Siena powers SCC champ Amity past Fairfield Ludlowe
It's not uncommon for teams that win their conference championship to get complacent come state tournament time.
However, the Amity baseball team, and shortstop Vinny Siena particularly, made sure that did not happen in round one.
Siena was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, and four batted in as No. 7 Amity blitzed No. 26 Fairfield Ludlowe 11-0 in Tuesday's Class LL tournament first round.
"I saw a lot of fastballs," Siena said. "I was happy about that."
Siena was just a single short of the cycle and designated hitter Paul Gusmano had two hits and drove in four to help the Spartans reach the second round just three days removed from winning the Southern Connecticut Conference.
"We focused with the bats," Amity coach Sal Coppola said. "They came out swinging the first inning ... and battled and won the battle by hitting the ball hard."
Amity will play top-seeded Southington on Friday in Southington.
Spartans starting pitcher Michael Concato scattered four hits, all singles, while striking out six through five innings. Concato improved to 8-1 this season.
"Mike is not easy to hit," Coppola said. "I give him credit."
Ludlowe's Charlie Meder and Mike Poudrier each had two hits. The Falcons finished their season 9-12.
"I hope our players learn from our whole season," Ludlowe coach Keith O'Rourke said. "It just wasn't meant to be this year."
The Falcons had their best rally in the first inning when Meder and Poudrier each singled with two outs. Ludlowe could not drive them in and got just one runner to second base after the first.
"If the first two innings go a different way then the complexion of the game could be different," O'Rourke said. "We could have, all of a sudden, been up 1-0 ... but once their pitcher got through ... I think he settled down."
"They came out aggressive and hit him," Coppola said. "(Concato) tends to bear down when runners get on base."
Siena's one-out double in the bottom of the inning put Amity on the board. Gusmano's single drove home Siena, lifting the Spartans' lead to 2-0.
"I was trying to get good pitches to hit," Siena said. "Some ended up being extra-base hits. I was trying to drive the ball."
Siena drove in two more in the third with an triple to the gap in right-center.
"I like how I drove the ball the other way today," Siena said. "I was more happy about that one than the home run."
Gusmano's sacrifice fly drove him in, improving Amity's advantage to 5-0.
"They hit the ball well," O'Rourke said. "After three innings it was 5-0, it could've been 2-1 or 1-0."
Siena socked a fastball to left in the fifth for his second home run of 2012. Amity tacked on two more in the fifth and three more in the sixth, led by RJ Moquet's two RBI single.
Siena came up in the sixth with a chance for the cycle, but flew out to center field.
"I was thinking about it," he said. "That's probably why I got out."
Ludlowe graduates just three seniors.
"We have talented players," O'Rourke said. "It's just what our players do between now and next season that will determine how we do."
Amity 11, Ludlowe 0
FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 000 000 0--0 5 1
AMITY 203 033 x--11 10 0
Records: Fairfield Ludlowe 9-12, Amity 19-5; Batteries: FL--Tim Moran (L, 3-4), Stephen Zadravac (4), Vic D'Ascenzo (6) and Mike Poudrier; A--Michael Concato (W, 8-1), Austin Pokluda (6), Chris Cimmino (7) and Robert Rosner; 2B: Vin Siena, Robert Rosner, Jake Russo; 3B: Siena; HR: Siena