Fermi baseball hopes to repeat

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Mar. 22, 2012
Fermi head coach Connell Clark directs the Falcons in practice. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Fermi head coach Connell Clark directs the Falcons in practice. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The Enrico Fermi High School baseball team looks to defend its Central Connecticut Conference East title during the 2012 season.
The Falcons’ 2011 season ended in the second round of the Class L state tournament, with a loss to North Haven. Last year's squad graduated eight players, six of whom were starters, and three were the top pitchers.

“We’d love to win the league again and that is our goal,” said Connell Clark, Fermi head coach. “We have a young team this year that is inexperienced, and people may look at us as rebuilding, but our strength is in our captains.”

Fermi is led by senior captain Chaz Millett and junior captains Alex Zachary and Dan Brunetti; all three were starters last season. “We need to lead by example,” Zachary said. “No words are as good as showing. We need to swing hard in our BP sessions, listen to our coaches, and sprint on and off the field.”

Millett and Zachary were named to the CCC-East All Conference Team in 2011, as an outfielder and first baseman respectively. Clark expects Millett and Zachary to bolster down the middle of the lineup and add pop to the offense. Last season Millett batted .450 in the regular season, with 14 runs batted in, 20 runs and 18 stolen bases. Zachary had equally impressive regular season stats, batting .508 with 16 runs batted in, 28 runs and 21 stolen bases.

“We were the hardest-working team in the league last season, and we will be again this season,” Millett said.

Clark believes that if the Falcons want to be successful they will need Brunetti to mentor the young pitching staff.

“I’m trying to set them up to succeed,” Brunetti said. “I want to build up their confidence. You can’t let up, because once you’re down you’re out.”

“Our season depends on how our pitching responds,” Clark said. “I think that it is a key component to how we do this season and in the future. We’re only going to get better.” The captains believe that the young pitchers will be prepared for when the season starts, saying that they will rally behind them and pick them up when they hang their head.

“They will be in a position to help the team,” Zachary said. “There’s no 'I' in team, and they won’t have to get out of an inning alone. We can’t waste any time getting to the top.”

The CCC East will be a tough division for the Falcons. Five teams from the conference made it to the state tournament and all five won their first round games.

“We can’t and shouldn’t take any one lightly,” Clark said.

The Falcons look forward to opening the season at home on April 5 against rival Bristol Central. After that, the upperclassmen look forward to a home and away series versus RHAM on April 30 and May 18, respectively.

“It’s not a league game but I am excited for Enfield [High School],” Clark said. Clark coached players at John F. Kennedy Middle School who are now on the varsity teams at Fermi and Enfield.

“It’s a friendly rivalry that we want to win,” Millett said.

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