Enfield legion looks to build off great season in 2014

TORRINGTON — Even though it had been 38 years since an Enfield American Legion baseball team had won a post-season game, the state regional semifinals loss to Southington Tuesday was devastating.

“I think we really bought in after winning the first game,” Enfield’s Avery Boissy said, “and definitely after beating Avon. They have been a longtime rival in high school for Enfield High and once we beat them I knew it was the real deal.”

Needing to win two games to make it to the state tournament, Enfield beat Waterford 7-1, and beat Avon 3-2, protecting the second place finish in Zone 8 the team had posted during the regular season.

“We ended up winning our last four games,” Enfield manager Jim Kraucunas said. “More importantly, we had to beat South Windsor to get second place. We clinched that Sunday of the last week, we had two good practices before playoffs started and ran into a Waterford team not quite up to par. The next game we played Avon, knowing it would be a tough one, but we won it.”

The squad lost its opener in Torrington to Montville, but bounced back with a win over New London, and a 12 inning thriller over Montville in a rematch to set up the title bout against Southington, needing to win back-to-back games.

“We played 12 innings the night before,” Kraucunas said. “We were physically and mentally exhausted.”

The fatigue showed as Enfield fell 12-2 in front of a passionate fan base that had been there with the squad through thick and thin.

“This whole atmosphere is unbelievable,” Boissy, who had two hits in the loss, said. “I’ve never really played in a big stadium like this. I know we’ve never really filled it that much but it’s the best baseball I have every played, in these last four games.”

Boissy learned a lot from his team’s stint in Torrington.

“It’s unbelievably different,” Boissy said, comparing the playoffs to the regular season. “We are playing top teams every single day, top pitching, great lineups, it’s tough to keep going. I tip my cap to Southington for winning all these games, but we gave them a run for their money.”

“I’ve learned how to be more of a leader on this team. I’ve learned from the guys who are leading us, to take this team over and lead out team next year.”

Kraucunas is lucky, only losing three players next season. Veteran leadership and playoff experiences could fuel the 2014 legion club to another deep run.

“From this team, we lose three guys,” the coach said. “We have 12 players coming back, and technically we have the makings of a good team next year. They grew, we all grew I think. I got to know them a lot better and they got to know baseball a lot better.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *