Enfield baseball going for it all

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Mar. 22, 2012
Senior captain Justin Thomas taking batting practice inside the Enfield gymnasium.
Senior captain Justin Thomas taking batting practice inside the Enfield gymnasium.

The Enfield High School baseball team is looking to build off a successful 2011 season where they made it to the Class M quarterfinals before being defeated by Montville. Last season the team posted a 21-8 overall record and a 13-6 league record, good enough for second place in the North Central Connecticut Conference, behind Avon.

“We’re returning a good nucleus that has the ability to win the conference,” said Enfield head coach Jay Gaucher. “Our goal this season is to win every day. At the end of every day, we need to ask ourselves, ‘Did we get better?’”

The Raiders are led by their three senior captains, Dan Critz, catcher, John Cerrato, pitcher/third basemen, and Justin Thomas, pitcher/ centerfielder. The team will also look toward a fourth senior, Tony Romano, for major pitching contributions.

“Our goal is to come in first in conference and win states,” Cerrato said.

“Our coaches have talked to other coaches in the conference, and we’re the team to beat,” said Thomas. “We have a target on our backs.”

Enfield’s strength is up the middle where they are a solid defensive team with good athletes at each position. Juniors Avery Boissy and Tom Meskell bolster down the short stop and second base positions, respectively, giving the Raiders a strong middle infield. Supporting the middle infield will be Critz and Thomas, who will provide experience and leadership at the important defensive positions.

“We are trying to fill a hole at first base and at corner outfielder,” Gaucher said.

Enfield’s success this season is contingent on the strength of their pitching. The team is confident that the pitching will come around by the start of the season. “Thomas is one of the best pitchers in the area,” Gaucher said. “We will also look to Tony Romano, who pitched well down the stretch of last season.”

The Raiders look forward to a few key match-ups this season, including away games at conference contenders Somers and Ellington. Enfield hopes to avenge their final regular season game loss from last season that gave Avon the NCCC title on May 4. They will travel to Avon less than two weeks after to complete the home and away.

“We cannot take any team lightly,” Cerrato said. “There are a lot of good teams that can beat you on any day.”

The seniors are excited for their pre-season trip to Florida over spring break at the Bucky Dent Baseball School camp in Delray Beach, Fla. During the week, the team will practice as well as play two non-league games against local opponents East Granby and Windsor Locks. Gaucher anticipates a match-up with Windsor Locks on May 9 to see how his team has progressed against one of the consistently better teams in the area.

“It’s an exciting trip that we look forward to every season,” Thomas said.

“If we go 1-0 every day in practice or a game, that’s a good day,” Gaucher said. “We may not win every game, but we can win every day."

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