The Greenwich 9-Under Cal Ripken All-Star baseball team produced strong performances in each tournament it competed in this summer, it’s latest impressive effort coming in the Cal Ripken 9-U New England Regionals.
Greenwich placed second behind top-seeded champion New Canaan at the New England Regionals, held in New Canaan. In the championship game of the New England Regionals, New Canaan claimed the title with an 8-2 win over Greenwich.
“This was the first time this team was put together and the team’s first experience in high-level tournament competition,” Greenwich coach Tom Casazzone said. “They fought hard, they trained day in and day out and they exceeded expectations.”
A two-run double by Shane Dowling gave Greenwich a 2-0 lead on New Canaan in Thursday’s final, marking just the second time the victors trailed in tournament play. New Canaan responded with eight runs to claim the championship.
“We really came together and came up big and battled to the final out of the championship game against a New Canaan team, which is a juggernaut in the region,” Casazzone said. “We are really pleased with how our team played.”
By winning the Regional title, New Canaan advanced to the Cal Ripken World Series. The New Canaan team, which also captured the State championship, opted to compete in the 2022 Cal Ripken World Series when it will be a 10-year-old All-Star team. They earned an automatic bid into next year’s World Series and don’t have to compete in the qualifying tournaments.
“This New Canaan team top to bottom, 1-9, is so strong,” Casazzone said. “How they hit and field for 9-year olds is very impressive. They were like no team we had ever faced. We lost to them in the State tournament 21-0 and then lost 11-1 in the Regionals, so we played well against them in the finals. We had an early 2-0 lead and had an opportunity to score more runs. But New Canaan played flawless defense. They made several acrobatic plays in the field, which prevented us from scoring more runs.”
Samuel Jamieson started and pitched the entire game for Greenwich. For New Canaan, Sammy Abdelwahab was the tournament’s MVP. He earned two wins on the mound and batted .462 for the tournament. Luke Cannon hit .568 with two triples and a home run, while Austin Niedermeier batted .636 for New Canaan. Sam Ericson sparked New Canaan’s defensive effort, making several nifty plays in the infield as a shortstop and second baseman. During the tournament, New Canaan outscored its opponents 61-6.
Greenwich’s winning summer started with convincing victories at the District 1 Tournament. They beat Norwalk, 11-1, in the first round and followed that up with a 10-4 victory over Stamford. In a rematch of the opening round, Greenwich posted another 11-1 victory to claim the title. During the District Tournament, Greenwich was anchored offensively by Jamieson, Liam Kirsch and Dowling, who amassed 17 of the team’s 34 total hits in its three games. Overall, the team batted .493 throughout the tournament. The ace on the mound was Jamieson, who logged nine innings pitched and recording 14 strikeouts. Kirsch, Dowling and Leo Binick also shut down opponents from the mound with strong relief appearances.
In the 9U State Tournament held in Danbury, Greenwich played two tight defensive battles in its first two games, edging New Milford, 3-2 and Bethel, 2-0. Despite not winning the state championship – a title that went to New Canaan – Greenwich still qualified for the New England Regionals. In the regionals, Greenwich posted an 8-1 win vs. Marlboro, Mass., and a 5-4 triumph against Wolcott (Conn.).
Casazzone credited Trevor Goodwin, Luke Daniel, Joseph Marchetti and Mikey Hartofilis, Michael Casazzone, Cooper Kistelman and Alex Morin for their stellar play in the field. Jackson Waters has logged the most innings behind the plate, catching the team’s aces from the hill and providing a steady glove, Casazzone noted.
Greenwich’s roster included: Leo Binick, Michael Casazzone, Luke Daniel, Shane Dowling, Trevor Goodwin, Mikey Hartofilis, Samuel Jamieson, Liam Kirsch, Cooper Kitselman, Joseph Marchetti, Alex Morin and Jackson Waters. The team was coached by Tom Casazzone, Ken Binick, Dave Dowling, Dave Jamieson and Mark Bisanzo.
Categories: Summer Sports