Edgewood baseball set for win-or-go home game in Senior Little League state tournament

Published on Wednesday, 10 July 2019 20:49
Written by ZACK CARPENTER

@ZACKCARPENTERBP

BRISTOL - In the immediate moments following the Edgewood baseball team’s 12-5 loss to Stamford in a Senior Little League state tournament game on Tuesday, an Edgewood assistant coach began telling his players, “It’s not over. It’s not over.”

The assistant was referring to Edgewood’s season not being finished, but that scenario is in play when the club squares off with Plainfield at 5:45 p.m. Thursday in a loser’s bracket elimination game at Southington’s Recreation Park.

“I still think that we have a chance to win this tournament,” Edgewood head coach Mike Ziogas said. “This is a good team, OK? We’ve got a lot of good ball players on this team. We didn’t hit well [Tuesday night]. We could’ve done a little bit more with our bats. I think we got a little bit lackadaisical. We weren’t aggressive enough.”

Some of Ziogas’ confidence stems from the fact his club was in this same position last summer. Edgewood won its first state tournament game in 2018 before losing the next game to put itself in a win-or-go-home scenario. 

The team survived and thrived, winning its next two games to capture a state championship, sweeping Killingly, including via mercy rule in the final game. 

“We’ve done it before,” Ziogas said. “The kids have gotta believe in themselves, we’ve gotta pitch a little bit better, have a little better defense and swing the bats. That’s what it’s about. Simple stuff. It’s all fundamentals. It’s all simple stuff we’ve just gotta do better.”

Ryan Fradette, Nathan Ouellette, James Hall and Trevor Nohilly were all members of Edgewood’s 2018 state title team. It’s players such as those whom Ziogas will be relying on for big plays and a level head on Thursday. 

But in the end, Ziogas reiterated his stance that Edgewood needs to just simply perform better at the simple aspects of the game, referencing the quote, “This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains,” from popular baseball movie “Bull Durham.”

That’s what the elimination game will come down to, he says. 

“We’ve gotta get up in the morning, get ready to play baseball, get to the field and swing the bats,” Ziogas said. “When we swing the bats, we’re a pretty good baseball team. When we let the bat sit on our shoulder, we’re not. … I’m gonna challenge the kids. I’m gonna say, ‘Hey, listen, this is what we’re playing for. This is what we’ve worked all summer for. This is where we wanted to be.’”



Posted in The Bristol Press, General Sports on Wednesday, 10 July 2019 20:49. Updated: Wednesday, 10 July 2019 20:51.