BRISTOL - It wasnâ€™t long ago that both Andy and Teddy Hague were integral components to an Amity baseball program that set history in the state as the first ever to win four consecutive championships.
The standout high school careers of the two led them to play at Division I collegiate programs in Connecticut and they will get a chance to replicate the success Amity had at Muzzy Field, where they won a pair of Class LL semifinal games in high school against Southington and New Milford.
This summer, the two will call Muzzy Field their home field as the two will be members of the 2018 Bristol Blues in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. It will also be the first time they take the field on the same team since graduating from high school and moving on from their final year of Legion baseball.
For their parents, Jeff and Maria, the reunion was unexpected, yet a pleasant surprise being able to see their two sons compete together again.
â€śWe thought that after the last game at Amity and Legion ball that they were going their separate ways,â€ť Jeff said. â€śIt was emotional for me since theyâ€™ve been playing together since they were 4 years old. With them now set to play for the Blues this summer, itâ€™s nostalgic for me and logistical to see them play together again in the same area for the same team.â€ť
Both parents have been the biggest fans of the players over the years with Jeff as their baseball coach growing up.
As both grew older, however, Jeff left the dugout to join Maria in the stands and let the two develop under other coaches that would propel them to the level of players they have become. The list includes Connecticut Gators coaches Joe Tonelli and Bill Asermely, as well as long-time Amity coach Sal Coppola.
â€śOur parents are the biggest reason behind our success and why weâ€™re playing where we are,â€ť Teddy said. â€śThe coaches weâ€™ve had are important for sure, but our parents have had a tremendous impact in putting us in the situations to get these opportunities.â€ť
For the two, they have taken full advantage of those opportunities in baseball and beyond.
At the high school level with Amity, Andy and Teddy were part of Class LL state championships in their sophomore and junior seasons. The titles came against Staples (2015) and Warde-Fairfield (2016). In their senior seasons, however, it didnâ€™t end the way they wanted to go out. Staples defeated them in the Class LL finals.
Flash-forward a year and the two are still playing baseball. Andy is a freshman at UConn while Teddy is in his first year at Yale. Both wanted to stay local to continue their playing careers.
â€śI have a lot of pride in where Iâ€™m from,â€ť Andy said. â€śI love Connecticut. When I was choosing where I wanted to go to college, I wanted to stay home and continue to represent the state the best I can. Itâ€™s going to be awesome doing that in summer as well.â€ť
While still early in the collegiate seasons, each have seen playing time.
In three at bats for the Huskies this season, Andy has one hit and a pair of runs scored in seven games seeing action.
Teddy has played in 11 games and is hitting .263 in 19 at-bats. He hit his first collegiate home run March 3 on the road against Virginia.
With a lot of games remaining in the college season, the pair will be names to track for Blues fans as the season approaches. The home opener is set for June 2. The brothers will have a chance to recreate some of their favorite memories during the time spent at Amity, only this time, it will be with a different group of guys alongside them.
â€śSummer baseball is a great experience because youâ€™re on the team and competing,â€ť Teddy said. â€śAnytime you step on the field, you want to win. But at the end of the day, the friends you make and people you meet throughout the country is just as important as wins and losses. Iâ€™m definitely looking forward to that aspect of it and think itâ€™ll be a lot of fun.â€ť
Still though, they will be in the state where it all started for them and where they chose to stay. For the Blues organization it would be the first championship since joining the league in 2015 and the two local players, along with the 14 other players from Connecticut schools are reason for optimism.
â€śI heard thereâ€™s a big following from previous players who have played there, which is super exciting for me,â€ť Andy said. â€śI canâ€™t wait to play summer ball. Itâ€™s going to be a good time.â€ť
Dan Orencole can be reached atÂ 860-973-1811 orÂ firstname.lastname@example.org