MHS baseball prepares for another winning season

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Wed., Mar. 16, 2011
This is the second season for Marc DiDominzio (left) to coach the Manchester High School baseball team.  Adan Portilla (right), a tri-captain, plays second base for the MHS varsity baseball team. Photos by Martha Marteney.
This is the second season for Marc DiDominzio (left) to coach the Manchester High School baseball team. Adan Portilla (right), a tri-captain, plays second base for the MHS varsity baseball team. Photos by Martha Marteney.

The Manchester High School baseball team is gearing up for the spring season, with the pitchers and catchers getting an early start on conditioning. Team try-outs begin the week of March 21.

Marc DiDominzio started coaching this team last year, when the team made it to the state quarterfinals, losing to Shelton 11-10. “We had a very good year,” said DiDominzio about the 2010 season. “We knew we had the talent. It was just putting it on the field.” He noted that the team came together a lot earlier in the season than was expected, which helped contribute to the team’s unexpected success.

The team did lose several starters to graduation, including the number-two pitcher, their right fielder and leading hitter, the starting catcher, the short stop, and their first baseman. Nonetheless, DiDominzio said, “We’re confident we have the guys to step in and fill those spots.”

“We have a lot of younger guys who will step in and help out,” said tri-captain Max Dougan, a junior and the team’s pitcher. Dougan started playing baseball with Manchester’s T-Ball and Little League programs. He thought last year’s quarterfinal game was one of the most exciting games he had played because of the back-and-forth scoring and a very excited crowd. His goal this year is to beat both Glastonbury and East Catholic high schools.

As for his coaching strategy, DiDominzio said, “I tried bringing what I learned at college, playing for Post University.” It also helps that he is a business teacher at MHS and several of his athletes are also his students and involved with creating the yearbook.

“Last year was a very exciting season,” said tri-captain Travis Mistretta, a senior. “Losing in the quarterfinal motivates us.” Mistretta wants to continue to be a strong leader this year, as well as to keep his batting average up, get bases, and score. 

“One of our team goals is to increase stealing bases,” said DiDominzio. He noted that the three team captains all bring strong skills. Dougan was All-Conference both his freshman and sophomore years, and will be pitching for the team.  Mistretta is expected to have another great year in the outfield, as well as at the plate. He was All-Conference last year, as well. Speaking about tri-captain Adan Portilla, the coach said, “He gave us everything we needed in the field.” DiDominzio also noted that Brandan Jordan will likely take the number-two pitching spot.

“We’re going to be kind of a young team,” said Portilla, a senior. Last year was his first year on the varsity team. “No one thought we would do that,” said Portilla about being the underdog and making it to the quarterfinals. He has been working on his hitting throughout the off-season.

The Manchester High School baseball team takes on Hall at the Northwest Park on April 6 beginning at 3:45 p.m. For more information on the team and its schedule, visit the website www.cascaic.org.


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