Class LL champion Warde tops final Top 10 baseball poll

Fairfield Warde was the top-ranked team in the state entering the state tournament, the Mustangs exited the tournament as state champions, so they were a logical choice to maintain their ranking and they were indeed voted No. 1 in the Final 2022 GameTimeCT Top 10 Baseball Poll.

Fairfield Warde’s 25-3 Mustangs concluded the season with an 11-game winning streak, culminating with a 7-5 victory over Southington in the championship game of the CIAC Class LL Baseball Tournament. They received 11 first-place votes and 412 polling points from the 14 voting members of the media.

Windsor, which won the Class L state championship and finished 24-1 with a 3-1 victory over Maloney in the Class L final, was ranked second. The Warriors received two first-place votes and were 20 points behind Fairfield Warde with their 392 polling points.

St. Paul, which was dominant in capturing the Class S state championship to finish 26-1, was ranked No. 3 after receiving the other first-place vote and 356 polling points. The Falcons won by shutout three times and outscored their opposition by a combined 55-3 in their five wins in the state tournament. They shut out Somers, 5-0, in the Class S final.

Southington (22-4) was ranked fourth and Class M state champion Joel Barlow (23-4) was No. 5. Barlow’s fourth-seeded Falcons scored 13 runs in the fourth inning to take a 20-0 lead in their eventual 20-1 victory over seventh-seeded Woodland in the Class M championship game.

Fairfield Warde, which won the FCIAC championship with a 4-1 victory over Westhill, led a trio of FCIAC teams among the top nine.

Danbury (20-4) finished No. 6 and Trumbull (18-6) was No. 9. Both of those teams were eliminated in the Class LL semifinals.

The three other teams in the final Top 10 were No. 7 Xavier (22-4), eighth-ranked Newington (19-4), and No. 10 Maloney (16-9).

The media pollsters picked their respective top 15 teams in order so there were 26 teams who received votes. There were three FCIAC teams among the 16 in the “Also receiving votes” category. Ridgefield (17-6) received the 12th most polling points, Staples (15-8) got the 18th most, and FCIAC runner-up Westhill (13-11) got the 25th most.

That 11-game winning streak for Coach Brett Conner’s No. 1 Fairfield Warde Mustangs included three victories in the 2022 FCIAC Baseball Tournament while defending their conference crown, and then those final five wins in the Class LL state tournament.

And it was Zach Broderick who was the ace man on the mound for both championship games. He earned the complete-game victory in Warde’s 4-1 win over Westhill in the conference championship. Broderick then struck out nine batters in six innings and earned the win in leading the third-seeded Mustangs to their 7-5 victory over fourth-seeded Southington in the Class LL final.

Broderick was one of six FCIAC players selected to the 2022 Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State Class LL Baseball Team among the 20 total players on that team.

Broderick, Matt Bucciero of Ridgefield, Jackson Ciccone of Danbury, Eddy Garabito-Soto of Norwalk, Kyle Kipp of Westhill, and Zack Ramppen of New Canaan were the six conference players who made the Class LL all-state team after they were previously among the 18 players chosen to the 2022 All-FCIAC Baseball First Team.

The other 12 players on the all-conference first team were Connor Sullivan and Mika Petersen of Westhill, Jacob Ditscher and Nick Smith of Danbury, Trumbull’s Connor Johnston, Ridgefield’s Ben Cherico, Greenwich’s Justin Zych, Fairfield Warde’s Garrett Larsen, Brien McMahon’s Jack Vahle, New Canaan’s Alex Benevento, St. Joseph’s Matt Tabet, and JW Fitzgerald of Staples.

Danbury coach Shaun Ratchford was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.

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