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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Junior Division Champions - CT Mirage

Congratulations to the CT Mirage, Junior Division Champions!
 

Story and Photos by Steve Kelsey

 

With the final scoreboard resembling more of a football score than a baseball game, the CT Mirage out of Granby claimed the Farmington Bank/Vantis Life junior league championship by defeating Farmington 21-12.

The two teams were the second half of a double header at Memorial Field on Thursday, following the conclusion of the Senior Championship, after rain had canceled the original Championship on Wednesday night. The two offenses provided fans with plenty of offense throughout the game.

Both teams traded leads early in the game with Farmington scoring two runs in the top half of each of the first two innings with the Mirage answering with a three and a two run inning respectively. The first scoreless half of an inning came in the top of the third when Farmington was unable to score before giving up four runs in the bottom half of the inning and falling behind 9-4.

Both teams exhibited shaky defense throughout the game, but both offenses also took advantage of their extra opportunities and hit the ball hard finding gaps in the defenses.

Coach Thadd Thomas said that his team’s offense has been key part to their success all season.

“This team has definitely put a lot of hard work into batting this year,” Thomas said. “They’ve been very deadly at the plate all year long, and that really all came together tonight.”

The Mirage got contributions from every spot in their lineup as they were able to score in all six of the innings that they batted in.

“Top to bottom, every single one of them was hungry to hit the ball,” Thomas said.

The first step for the Farmington offense was to try to find a way to get to Mirage starter Colin Crowe who threw 131 pitches for the game and was seemingly in control despite the defensive miscues behind him.

“Colin has been phenomenal all season long,” Thomas said. “He’s one of those guys that will let you know when he wants to come off. He just threw his heart out all night and did a great job, like he’s done for us a few games. He’s been the arm throughout the playoffs for us.”

Farmington’s offense tried to keep up with the Mirage and put up some crooked numbers of their own on the scoreboard. Trailing 16-7 through five innings Farmington knew that they needed and offensive explosion to try to work their way back in the game.

“We had a little lull in the middle where we didn’t get very many hits and looked bad,” said Farmington manager Dave Conrad. “Then at the end we finished strong and everyone was really clicking.”

The offense certainly clicked in the top of the sixth for Farmington as they scored five runs in the inning, including getting some big two out hits to pull the game to 16-12.

Despite their own offensive explosion, Farmington simply could not stop the Mirage who scored five runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead to 21-12 and deflate the Farmington comeback attempt.


by posted 08/03/2017
Senior Division Champions - Pro Courier Cubs

Congratulations to the Pro Courier Cubs, Senior Division Champions!
 

Story and Photos by Steve Kelsey

 

A cloud of dust engulfed the circle surrounding home plate on at Memorial Field in Simsbury. When the dust settled Tyrek Robinson was seen clenching his arms and letting out a celebratory scream as he scored the tie breaking run in the championship game.

The game between the top seeded Simsbury Scorpions and the second seeded Pro Courier Cubs, from West Harford, started Tuesday night at Northwest Park in Manchester. Before the first pitch could be thrown in the top of the fourth inning the clouds opened up leaving the field under water.

With the game tied at 0-0 and having being postponed the two teams were scheduled to try to finish their seasons on Wednesday only to be canceled by rain once more. The weather finally cooperated on Thursday evening as the teams were able to pick up right where they had left off.

Neither of the starting pitchers from Tuesday, Simsbury’s Josh Cosentino nor Pro Courier’s Pat McHale returned to the mound on Thursday. Instead, the Scorpions sent Mathew Cosentino to the hill and Pro Courier countered with Charlie Lage.

Both teams squandered scoring opportunities on Tuesday with Simsbury seemingly having the better chances to plate an early run with a runner getting thrown out at the plate on a potential sacrifice fly to right field. Both Simsbury and Pro Courier relied on fundamental defense while waiting for the big hit.

Pro Courier Co-Manager Stephen Ranieri knew that his team felt confident going into Thursday’s continuation and he thinks it had a lot to do with making solid contact on Tuesday.

“It went back to our first inning of at-bats when a lot of our guys took quality swings,” Ranieri said. “The idea that we were hitting these guys and we just have to keep hitting them and then our luck is going to fall through eventually.”

It took until the top half of the seventh inning for the luck to fall through for Pro Courier. Half an inning after Simsbury left the bases loaded, Robinson started off the inning with a poke single up the middle before advancing to second on a walk.

With two runners on Simsbury manager Mike Sinacori took a defensive timeout allowing Pro Courier to have an offensive conference.

“When I went out there I said you have to be aggressive because that is the only way we are going to score,” Ranieri said. “The only way to beat this team is to be bold.”

Robinson took the aggressiveness into his own hands and stole third base before tagging up on a shallow fly ball to center field and scoring the only run of the championship.

“I heard my coach yelling for me to tag up so I got back to the bag and turned my head in time to see him catch the ball,” Robinson said. “I took off not really knowing what was going on, just knowing I had to get home.”

Sinacori knew that the loss could not take anything away from what his team did throughout the season.

“What we accomplished this summer was far and away above this one game,” Sinacori said. “I told the kids we can’t let this one game define our season.”

Teams from West Hartford and Simsbury seemingly always compete with each other at the highest levels of competition and the two sides that battled on the diamond understood the significance of what it would mean to beat the other team.

“Playing sports my whole life, Simsbury has always been some of the toughest competition I’ve faced,” Robinson said. “We haven’t always fared so well against them, so to get a win over such a prestigious town is really amazing.”


by posted 08/03/2017
Prep Division Champions - Wallingford Cardinals

Congratulations to the Wallingford Cardinals, Prep Division Champions!

 

Story and Photos by Steve Kelsey

 

Red uniform’s flooded the baseball diamond after a weak groundball in front of the plate ended the season for two teams on Monday.

The groundball which the catcher fielded and threw to first base was the final play in the Farmington Bank/Vantis Life Prep Division championship game held under the bright lights of Rotary Field in South Windsor.

The top seeded Wallingford Cardinals proved why they were the top team in the division all year as they defeated the West Hartford Thunder 9-2.

Wallingford had defeated West Hartford in their two meetings during the regular season, however, their manager, Mark Bissell, knew better than to overlook the third seeded Thunder.

“It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season,” Bissell said. “The more people see you, the more they know everything about you.”

The Wallingford program has had a successful first two years in the division, finishing second last year before their championship victory this season. Bissell was able to use the playoff format as motivation to his players to not lose focus against a team that they had already beaten.

“I told them that it’s a new season,” Bissell said. “All it takes in a playoff like this is one loss and that’s it you’re done. It really doesn’t matter what you did in the season unless you finish it off.”

The two teams played evenly throughout the first two and a half innings of the game, with both offenses squandering scoring opportunities. Wallingford was able to strike in the bottom of the third and never looked back.

Wallingford hitters began to square up the ball against West Hartford starter Nick Udell in the third inning leading to some run production while taking advantage of some defensive miscues.

Thunder manager Kyle Jeter chalked the miscues up to youthfulness as well as the game of baseball itself. Despite the loss he expressed optimism about his players’ futures.

“It’s 13 year old baseball,” Jeter said with a smile on his face. “We are going to be nervous, we are going to make mistakes and unfortunately we made mistakes at important parts of the game. That’s baseball.”

Jeter said that many of his players had played together for the past five years which he thinks has helped them to grow as teammates and become more successful. He said that he had nothing but pride for how his team performed this year.

The Thunder had no answer for Wallingford starter Anthony Romano who seemed in control throughout the game with a hard fastball that he consistently threw for strikes and a hard biting curveball that kept the opposition off balance.

Romano held the Thunder scoreless through the first five innings while his offense was able to stake him an 8-0 lead.

In the top of the sixth inning West Hartford began to square up some of Romano’s pitches, scoring two runs before seeing the inning end. Wallingford added an additional run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 9-2 before bringing in reliever John Cotter to finish the game.

Cotter pounded the zone and was rewarded with three groundouts to end the game and secure the championship for Wallingford.


by posted 07/31/2017
Playoff Pictures!

Playoff Pictures!

7/29 - Junior CT Mirage vs CT Tides 1

Thanks to Scott Kerr

Parents - we will post your game pictures! Send an email to Dan Turkeltaub,  , for details.

Click here for more game pictures


by posted 06/25/2017
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, dturk_2001@yahoo.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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