The purpose of the league is to allow youngsters from ages 13 to 19 the opportunity to play baseball during the summer months. The league requires adult supervision and these adults receive training in Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Coaching Ph

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Senior Division Champions - CT Dirt Bags

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Congratulations to the CT Dirt Bags, Senior Division Champions!

By Steven Kelsey

The top seeded Connecticut Dirt Bags defeated the number three seed CATIC Bombers 6-4 in the Senior Division Championship game of the Farmington Bank/Vantis Life Baseball League on Sunday.

Trailing for most of the game, the Dirt Bags used a four run sixth to claim the championship trophy after being held to two runs in the first five innings by Bombers starter Jordan Jeroszko.

Matt Tiziano started the rally for the Dirt Bags, who entered the sixth inning trailing 4-2. Tiziano singled and prompted stole second. After a fly out, the next four Dirt Bags reached base on singles by Patrick Hughes, Justin Avery, Ryan Lawrence, and Ryan Kaeser.

The single by Lawrence, a hard ground ball to the shortstop's backhand, knocked in the go-ahead run and brought a roar of approval for his teammates.

"They are all friends," said Dirt Bags head coach Justin Kaeser. "They all respect each other and work so hard for each other. We put ourselves in pressure situations during practice, we prepare ourselves for moments like this and they just finally all came together, picked each other up, and found that extra gear."

Lawrence played part in the rally that gave his team the lead and also played a key part in shutting down the Bombers by entering the game as a relief pitcher in the top of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Lawrence had to go through the top of the Bombers order, and he retired them in order.

For Bombers head coach Chris Caputo, there was nothing to hang his head about from his team's performance.

"When you get to the Championship game, you want to play the first place team," Caputo said. "To be up 4-2, those guys on the other side of the field didnt give up, and then putting up a four-spot like that in the bottom of the sixth inning, that's exactly what you want in a Championship game."

Jeroszko was able to hold down the Dirt Bags, but he ran out of stem in the sixth before being pulled from the game. Caputo was nothing but thankful about the effort put forth by Jeroszko.

"That kid doesn't even pitch in High School," Caputo said. He pitched last Sunday and it was the same thing, pur guts. Even when I went to take him out, I knew he was done and he knew he was done, but if I didn't have a choice and had to leave him in there he would have done that. He's a pure joy to coach."

Both coaches expressed their gratitude toward the league for giving them the change to participate in a Championship game in a professional stadium.

"Having the atmosphere of being in a professional stadium like this, having the honor to play on this field, and to actually play to our best ability and show just what the Dirt Bags are to everybody was a special experience," said Kaeser.

 


by posted 08/05/2018
Junior Division Champions - Newington

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Congratulations to Newington, Junior Division Champions

 

By Steven Kelsey

In the Junior Championship game of the Farmington Bank/Vantis Life Baseball League, it was apparent early that the game would be decided by the right arm of Dennif Machial, the starting pitcher for Newington.

Newington scored one run in each of the first two innings and added another two runs in the third to take a 4-0 lead over the Connecticut Tides, and that proved to be more than enough support for Michial, who threw a complete game, allowing five hits and one run in Newington's 5-1 victory Sunday afternoon at New Britain Stadium.

"The last time we faced them he threw a no-hitter against them," said Newington Head Coach Dan Beaupre. "He;s a gamer. The kid wants to compete, and I new when I handed him the ball we would be in good shape."

The third inning proved to be a turning point in the game. In the top of the inning, Machial was able to strand a runner on third base to keep a 2-0 lead intact.

In the bottom of the inning, Brandon Baglan lead off with a double over the center fielder. Tides pitcher Dan Beagle fought back and struck out the next two batters before Jordan Gonzalez stepped up to the plate for Newington.

After a long battle filled with foul balls, Gonzalez roped a triple down the right field line. Baglan scored easily on the play and Gonzalez scored as well when the Tides overthrew the bag.

The tides were not able to make any substitutions haveong only nine players, so there was nothing they could do to try to get Machial off his game plan.

"We've got the scrappiest group of young guys that never quit," said Tides coach Dave Swanson. "They gave it everything they've got today, we just ran into a better team." 

Swanson commended his team for their drive and made sure to mention that every player will be eligible to come back next year, so he knows that the future is bright.

As for Newington, the 5-1 victory finished off a perfect season for the team, which is something Beaupre was not taking lightly.

"It's everything," Beaupre said. "These kids deserved it, they worked for it, they fought hard. It's something that I know going back to when I was a kid playing baseball, that I never forgot the championships, never mind if we had an undefeated season. Playing in a good league like this against tough teams like the Tides, to finish off a season undefeated, it's special."

 


by posted 08/05/2018
Prep Division Champions - West Hartford Lightning

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Congratulations to the West Hartford Lightning, Prep Division Champions

 

By Steven Kelsey

The Farmington Bank/Vantis Life Baseball League Championships opened up their partnership with the New Britain Bees with their Prep Division Championship game Sunday at New Britain Stadium.

The game featured the number one seed West Hartford Lightning and the number three seed Wallingford Cardinals, the defending champions in the division. Neither team seemed to be intimidated by the fact that they were playing in a provessional stadium as there was only one error committed in a 3-1 victory for the Lightning.

Both coaches admitted that they were more nervous about coaching on the professional field than their players. Both Cardinal Manager Scott Iwaniec and West Hartford skipper Sean McCann said that while they are old enough to remember the great players coming through for the Rock Cats, the players were too young to remember most of them.

"It was huge for me and both of my assistants because we grew up watching the Rock Cats, so we were kind of fanboying at the fact that we get to walk on this field," said Iwaniec. "We introduced our kids to it and they really took pride in the fact that they got to stand on the same field as players like Wade Boggs, David Ortiz, and Joe Mauer.

Lightning starting pitcher Quinn La Rock threw 69 pitches through 5-plus innings, allowing a single hit and for walks while striking out two. The only jam he faced was in the first inning when he had runners on first and second before getting two routine groundouts to end the inning.

Simon Rosenberg came in after La Rock walked the first two batters in the fifth and produced a strikeout, a groundout, and a pop out to end the inning before the Cardinals could put up any runs. According to McCann, the plan was always to use only the two pitchers.

We thought coming into the day that he (La Rock) was our most consistent pitcher," McCann said. "Sometimes you get caught coaching with your heart instead of your head and I wanted to get one more inning out of him and bring in Rosenberg for the save, but he just gave us everything he had."

McCann said that his message to La Rock was simple when he went out to the mound to pull him. While acknowledging his starter's performance, he said, "now it's time for us to finish it for you."

Cardinals starter Charles Ennis was equally as brilliant over his 86 pitches. Through 4-2/3, Ennis struck out four and permitted three earned runs, the first of which was scored amid controversy in the bottom half of the fourth.

With one out and runners on second and third, Lightning batter Declan McCann hit a ground ball back to the mound and lead running Ben Brockway broke for home. With a play at the plate, catcher Owen St. Amant was unable to field the throw home while Brockway was bearing down on him. The two collided at the plate and after a lenghty discussion, the umpires ruled that it was catcher's obstruction by means of St. Amant blocking the plate, putting the Lightning up 1-0.

The Lightning scored two insurance runs in the fifth, with pinch hitters Nick Peterson and Peter Langevin each getting important singles in the rally.

"You look at it and you're like, great coaching move, right?" said McCann. "No, it's just that we are fortunate to be deep. One of the kids went up there ane he was extremely nervous, so I just tried to make him laugh a bit and keep him loose.

Iwaniec told his team after the tough loss that its just how the game of baseball goes sometimes. "At the end of the day, you're still going to wake up in the morning, your family is still going to love you, and that's the important part."

"The fact that they all got to experience this together will mean more to them in the future than the actual trophy."

 


by posted 08/05/2018
League History

70 Years of Baseball History

The Farmington Bank/Vantis Life Baseball League prides itself on its philosophy that players should develop skills, develop an appreciation for the game of baseball, and, most importantly, to have fun. Thousands of Connecticut teens have helped make our League one of the largest and oldest independent baseball programs in the country. Below are some of the articles and artifacts we've gathered over the past 70 years. The collection is growing, if you'd like to contribute, please contact Dan Turkeltaub, dan.turkeltaub@gmail.com. Our League History page contains a list of alumni whom have gone on to Collegiate, Minor, and Major League success. 

 

Check out these albums of articles and pictures from our history

1940's through 1950's

1960's through 1970's

1980's through 1990's

2000's through 2010's

Do you have any articles or pictures we could share? Contact Dan Turkeltaub,


by posted 05/03/2017
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