The last series against Branford is off to a disappointing start for Orange's American Legion Baseball seniors, but hopes are high that a bigger victory is still around the corner.
"The kids can taste it," says Coach Bob Mirto.
A pitching staff that boasts first-class Mike Concato, not to mention one of the state's best 16-year-old pitchers, Nick Fusco. A lineup Mirto says is strong from top to bottom. The team was an easy qualifier for the 2012 Senior State Tournament.
"We're deeper than we've ever been," says Mirto. "We've won the zone twice before since I've been coach, but this is one of the better teams we've ever had."
Orange faced the first game of its final series, against Branford, tonight at Branford High School. But their twelve-game winning streak was curtailed by Branford's staff with a run in the sixth inning, and Orange and Branford are now tied at the top of Zone 2, 18-4.
"The games will be nailbiters, I can promise you that," Mirto told Patch before the first game, and the close game didn't disappoint. But Branford's pitching held back the trio of Orange hitters Mark Boland, Nick Baviello and Ted Ballou.
Branford, who have also qualified for the tournament, have prospered this season under coach Rich Balzano. But so far, Orange has held the lead. The series continues tomorrow night at Brinley and wraps up Thursday at Branford High School. The single-elimination play-in tournament will begin Saturday, July 21.