Blogs > A Haven of Sports

If it has to do with New Haven and sports, you'll read about it here. Yale, Quinnipiac, New Haven, Southern Connecticut, Albertus Magnus, high schools, the New Haven Open, and Walter Camp to name a few. Plus we'll give you a look at the best to see each day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stealth update

Here's an update from Steve Kirck on the Connecticut Stealth's trip to the Willie Mays AABC World Series in Puerto Rico .....

Wednesday, August 11

The alarm went off at 2:45 a.m. Yet, across Hamden, North Haven, and Woodbridge, a bunch of ten-year old boys, who have to be pried and cajoled out of bed to go to school, were bright eyed, ready and raring to go.

You would be too if you were getting up early to board a plane at JFK Airport for Puerto Rico and the Willie Mays AABC World Series.

And that’s exactly where the Connecticut Stealth baseball was headed. The team, its coaches, parents, siblings, and even grandparents met at Hamden Hall at 3:15 a.m. for a flight to San Juan.

The team, coaches, and a few other supporters were on an American flight, while the rest of the parents took Jet Blue. The planes left five minutes apart and landed at virtually the same time in sunny, warm, and tropical San Juan.

The Stealth, who won the regular season in both leagues they entered, earned the right to play in the AABC World Series by winning the state tournament in Waterbury and the regional tournament in New Jersey.

The road was not easy. After breezing through the winners bracket in the state tournament, the Connecticut Capitals forced a deciding game with an 8-1 win. The Capitals led the championship game 4-0 in the fourth inning before the Stealth rallied for a dramatic 5-4 win with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Stealth then defeated Clarkstown, NJ and the High Heat Kings from Brooklyn and a team from Ware, Mass. twice each to win the North Atlantic Regional in Hackensack, NJ to advance to Puerto Rico.

The Stealth are comprised of the following players: Tyler Osbourne (Hamden), Shamar Jackson (Hamden), Nick Copenhaver (North Haven), Jack Nolan (Woodbridge), CJ Kuselias (Hamden), Kyle Pavone (Hamden), Jay Brennan (North Haven), Tre Breland (Hamden), Luke Larkin (Woodbridge) and Brendan Kirck (Hamden). The coaches are Chris Kuselias, Bernie Brennan, and Mike Copenhaver.

11:40 a.m.
After both teams landed, AABC officials met the team and provided not only two busses but also a police escort from the airport to the hotel. The kids loved that while the parents just laughed as we sped through traffic lights and around cars on the highway and streets to Dorado, Puerto Rico.

Now, we know how the President and major league players feel. Even better, the bus, its driver and an AABC official are there for us the whole trip.

After getting to the hotel, everyone enjoyed the pool and the beach, even though we were all tired. But, who wants to sleep when there are four pools and a beach in your backyard.

6 p.m.
The AABC held a dinner reception at the hotel for all teams and family members. The food was great and each coach introduced his team. A band played music and it was a great experience for the kids to meet the other teams.

The early wake-up call took its toll and the team was tired so it was lights out after the ceremony. A day that started in Connecticut at 2:45 a.m. ended with going to bed in Dorado, Puerto Rico at 9:00 p.m. After all, we came here for baseball and our first game was rapidly approaching.

The other teams competing are: Farmington Cardinals (New Mexico), Georgia Yard Dogs (Georgia), Cincinnati Flames (Ohio), Arizona Angels (Arizona), Macomb Wildcats (Michigan), Carolina Braves (Puerto Rico champion), and the host team Toa Baja Mets.

Thursday, August 12

9 a.m.

Gameday vs Cincinnati Flames at 1 p.m. Team breakfast was held at 9 a.m. in a room set aside for all the AABC World Series teams. The Stealth entourage boarded the bus at 11 a.m. for a short ride to a local field for batting practice.

The police escort brought us to the field, a mini-Stadium. Neatly manicured with large concrete stands, the Stadium had overhead construction that kept the stands in the shade – a beautiful thing on a typical hot, muggy, Puerto Rican summer day. The sweat just pours out of you.

Special thanks has to be mentioned for all the team Moms’, who have been supportive all year juggling life’s responsibilities and baseball, but they were the true heroes after they went and bought each player a water bottle at a shopping plaza across from the hotel. They also bought a ton of bottled water. It was needed.

1 p.m.
Cincinnati Flames 4, Stealth 1
The Stealth, who have won tournaments in CT, Del, and NY and entered the World Series with a 52-2 record, were a tad awestruck and didn’t play typical fearless, fast, aggressive, and fancy-free Stealth baseball. And it cost them as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Cincinnati Flames in the opening game of the double elimination tournament.

The Flames, whose 10U team last year also advanced to Puerto Rico, got off to a quick start with a run in the top of the first inning on a single by Keegan Fish. He stole second base, and scored on a pair of wild pitches by Stealth starter Nicholas Copenhaver that eluded catcher Tre Breland.

The deficit doubled in the second when Daulton Amburn singled to start the inning, stole second and eventually scored on ground out.

Treyburn Funderbur made it 3-0 when he singled, stole second and third, and scored when Breland’s throw to third went past Tyler Osbourne.

Osbourne got the Stealth within 3-1 when he scored in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by Copenhaver.

Cameron Swanger increased Cincinnati’s lead to 4-1 with an opposite field home run in the fifth inning.

Cincinnati doubled the Stealth in hits (6 to 3) and made some nice defensive plays when they had to. In addition, catcher, Keegan Fish, threw out four Stealth runners trying to steal.

“We got outhit, out pitched, and out-defensed today,” said Stealth head coach Chris Kuselias. “Their pitcher mixed his pitches, speed and location very effectively. Tomorrow is a new day and we will be ready.”

6:30 p.m.
After a quick team dinner at a local pizza restaurant, the team returned to the Stadium for the Official Opening Ceremonies. Each team processed in as did league and AABC officials, the Puerto Rico State Police horses, and a local dance team. After some remarks, a fireworks show was held.

It was time to call it a day. The team had hoped to stay and watch the two Puerto Rico teams play their opener (they played the night game since school has actually started already in Puerto Rico), but it was late and we have the first game Friday. The Stealth will try to stay alive in a 10 a.m. game against the Georgia Yard Dogs, who look just like the University of Georgia from their logo and team colors standpoint.

Curfew was 9 p.m. as another early wake up call awaits. The team bus leaves at 8:00 a.m. for batting practice.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home