This is the fifth in a multi-part series highlighting the newest members of the Berlin Athletic Hall of Fame.
1989, 1990 Baseball Teams
The success of Berlin’s baseball program starts at the instructional level and continues to the high school level.
The Little League and Babe Ruth programs have received national recognition with Connecticut and New England championships and Babe Ruth World Series appearances. At the high school level, the 1989 and 1990 baseball teams won back-to-back Class M state championships.
The 1989 team was ranked No. 1 in the state all season, suffering only one loss, which came against Middletown. Senior Sean Garrison had an undefeated regular season and states as a pitcher, garnering All-State and State Gatorade Player of the Year recognition. Dave Swanson, a junior, also had an undefeated regular season and states. The middle infield of Tony Santoro and Matt Giana were errorless all season and the team was led in batting by Scott Coletti, with an average of .381, and Garrison, who hit .422.
Other members of the ’89 team were Steve “Jake” Biscoglio, Kyle Cooney, Kevin Crowell, Dan Dombrowksi, Scott Gentile, Steve Gentile, Rob Manzo, Eric Miranda, Peter Veleas and Todd Zup. They were coached by Leo Veleas and assisted by Rob Langanauer and Mike Reilly. The team’s motto was “we came to play ball.”
The 1990 team had an overall record of 22-0, going 11-0 in league play. They received national recognition with seven straight shutouts. In 22 games played, the pitching staff recorded 12 total shutouts. Swanson and Biscoglio received All-State honors. Swanson was also the State Gatorade Player of the Year. The team averaged 8.09 runs per game, while allowing opponents to score just .86 runs per game. For the season, the team scored 178 runs and gave up only 19. From the end of the 1989 season, the team won 27 straight games. Both teams had several members that went on to play in college. Scott and Steve Gentile went to Western, where Steve was drafted by the Expos. Swanson was drafted by the Mets.
Other members of the 1990 team were Cooney, Coletti, Crowell, Giana, Manzo, Santoro, Mike Church, Jason Albert, Fred Alkas, Tom Coccomo, Cleve Huggins, Steve Petit, Dave Stefanowicz, Todd Zup and Bryan Zup. They were coached by Leo Veleas and assisted by Frank Naples and Nick Pepe.
The Berlin Athletic Hall of Fame induction dinner is scheduled for April 22 at the Aqua Turf, 556 Mulberry St., Plantsville. For ticket information, contact Marie Siegal at (860) 828-1115 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit bhshalloffame.org.