Itâ€™s state tournament time for baseball, and there is no shortage of local representatives in action this weekend, and when the first round begins on Tuesday.
Six area squads will fight for their playoff lives when the tournament begins, including some playing in the qualifying round as early as today.
The qualifying round for the Class LL tournament kicks off on Saturday morning, and shortly after, New Britain (10-10) will be fighting for its season as the No. 30 seed hosting No. 35 Hamden (9-11). First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Beehive Stadium and will be the first meeting of the season between these two teams.
The Hurricanes closed the regular season winning three of their last four games.
Should they get past Hamden, a local clash would be on tap for Tuesday afternoon as Southington High School, where the Blue Knights await the winner of New Britain and Hamden. Southington claimed the No. 3 seed after a dominant 17-3 regular season, including a 13-0 win against the Hurricanes back in April.
Whichever team comes out on top will then take on the winner of No. 14 Danbury (13-7) and No. 19 Darien (12-8).
Newington earned the No. 9 seed in Class LL and will face No. 24 Xavier (10-10) on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. The Indians finished the regular season with a 14-6 record and didnâ€™t see Xavier during the regular season, though they did face each other in a scrimmage before the season started, so there may be some familiarity.
A matchup with either eighth-ranked Enfield (15-5) or No. 25 NFA (10-10) awaits if Newington is able to move on.
The top seed in Class L belongs to Berlin, which breezed to an 18-2 record this season.
The Redcoats will play their first round matchup on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. against the winner of No. 32 Weston (8-12) and 33rd-ranked Torrington (8-12) with that matchup kicking off on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Berlin hasnâ€™t played either team this season, but will be the considerable favorite regardless of who advances on Saturday.
The lone local team in Class M is Plainville, which earned the No. 12 seed after a 12-8 regular season. The Blue Devils will host No. 21 Lewis Mills (9-11) on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., a team they have yet to face this season.
Fifth-ranked Woodland (16-4) or No. 28 Wolcott Tech (8-12) will be the second-round opponent on Wednesday afternoon.
Innovation squeaked into the Class S tournament with a 7-9 record, earning the 31st seed out of 33 teams that qualified.
The Ravens will face a tough task in No. 2 Coventry in Tuesdayâ€™s first round, with first pitch scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Coventry lost just two games this season compared to 18 wins, and Innovation hopes senior Melvin Saylor can pitch a solid game on the mound and keep the Ravens in the game.
Should Innovation pull off the upset, it will take on the winner of No. 15 Parish Hill (12-8) and No. 18 Housatonic (11-9) on Wednesday.
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org