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Pitching And Power: Baseball Team Primed To Compete With The Best



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Some teams win behind the strong pitching. Others sparked by their hitting. Newtown High School’s baseball team looks to both as the Nighthawks try to make some noise in the postseason.

“Our strength is our pitching and power in our lineup,” Coach Ian Thoesen said.

Not a bad combination, and Thoesen and company hope there is enough sharpness on the mound and pop at the plate to add up to at least a chance at South-West Conference and state championships.

“Our goals are to get into the SWC and state tourney and make a good run,” Thoesen said. “With our pitching I feel we can compete and be one of the top teams in the conference.”

Not unlike in many of the past seasons, Masuk of Monroe, Bethel, and Joel Barlow of Redding are expected to be the toughest competition in the South-West Conference, Newtown’s coach anticipates.

Captains are second baseman/pitcher Ryan Verdi, outfielder/pitcher/third baseman Zander Kasbarian, pitcher/outfielder/infielder Charlie Curtis, and pitcher/shortstop David Braun, who is committed to Eastern Connecticut State University.

A key returnee is pitcher/first baseman Will Burns. Newcomers Thoesen will look to for contributions are Reid Burns, Josh Rosen, Evan Nikolis, and Yarema Statyshen.

Bethel and Newtown seem to have tightly-contested battles every spring, so a Wednesday, April 20 matchup at NHS (first pitch at 4:30 pm) is one to circle on the schedule.

The season begins with a pair of games against FCIAC foes, and three of the first four are SWC-FCIAC interconference tilts. The Nighthawks visit Greenwich on Saturday, April 2, at 2 pm, and travel to Fairfield Warde Tuesday, April 5, at 4:30 pm. After a visit to Joel Barlow the next day at 4:15 pm, the Hawks continue a stretch of five consecutive road games with a Friday, April 8 visit to FCIAC team Norwalk at 4 pm.

The Hawks visit Bunnell of Stratford on Monday, April 11, and have their first home matchup on Wednesday, April 13, when Weston comes to town.

Nonconference opponents include more FCIAC competition in Ridgefield and Fairfield Ludlowe, plus a game with Maloney to close out the regular slate in mid May.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Zander Kasbarian pitches during a game at Fairfield Hills last spring. The Hawks have strong pitching and hitting to lead the way this year. —Bee file photos
Charlie Curtis runs from second to third base during game action a year ago.
David Braun dives to stop the ball on a throw to third base last spring.
Will Burns and the Nighthawks are scheduled to begin the season with five straight road games.
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