Commentary: FCIAC Sports In 2016 Offered Welcome Reprieve From Outside World

If you have scanned your Twitter feed at any point during the past month, it is easy to see why there is a strong sentiment to give 2016 a swift kick into the rear-view mirror. Often this has been in response to the growing list of celebrity losses in the entertainment world; we have seen the deaths of an extraordinary number of performers with visionary talent, especially in the music world.

Bobby Valentine’s Return To The Dugout More About Mentoring Than Managing

Bobby Valentine’s vast resume includes 16 years as a major league manager with three different teams, most recently with the Red Sox in 2012.

Now back in a dugout for the first time in four years, he will be the first to interrupt anyone looking to make a comparison to his prior experience.

Bat Man: Tucci Lumber Continues To Flourish, With Grander Plans On Horizon

A lot has changed for Pete Tucci the past seven years. There are no more late nights in his garage fine-tuning the craft of making baseball bats. Afternoons are now used promoting a continually maturing business rather than hovering over the whirling sounds of machines in his 10,000 square foot South Norwalk factory.

“I’m trying to surround myself with more business minded people,” Tucci said. “Change to more of a business minded operation. Look at our goals and where we are trying to head. I’m definitely a lot busier. My days are filled with meetings. Two years ago I will still making a lot of bats or engraving a lot of the bats. Now more of my time is spent outside of our office. Trying to grow brand. I’m on the road a lot.”

It Seems To Me…. Putting The Wraps On State Championships, And Darien’s Senior Class

There are no more games to cover. The high school season came to an end with the state championships on Saturday. For those of us in the media it is bittersweet. We love our jobs, love glorifying the accomplishments of scholastic athletes, but by mid-June we are in need of a break.

Still, there are stories to be written before we close the books. Some thoughts.

Five FCIAC Players Voted To All-State Baseball Teams

Reece Maniscalco, who pitched Fairfield Warde to the Class LL championship game, was one of five FCIAC players selected to the All-State baseball teams, which are divided by the four CIAC classes. They were announced Monday night.

Photo Essay: Through The Lens With Austin Carfi

I met Austin Carfi by accident.

In February I wrote a story on Natalie Brassinga, a Ridgefield High School soccer player and talented artist. She sent me some artistic photos of her shot by Austin. When I needed some non-action pictures to accompany the feature, Austin took them at the last moment.

Slideshow: Fairfield Warde Defeats Simsbury In Class LL Semifinals

John Natoli pitched a complete-game four hitter and the Fairfield Warde baseball team scored eight runs in the third inning to defeat Simsbury, 8-0, in the Class LL semifinals.

The Mustangs reached the championship for the first time since 1982. In contrast, their opponent, Amity, is the three-time defending champion.

Big Inning, Natoli’s Pitching Carry Warde To First State Baseball Final Since 1982

BRISTOL – Perhaps the problem for Simsbury High pitcher Brandon White Tuesday in the Class LL semifinals was seeing the Fairfield Warde lineup the second time around. Or maybe it was seeing a Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference team for the fourth time around.

Whatever the case, Simsbury met its demise when Warde scored eight runs in the third inning. And with John Natoli tossing a four-hit, eight-strikeout shutout, Warde advanced to the final with an 8-0 victory at Muzzy Field.

Players Of Year Brereton, Maniscalco Headline All-FCIAC Baseball Team

Richard Brereton, the pitcher and shortstop for the conference champion Darien baseball team, and Fairfield Warde’s Reece Maniscalco were named co-Players of the Year to headline the All-FCIAC team.

The Blue Wave and Norwalk both had three players named to the first team.

Win In Decisive ‘Series’ Game With Darien Keeps Trumbull’s Season Alive

DARIEN — For three games over 15 days, the Darien and Trumbull baseball teams engaged in their own season within a season, a mini series between FCIAC old money in the sport and the nouveau riche. The Eagles, a proud and tradition-rich program, won in the final game of the regular season, followed up last week by the Blue Wave, a rising program in what in the spring is referred to as a lacrosse town, seizing their first conference championship since 1991.

The deciding game came on Wednesday afternoon, and with seasons on the line the two schools offered up a final classic, with the Eagles riding a complete-game effort by Joe Nemchek and Vinny DeRubeis’ decisive two-run homer in the fourth inning to a 5-4 win.