsay, Damian Gazzaneo, and Evan Jones loaded the bases. Tyler DeSanty singled in Lindsay, before Gianni Gambardella doubled to left to clear the bases.
North Haven responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning on six walks, a hit batter and a two-run single for a 6-5 advantage.
Trailing 7-5, West Haven evened the game in the sixth on a two-out, two-run double by Gilbert to score Gazzaneo and DeSanty, but North Haven used five walks and two wild pitches in the bottom of the sixth to score twice and pull out the victory.
Gambardella leads Westies
WH advances to second round of state tournament
By MIKE MADERA
(May 31, 2022) - In the hour-long drive it took the West Haven baseball team to travel to Manchester to open the Class LL state tournament, Gianni Gambardella and his senior teammates had plenty of time to think. The obvious thought was the game could be their last in a West Haven uniform.
The University of Maine-bound senior was not going to let that happen. In a dominant performance, Gambardella allowed just two hits and struck out 12 on the mound, and drove in the only run of the contest in the seventh as 26th-seeded West Haven upset No.7 Manchester 1-0 in Manchester Tuesday afternoon.
“Everyone had it in their minds, this could have been our last high school game,” Gambardella said. “We all came out and played as hard as we could. We made a couple of errors in the field, but that will happen. We bounced back, and in the later innings, we got fired up.”
Gambardella never gave in, especially when Manchester had runners on base. The senior got stronger, stranding five on base, including four in scoring position.
“What an effort by Gianni,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said. “Twelve strikeouts. He gets the winning hit. John Lindsay, great two-hit effort by him. He hasn’t even played baseball in the last three years. I just wish we put more meaningful balls in play. I wish we executed our bunts better. But again, we squeezed out a W against a pretty good team, a pretty powerful team. They are very scrappy. Their pitcher (Mason Cycenas-Heimer) pitched great. I tip my cap to him.”
With the game scoreless in the seventh, West Haven scored the only run it needed.
Damian Gazzaneo was hit by a pitch, but Manchester turned a bunt by Evan Jones into a force out at second. With two outs, Gambardella ripped a long drive off the fence in center to score Jones for a 1-0 lead.
“I am very proud of our kids,” Luneau said. “On the bus, I just said leave your heart on the field. Whether we won or lost, I thought we played hard. That’s all I can ask for.”
The hit by Gianni picked up a West Haven team which committed three errors and could not come up with a big hit off Manchester ace Mason Cycenas-Heimer.
The Westies left a pair of runners on in the first and second innings, and single runners on in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.
Gambardella made sure to pick up his team’s offense as he got the final out of the second after Manchester put runners on the corners with a strikeout.
Gambardella overcame another error in the third, by snaring a line drive and turning it into an inning-ending double play.
“This was really the first game back that I had that two or three pitch mix,” Gambardella said. “The last two or three starts I was struggling with my curve ball. I wasn’t doing as good as I did today, and you could see that.”
With a runner on third in the fifth, Gambardella got a fly out to left to end the threat. The Westie ace had to overcome one more obstacle as a strikeout and wild pitch allowed the first runner of the sixth to reach. A stolen base and a ground out later saw Manchester with the go-ahead run at third, but Gambardella got a ground out back to the mound to end the threat.
“It feels great,” Gambardella said. “We have another big game tomorrow, so we have to come prepared.”
The West Haven ace sealed the win by retiring the side in order in the seventh.
“His change was working pretty well,” Luneau said of Gambardella. “I think he got better as the game went on. He bared down. That’s why he is going to the University of Maine. He can do that.”
Gambardella and John Lindsay led the West Haven offense with two hits apiece.
WH falls to Trumbull 3-0 in Class LL second round
By MIKE MADERA
(June 1, 2022) - The season has come to an end for the West Haven baseball team. Unable to come up with a key hit, West Haven fell in second round action to 10th-seeded Trumbull 3-0 at Trumbull High Wednesday afternoon.
With the loss, No. 26 West Haven closes the season with an 11-11 record.
Dylan Supan went the distance for West Haven, tossing a complete-game 8-hitter, allowing three earned runs. Supan struck out six and did not walk a batter.
West Haven will remember this contest as one of missed opportunities. The Westies stranded a pair of runners in four of the seven innings played.
The missed opportunities started early as Tyler DeSanty singled to lead off the game and Gianni Gambardella followed with a walk, but West Haven could not capitalize.
After Trumbull got a two-out hit to score a pair in the bottom of the first, West Haven stranded two more in the second. A double play erased a runner in the third, before Trumbull took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the inning.
The Westies had another opportunity to score in the fourth as John Lindsay reached on an error and K.J. Harp walked. A ground out by Corey Coggins moved a pair to scoring position, but both were stranded.
West Haven again had another opportunity in the sixth when Lindsay opened with a walk, and Coggins singled with one out, but the Westies again could not push a run across.
With the season on the line, West Haven failed to go down quietly in the seventh. Gambardella reached on an error with one out, but two ground outs ended the West Haven season.
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
K.J. Harp (4) against Platt Tech, April 2, 2022. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Gianni Gambardella (7) against Platt Tech, April 2, 2022. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Corey Coggins (1) against Platt Tech, April 2, 2022. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.