Baseball Teams Finish Strong, Make Tournament

The Ellington baseball team finished the regular season 14-6 and won a game against Tolland in the Class M state tournament before falling to Suffield. “The very young pitching staff represented themselves very well,” said coach Keith Tautkus. The Knights got only two starts from these players last year – both by Cam Rosa. This year, the starting pitching staff was made up of sophomores Rosa, Jay Skorulski, and Graeme Caso, and junior James Harney – who didn’t pitch at all last year due to arm surgery. The offense was led by Joe Leslie who hit .498, Jon Bassett who hit .435, and Harney who hit .375 with five home runs. “James went on a home run tear late in the season when he hit three home runs in three consecutive days,” said Tautkus. Derek Litty and Brian Fitzsimons also had good years both offensively and defensively. Leslie and Bassett were named to both the All-Conference and All-State teams.

Tolland

The Eagles finished the regular season 11-9 overall and 8-6 in the CCC East. They showed improvement over the second half of the season, closing the season 8-4 over the last 12 games. Tolland fell 6-3 to Ellington in the first round of the Class M state tournament. This season was full of challenges both on and off the field. Three players had season ending injuries, and numerous other players missed time with injuries. With the competition and schedule that the Eagles played, they had to call on numerous other players – who worked hard to step in and compete at a high level. Tolland has high expectations every year and unfortunately this year did not accomplish the goals that were set. “But our kids never quit and continued to work until the last day,” said coach Scott Czerwinski. Dallon Asnes, Ben Clough, and Tyler Lechman were named to the All-Conference team.

South Windsor

The Bobcats finished the season 11-10. They qualified for the Class LL state tournament, but fell 4-3 to Fairfield Warde in the first round. Pitcher and outfielder Nick Nowak made All-Conference, as did outfielder DJ Linnell. Nowak also made the Senior All-Star team.

Rockville

The Rams finished 10-11 and 9-5 in the conference. “We had a really nice season this year,” said coach Greg Caron. “We obviously had our bumps along the way and some tough losses, but the boys always came back the next day ready to battle.” The Rams played from behind in multiple games this season, but always seemed to climb back into games and give themselves chances.  “Rarely did it seem like we were out of a game,” said Caron. “I am really proud of the way the guys played this season. A 9-5 in-conference record this year is something to be really proud of.” Rockville reached one of its team goals by qualifying for the state tournament. “Most of the guys had not played in a state tournament game and I know it is an experience they will not forget,” said Caron. Rockville lost 7-6 to Maloney in an exciting game in the first round of the Class L state tournament. The Rams will graduate seven seniors, all of whom were starters and major contributors. Senior shortstop Jon Frank led the way offensively for Rockville. He batted .434 with 18 runs, eight doubles, three triples, one homerun, seven steals, and 21 RBI. “He was one of the best offensive players in our conference and will go on to play baseball next year at Trinity,” said Caron. Other seniors include Brian Ducas, Preston Burgess, Carlos Adamson, Adam Barselau, Matt Woodtke, and Matt Goff. Goff really turned it on offensively for Rockville in the second half of the year. He hit about .400 over the last 12 games and led the team with 18 steals. He also added 13 runs. Ducas added 16 runs and picked up three wins on the mound. His ERA was under 3.00 and he kept the Rams in almost every game he pitched. Adamson finished 5-1 on the mound. Woodtke contributed seven doubles and 14 runs, Burgess hit two homeruns, and Barselau played really solid defense.

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