If the Berlin American Legion team is going to make the state tournament, it is going to take a lot of work.
Berlin started the week 10-10 overall and 5-5 in Zone 3. The team needs to finish 14-11 in the zone to qualify for State Tournament play-in round.
This week has been tough as Post 68 lost to Madison on Monday and Middletown on Tuesday and Wednesday to fall to 10-13 overall and 5-8 in the zone. Berlin has to play Middletown again Thursday (8 p.m. at Sage Park) and then plays a non-zone game against Hebron Friday at 7 p.m. also at Sage.
"We are carrying five kids who just finished their freshman year in high school along with having four kids that are college age so its an interesting mix," Berlin coach Rob Manzo said. "We are trying to win now but building for the future at the same time if that’s possible.
"We started 2-8 overall and 0-3 in Zone. We played a very difficult schedule early. We have played better of late but have lost our last five Zone games and stand at 5-8 in the Zone. We have just been very inconsistent with runners in scoring position, a few more hits here and there and we are maybe 8-3 in the zone."
Brendan Germano and Kevin Devivo have Berlin offensively and so far Tim Norton has been outstanding as Posy 68's number one pitcher.
"We will keep working to get better, it’s a great group kids who love the game. We play or practice practically every day so that tells you something about the work ethic of our team and program. They play hard and give me everything they have and that’s all I can ask."
Madison 2, Berlin 1: Hunter Tralli and Dan Garofalo combined to only give up two runs but Berlin could not get a key hit stranding 13 runners on base.
Southington: Southington is poised to make the state tournament as the team sits at 12-5, just two wins away from qualifying.
Southington trails first place Avon, who is 15-3 in Zone 1.
Cheshire: Cheshire holds on to first place in Zone 3 with a 9-3 record. Cheshire is just five wins from qualifying for the state tournament.
Behind Cheshire in Zone 3 is 9-5 East Haddam, 12-6 Middletown, 8-6 Meriden and 5-8 Berlin.
Meriden: Meriden has a good chance of making the state tournament as long as the team continues to play well. At 8-6 in the zone on the season, they are six wins from a state tournament berth.
The team sits in fourth place in the highly competitive Zone 3 standings.
RCP: Rocky Hill-Cromwell-Portland looks like a lock to go back to the state tournament with a 9-2 record. RCP is just a half game behind Zone 7 leader Newington, who is 10-2.