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Danbury sweeps Waterford to win first state Legion title

Danbury swept Waterford on Saturday to win their first state American Legion champonship. (Photo courtesy Danbury American Legion baseball)

MIDDLETOWN, July 30, 2022 – The Danbury American Legion baseball team took advantage of a few hits and two errors to win the Connecticut state championship for the first time with a 9-5 victory Saturday at Palmer Field.

The victory gives Post 60 a 2-0 sweep of the best-of-3 championship series and sends Danbury (25-8) to the American Legion Northeast Regional for the first time. The tournament is August 3-7 at Fitton Field in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The game was tied at 4-4 in the fifth inning when Danbury took a one-run lead thanks an error in the outfield. With two outs and a runner on second bases, Danbury’s Mike Muller singled to left field but when the ball got behind the outfielder, Will Granata scored from second base.

In the sixth inning, Danbury added four more runs to take a commanding 9-4 lead. Pitcher J.T. Gunzy singled and moved to second on a walk. A successful sacrifice bunt from Jackson Ciccone loaded the bases. Owen Hibbard grounded into a double play but Gunzy scored from third to give Danbury a 6-4 lead.

A two-out RBI double from Granata boosted the lead to 7-4 and two more runs scored on another error for a 9-4 lead.

Gunzy was 2-for-3 for Danbury while Muller was 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI. Hibbard had a two-run double in the third inning as Post 60 took a 4-1 lead in the third inning.

Gunzy also got the job done on the mound, going the distance (seven innings) and striking out three. He scattered eight hits and walked two.

For Waterford, Jack Lathrop and Ken Miller were each 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI. Post 161 was looking for their first state title since 2008.

Six Danbury players were named to the All-Tournament team – first baseman Will Granata, shortstop Owen Hubbard, outfielders Casey Katz and Jackson Ciccone along with pitcher J.T. Gunzy and catcher Mike Muller.

Gunzy was named the outstanding pitcher of the tournament while Hubbard was named the tournament MVP.

Danbury 9, Waterford 5
At Middletown
Waterford (27-5)             100  300  1  — 5-8-2
Danbury (25-8)                004  014  x  — 9-9-2
Anthony Jessuck, Jack Lathrop (6), Matt Reilly (6) and Ken Miller; J.T. Gunzy and Michael Muller; WP: Gunzy; LP: Lathrop; 2B: Will Granata (D), Owen Hubbard (D), Jack Lathrop (W), Ken Miller (W)

2022 Connecticut American Legion U-19 All Tournament Team
1B – Will Granata, Danbury
2B – Kieran Hackett, Stamford
3B – Evan McCue, Waterford
SS- Owen Hubbard, Danbury
OF – Casey Katz, Danbury
OF – Preston Tabor, Waterford
OF – Jackson Ciccone, Danbury
C – Mike Muller, Danbury
P – Quinn Sylvia, Waterford
P – Chris Supan, West Haven
P – Aiden Nestor, Stamford
P- J.T. Gunzy, Danbury

Outstanding Pitcher – J.T. Gunzy, Danbury
Batting Champion – Evan McCaue, Waterford, .458
MVP — Owen Hibbard, Danbury

2022 American Legion state tournament scores and results 

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.

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