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Avon, Simsbury Legion players participate in local All-Star games

Avon pitcher Connor Harris pitched two scoreless innings in the Futures’ All-Star Game Friday night at McKenna Field in East Hartford.

While state champion Southington and Ellington were competing in the American Legion baseball’s Northeast Regional in Shrewsbury, Mass., this week, local athletes from the Avon and Simsbury American Legion baseball programs were still on the diamond competing in All-Star games.

Avon had five players on the Zone 1 All-Star team that faced the Zone 8 All-Star game on Wednesday at Simsbury’s Memorial Field. Simsbury had four players on the squad.

In the Future’s All-Star game between Zone 1/Zone 7 and Zone 8 on Friday night at McKenna Field in East Hartford, Avon had two representatives on the team with Simsbury sending two players as well. Only players that will be eligible to play American Legion baseball next summer were allowed to play in the Future’s All-Star game.

And in the Junior Legion All-Star game (ages 17 and under), Avon had three players on the Zone 1/7 All-Star team with Simsbury sending one representative.

Avon’s Jake Coppen (infielder), Jeremy Zarwanski (catcher), Will Boone (pitcher), Dylan Nastri (outfielder/pitcher) and Chris Jacobs (shortstop/pitcher) represented Post 201 on the Zone 1 All-Star team while pitcher Jake Nichols, outfielder Joe Patrina, infielder Nate Orluk and outfielder Mason Valentino represented Simsbury.

Avon (17-3) won their third straight Zone 1 championship this summer while Simsbury (11-9) finished third in Zone 1 with their seventh state tournament berth in the last eight years.

The game against Zone 8 lasted just two innings and was scoreless before rain cancelled the remainder of the contest.

In the Future’s Game, Zone 1/7 beat Zone 8 by 5-0 in a nine-inning contest. Avon pitcher Connor Harris and Miles Borenstein played for Zone 1 along with Simsbury pitcher Luke Benneche and outfielder Sam Attainese. Zone 1 was managed by Avon’s Stephen Harris and Zone 1 commissioner Tim Vincent, the assistant coach for Post 84.

Connor Harris got start for Zone 1 and pitched two innings, striking out three and giving up just one hit. Glastonbury’s Michael Feeney pitched the next three innings and didn’t allow a run. He did pitch out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs.

Benneche pitched two innings, striking out three and giving up just two hits. Newington’s Mike Sobolewski pitched the final two innings of the game, scattering three hits and striking out one.

Attianese led off the game with a single and scored the first run of the game on a RBI double from Borenstein in the first inning. Zone 1/7 scored twice in the first inning and added another three runs in the second inning for a 5-0 lead. Bristol’s Alex Diloretto had two hits to lead Zone 1/7.

In the Junior Legion All-Star game, Zone 8 beat Zone 1-7. Avon had pitcher Milian Jain, catcher Brayden Nemarich and outfielder Jackson Chard on the All-Star team along with Simsbury second baseman and shortstop Danny Coppinger.

In the Northeast Regional in Shrewsbury, Mass., this week, state champion Southington (30-10) went 2-2 in the tournament. Post 72 dropped their opener on Wednesday to Essex, Vt., 4-1 but rebounded with an 11-2 victory over Ellington to remain alive in the tournament.

Essex pitcher Maverick King threw a complete game, striking out nine and allowing just one run in the win over Southington. Post 72 had 11 hits in the win over Ellington.

Southington won their second straight elimination game with a 10-7 victory over Cumberland, R.I., on Friday but were eliminated on Saturday with a 10-3 loss to undefeated Braintree, Mass.

Ellington (23-10), which finished second to Southington in the Connecticut state tournament, lost two straight games. Ellington lost to Braintree in their first game, 7-2, before getting eliminated by Southington the next afternoon.

Ellington dropped three straight games to Southington, including a pair in the best-of-3 state championship final – 3-2 and 7-6 in eight innings.

Braintree and Shrewsbury, Mass., met Sunday for the 2018 Northeast Regional championship.

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.



  1. Heather Chard

    August 12, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Wish you’d at least mentioned the names of the local boys who played in the Junior Legion All Star Game! One hit a nice double then scored from second, but no mention of his efforts.

  2. Gerry deSimas, Jr., Collinsville Press

    August 12, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Sorry about that. I had the information but must have missed it when I was compiling the story. I have added the paragraph about the players in the Junior Legion contest to the story.

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