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06/05/2022 12:00 AM

Hand Baseball Advances to Class L Semis; Boys’ Track Places 2nd in Class MM

Senior Ryan Knight tossed a pair of gems to help the Tigers reach the Class L semifinals and a matchup against top-seeded Windsor. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source


The Hand baseball team claimed victory in its first three games of the Class L State Tournament last week to advance into the semifinal round. The Tigers posted wins over Ellis Tech, Pomperaug, and Middletown to make it to the Class L semis with an overall record of 15-9.

As the No. 12 seed, defending champion Hand began states play by earning a 3-0 home win versus No. 21 Ellis Tech in a first-round game on May 31. Senior Ryan Knight pitched a complete-game 1-hitter and struck out 12 batters to lead the Tigers to the victory.

Senior Connor Powell had 2 hits, including a 2-run double, to pace the Tigers’ offense. Senior Evan Mastrobattisto and sophomore Ben Kuja contributed 2 hits apiece in the win. Junior Troy Piascik chipped in with a sacrifice fly for Head Coach Travis LaPointe’s squad.

The next day, the Tigers hosted No. 28 Pomperaug in the second round and rallied for a 7-5 victory. With Hand trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Mastrobattisto singled home senior Jack Kayal to tie the game. Powell followed with a 2-run double that gave Hand a 7-5 advantage.

Kuja went 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Tigers. Mastrobattisto had 2 hits and 2 RBI, while senior Will Kranzler had 2 hits and 1 RBI.

Then on June 4, Hand faced No. 29 seed Middletown for a quarterfinal home game and triumphed by a 7-1 score. Knight tossed another complete game to earn his sixth win of the year. Kuja had 3 hits in the victory, one of which was an RBI triple. Senior Jeff Pinover, senior Axl Pildner, and Kranzer each had 2 hits to help Hand win the game and move on to the semifinal round.

Hand is facing top-seeded Windsor in the Class L semifinals on Tuesday, June 7 at 7 p.m. at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. With a win, the Tigers would face the winner of No. 10 Maloney and No. 14 Notre Dame-West Haven in the Class L final at Palmer Field on either Friday, June 10 or Saturday, June 11.


The Hand softball team took a defeat versus Fitch in the first round of the Class L State Tournament last week. On May 31, the 19th-seeded Tigers traveled to Groton to face No. 14 Fitch and lost to the Falcons by a 2-0 score. Hand finished with an overall record of 11-11 on the year.

Boys’ Outdoor Track

The Hand boys’ outdoor track team finished in second place when the Tigers competed in the Class MM State Championship at Willow Brook Park on June 1. Hand racked up 70 points on its way to earning runner-up honors at the state meet, only placing behind Windsor (91). The Tigers had recently finished second at the SCC West Sectional Championship and then came in third place at the SCC Championship.

Senior Danny Hilmer claimed second place in the 1,600 by crossing the finish line with a time of 4:25.79 for Hand at the Class MM State Championship. Junior Harrison Grenier took second place in the 3,200 (9:41.37), and sophomore Kyle Hoffman finished second in the 400 (50.63) for the Tigers.

Senior Jack O’Keefe came in third place for the 3,200 (9:41.45) in states. Senior Morgan Veth finished third in the high jump (6-2) and also placed sixth in the long jump (20-3.25). Sophomore Matthew Kasper finished third in the triple jump (41-9.5) for Hand.

The Tigers’ 4x800 relay of Grenier, sophomore Chris Bonavita, O’Keefe, and junior Nick Montana finished in third place (8:15.06) at states. The 4x100 relay of Veth, senior Brian Kranzler, senior Mario Mazzarella, and O’Brien took fourth place (44.65); and the 4x400 relay of senior Paul Odyniec, Hilmer, Montana, and Hoffman finished in sixth (3:33.34).

Senior Jacob McGeary finished sixth in the finals of the 110 hurdles (16.15) and also claimed sixth place in the 300 hurdles (42.56). Sophomore Liam Elliott placed eighth in the 110 hurdles finals (17.00). Montana finished sixth in the 800 (2:00.14), and senior Ethan O’Brien took eighth place in the long jump (20-0) for Hand.

Girls’ Outdoor Track

The Hand girls’ outdoor track team was represented by several competitors at last week’s Class MM State Championship meet. The Tigers finished in 15th place by scoring 12.75 points at Willow Brook Park on June 1.

Hand’s 4x400 relay of junior Michelle Jiang, junior Vivian Glaser, senior Meryl Sullivan, and junior Julia Coric finished in fifth place with a time of 4:15.77 at the Class MM State Championship. Senior Meryl Sullivan finished sixth in the 1,600 (5:29.53), while junior Julia Coric took sixth place in the 400 (1:01.95) for Hand.

Senior Juliana Powell finished seventh in the high jump (4-8) for the Tigers at states. Hand’s 4x800 relay of sophomore Jordan Kells, freshman Amanda Coric, senior Natalia Nolan, and sophomore Ava Davies came in seventh place (10:36.18).

Boys’ Tennis

The Hand boys’ tennis team claimed victory in its first two matches of the Class L State Tournament before taking a loss in the semifinal around last week. The Tigers finished the 2022 season with an overall record of 22-2 to go along with their fourth-straight SCC title.

No. 2 seed Hand started off states by posting a 7-0 shutout over No. 15 Guilford in a first-round home match on May 31. The following day, the Tigers hosted No. 10 seed South Windsor in the quarterfinals and earned another 7-0 victory at Polson Middle School. Then on June 3, Hand played a semifinal home matchup versus No. 3 seed Darien and took a 6-1 defeat to the Blue Devils.

Boys’ Lacrosse

The Hand boys’ lacrosse team defeated St. Joseph in its Class M State Tournament opener and then took an overtime loss Wilton in the quarterfinals. The Tigers finished their season with an overall record of 15-5.

The No. 5 seed Tigers kicked off the state tourney by claiming a 15-9 win against No. 12 St. Joseph in a first-round game at the Surf Club on June 1. Junior Sam Sisk netted 4 goals to go with 4 assists in the victory. Junior Will Kleine had 4 goals and 1 assist for the Tigers.

Senior Mike McGuirk and senior Kevin Sandor both scored 2 goals and had 1 assist in the win. Senior Patch Flanagan, senior Declan DiProspero, and freshman PJ O’Hanlon added 1 goal apiece.

Sophomore Jack Orlando made 2 saves in goal for Hand. Fellow sophomore Sean Lynch made 5 saves in the net.

Then on June 4, Hand was on the road to face No. 4 seed Wilton in the quarterfinals and lost the contest by a 10-9 score in overtime. Then on June 4, Hand was on the road to face No. 4 seed Wilton in the quarterfinals and lost the contest by a 10-9 score in overtime. Kleine scored 3 goals, Sisk had 1 goal with 3 assists, and Sandor scored 1 goal to go with 2 assists. Flanagan and McGuirk both had 1 goal with 1 assist, DiProspero and senior Jack Balletto both scored 1 goal, and O'Hanlon and senior Seth Sweitzer each had 1 assist. Orlando made 12 saves in net.

Girls’ Lacrosse

The Hand girls’ lacrosse squad notched a win over Simsbury in the first round of states before taking a quarterfinal defeat against St. Joseph last week. The Tigers completed their spring season with an overall record of 12-8.

No. 10 seed Hand began the Class M State Tournament by earning an 11-10 first-round victory at No. 7 Simsbury on May 31. Then on June 3, the Tigers hosted No. 15 St. Joseph in the quarterfinal round and lost the contest by the score of 14-6.

Girls’ Golf

The Hand girls’ golf team hit the links to take part in the SCC Championship meet week. The Tigers came in fourth place by totaling a score of 447 when the SCC meet took place at Oronoque Country Club on June 2.

Sophomore Charlie Lee posted Hand’s best score and finished in seventh place overall at SCCs by carding a score of 98 for her 18-hole outing. Senior Lila Sullivan was next in line with a score of 103 for the Tigers. Sophomore Bianca Sander scored a 116, senior Megan Kuck carded a 120, and senior Kelly Fay finished with a 123 for the Tigers.

Boys’ Golf

The Hand boys’ golf team finished in fifth place when the Tigers competed in the SCC Championship at Farms Country Club on June 1. The Tigers posted a team score of 336 on their way to placing fifth at the conference meet.

Junior Reece Scott and sophomore Kasimir Lesnik finished in a tie for Hand’s best score at SCCs with their 18-hole totals of 81 for the round. Junior Matt Gagliardi and freshman Matt McManus both carded an 87, while senior David Ginsburg finished with a 95 for the Tigers. Scott and Lesnick earned All-SCC honors after finishing in a tie for 14th place at the conference meet.