Given how far multiple local baseball and softball teams advanced in their respective state tournaments this season, it should be no surprise that the baseball and softball All-State teams are littered with local talent.
The Class LL All-State baseball team featured a trio of first-team selections, including senior shortstop Danniel Rivera of New Britain. Rivera ended his Hurricanes career with 102 hits (second most in program history), the last being a go-ahead home run in the 11th inning of the team’s state tournament game against Southington.
Rivera also ended his career with the most runs scored in school history (72), and batted a remarkable .485 in his senior season. He has committed to play at Southern New Hampshire University next season.
Junior catcher Gunnar Johnson joined Rivera on the list after another spectacular season, following his All-State selection last season by batting .500 for Newington this year. The Wofford commit batted .440 as a sophomore and was somehow even better in 2019, and will have another year to try and seize a third straight All-State selection as a senior.
Southington starting pitcher Jake Neuman was a large reason the Blue Knights made it to the Class LL title game, and his efforts were recognized with an All-State nod. Neuman showed his worth in the state semifinals, when he pitched a complete game against No. 10 Amity before ripping a walk-off double to propel Southington to its first state final appearance in five years.
Berlin earned a state championship appearance of its own in Class L this year, and seniors Gianni Fanelli and Ryan Hyde were a big part of that success. Both are All-State and all-conference winners after fantastic farewell seasons with the Redcoats. Fanelli was the anchor atop Berlin’s lineup for the entire season, while Hyde was a wall behind the plate and added a number of big hits as well, including a home run in the first round of the state tournament to lead the Redcoats to a comeback victory.
Tyler St. Onge of Plainville earned All-State honors in Class M, finishing his senior season on a high note after battling injury as a junior. The captain led the Blue Devils’ offense and was also recognized with an all-conference selection.
Softball produced a trio of All-State athletes in Class LL, including two from the state champs in Southington. Chrissy Marotto consistently set the table for Abby Lamson as the Blue Knights’ leadoff hitter, and both are now All-State winners. Marotto ended the regular season with a .493 batting average, while Lamson led the team with a .600 batting average. Both were integral parts of the team’s fourth state title in seven years, and both will be playing at the collegiate level next season, with Marotto playing at Endicott and Lamson at Division I UMass-Amherst.
Cyan Gonzalez of Newington also made the All-State list in Class LL after being as much of a threat on the bases as she was at the plate. Not only was the senior’s .465 batting average the second best on the Indians, she also led the team with 15 stolen bases, needing just 16 attempts to reach that mark. The next highest stolen base mark on Newington had just eight steals.
Like in baseball, Berlin produced a pair of All-State honors thanks to Callie Gendron and Lindsay Walsh. The pair of upperclassmen helped lead the Redcoats to a surprising run to the Class L quarterfinals despite entering the postseason as the No. 21 seed. Gendron led the team with four home runs and a .565 batting average while Walsh also excelled at the dish, posting a .521 batting average in her senior season. She also recorded a team-high six steals.
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org