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Simsbury Legion opens state tournament on Saturday hosting Norwich

Granby’s Nate Orluk has a team-high five wins for the Simsbury American Legion baseball. Orluk is 5-1 this summer for Post 84.

SIMSBURY, July 18 – The Simsbury American Legion baseball team will open play in the 2019 Connecticut American Legion baseball state tournament on Saturday with a home game against Norwich at Memorial Field at 11 a.m. in Group A

Norwich went 12-12 in Zone 6 this summer and finished fourth in the Southern Division of Zone 6. The winner of the game will face the winner of the game between South Windsor (9-12) and Waterford (18-6), who won the Southern Division in Zone 6, on Sunday. South Windsor finished second in Zone 3 in the Northern Division.

The winner of double-elimination competition in Group A will be one of four teams to advance to the Northern Division sectional final. The winner of the sectional final qualifies for the best-of-3 state championship series.

Simsbury (18-6) won the Zone 1 Northern Division championship and claimed their ninth Zone 1 pennant since 1960. Post 84 went 10-1 in the last 11 games of the regular season.

Manager Thomas E. Vincent is pleased on how his team finished the season.

“Timely hitting has been the key. We’ve been swinging the bats this season very well,” he said. “I feel very confident about this team going into a double elimination tournament. We played our zone very tough and we saw a lot of good teams.”

Post 84 won the three-game season series against every team in Zone 1 including Southern Division champion Southington, West Hartford, Bristol and Berlin — all teams that qualified to play in the Legion state tournament.

This year’s Simsbury Legion squad is a diverse team with six players with East Granby, four from Simsbury, four from Granby and three from Canton — James Mattson, Matthew Rose and Jack Rose.

Four Post 84 players saw action in college this past spring. Simsbury’s Tate Valerio played three varsity games with UMass-Boston; East Granby’s Jonathan Wilson played 18 games with Southern Maine; Granby’s Nate Orluk played six games with Williams and East Granby’s Conner DiAngelo played two games with the University of Scranton.

Simsbury is looking for their first state tournament win since 2015 when they went 4-2 in the tournament and reached the Northern Division finals – two wins shy of playing in the state championship series.

Post 84 lost one game in 2016 and dropped a pair of tournament games last year.

Northern Division Sectional Tournament
GROUP A
Saturday, July 20
Game 1: South Windsor at Waterford, 10 a.m.
Game 2: Norwich at Simsbury, 11 a.m.
Sunday, July 21
Game 3: Loser game 1 vs. loser game 2, losing team eliminated, 1 p.m.
Game 4: Winner game 1 vs. winner game 2, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, July 23
Game 5: Winner game 3 vs. loser game 4, losing team eliminated, 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24
Game 6: Final – Winner game 4 vs. winner game 5, 1 p.m.
Game 7: Final — If necessary, 3 p.m.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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