Top-ranked Warde leads three FCIAC baseball teams into Class LL semis

Fairfield Warde defended its FCIAC championship and that catapulted the Mustangs up to No. 1 in the current GameTimeCT Top 10 Baseball Poll which was released May 30.

Fairfield Warde and fifth-ranked Ridgefield were the two teams from the FCIAC in the Top 10 going into the state tournament.

It was the second-to-last poll of the season. The final poll will be voted on shortly after the conclusion of the four state class tournaments which began May 31 and are scheduled to conclude with championship games at Palmer Field in Middletown on either Friday or Saturday, with the official dates and times still to be announced.

Coach Brett Conner’s Fairfield Warde Mustangs, who improved to 20-3 after their 4-1 victory over Westhill in the championship game of the 2022 FCIAC Baseball Tournament on May 26, received 10 of the 13 first-place votes to ascend to the top spot from No. 3 in the previous poll.

Windsor (19-1), Xavier (20-3), and St. Paul (22-1), each received one first-place vote and were ranked 2-through-4, respectively.

Xavier and St. Paul shared the No. 1 ranking in the previous poll.

Ridgefield (16-5) moved up one spot to No. 5 and flipped-flopped positions with Amity (18-4), which dropped down a spot to No. 6.

Fairfield Prep was not ranked in the previous poll, but the 16-5 Jesuits surged up to No. 7 after their 4-2 semifinal victory over Amity and 9-4 victory over Xavier in the championship game of the Southern Connecticut Conference Baseball Tournament.

Newington (17-3) was ranked eighth and followed in the Top 10 by Brookfield (18-3) and Southington (17-3).

There were 22 teams which received votes in the poll voted on by the media. Each voter selected their respective top 15 teams in order.

The FCIAC had three of the 12 teams in the “Also receiving votes” category. Danbury (17-5) received the 12th most polling points, Trumbull (15-7) got the 15th most, while FCIAC runner-up Westhill (13-10) received the 18th most.

The team records were what each team’s record was at the time the voting for the poll took place.

Last year four FCIAC teams snatched up all four semifinal spots in the 2021 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL Baseball Tournament.

Norwalk’s 24th-seeded Bears made a memorable run in which they won five straight games against higher-seeded teams, culminating with their 1-0 victory over 19th-seeded Westhill in the championship game.

Coach Ryan Mitchell’s Norwalk Bears advanced to the final with a 7-5 victory over fourth-seeded Greenwich while Westhill advanced with a 13-7 semifinal victory over 18th-seeded Brien McMahon.

This year the conference again had success in the CIAC Class LL Baseball Tournament in having three teams – Warde, Trumbull and Danbury – advance to this Tuesday’s semifinal doubleheader at Waterbury Municipal Stadium.

Third-seeded Fairfield Warde and 10th-seeded Trumbull were scheduled for a rematch of their FCIAC semifinal showdown in the opener at 3:30 p.m., followed by eighth-seeded Danbury against fourth-seeded Southington at 7 p.m.

Fairfield Warde’s Mustangs are looking to add a state championship to their FCIAC crown.

Zach Broderick struck out nine and hurled a complete game to lead Warde’s defending champion Mustangs to that 4-1 victory over Westhill in the FCIAC tournament final.

Top-seeded Fairfield Warde advanced to the conference final with a 4-0 quarterfinal victory over eighth-seeded Norwalk and a 15-2 semifinal victory over fourth-seeded Trumbull.

Westhill’s sixth-seeded Vikings advanced with a 4-2 quarterfinal victory over third-seeded Ridgefield and a 12-3 semifinal victory over second-seeded Danbury.

In the two other FCIAC tournament quarterfinal games: Danbury shut out seventh-seeded St. Joseph, 11-0, while Trumbull also won by a shutout with its 3-0 victory over fifth-seeded New Canaan.

Warde became the sixth team in league history to win back-to-back conference championships.

Stamford Catholic High School won the first two FCIAC championships in 1969 and ’70.

Stamford High went back-to-back in 1979 and ’80, Greenwich won in 1992 and ’93, Trinity Catholic (formerly Stamford Catholic) won in 1999 and 2000, and coach Jack McFarland’s Staples Wreckers defended their title in 2009.

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