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Play Ball! T-Birds’ Baseball Season-Opener Today

North Branford baseball takes on Morgan today at 11 a.m. in the 2012 season-opener.

The baseball team has been busy getting ready for the 2012 season. Coach Billy Mitchell, in his fourth year at the head of the team, and the T-Birds have high expectations of postseason play. The T-Birds hope to start on a strong note today as they host Morgan at 11 a.m.

“We want to win the Shoreline title and make states–then we’ll give a shot at the state championship,” said Mitchell. “We have a young team after losing a lot of seniors, but we have a pretty good chance of making the as long as our pitching holds up.”

Almost every game will count toward making the Shoreline Conference Tournament as the T-Birds have only two out-of-conference games this season–hosting East Haven on April 7 and the season finale at Lyman Hall on May 22. See below for the full schedule.

Mitchell and the T-Birds are looking forward to facing off against perennial rivals Haddam-Killingworth (home on April 9 and away on May 21) and Coginchaug (away on April 16 and home on May 11).

Mike Forgione and Matt Scavo will lead this year’s team as captains with Forgione anchoring the infield at shortstop and the offense after batting .464 last year. Scavo, however, is forced to lead from the sidelines with a torn ACL and he will be missed in the bullpen this season.

Ricky Paolini and Kyle Johnson are expected to lead the pitching rotation, along with Mike Schettino, who also plays third base. Other key players include Nick Perrelli and Kyle Hart in the outfield, catcher Brandan Basil and second baseman Mike Funaro.

“We’ve got a strong defense and adequate pitching,” said Mitchell, who is assisted by Frank Mentone, Ron Raggozzino (freshman coach) and program alum Kyle Heins (volunteer coach). “Our ‘d’ will keep us in games and our hitting will be okay so we’re expecting some close games like last year. Some of these players got some varsity time last year, but having only one playing senior, these guys should get a lot of experience this year.”

North Branford 2011-12 Varsity Baseball Schedule

Fri., 4/6  Morgan  Home - North Branford High School
[Directions]  11:00 a.m.      Sat., 4/7  East Haven  Home - North Branford High School
[Directions]  10:30 a.m.      Mon., 4/9  Haddam-Killingworth  Home - North Branford High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Wed., 4/11  Portland  Away - Portland High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Fri., 4/13  Valley Regional  Away - Valley Regional High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Mon., 4/16  Coginchaug  Away - Coginchaug Regional High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Wed., 4/18  Hyde Leadership  Home - North Branford High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Fri., 4/20  Westbrook  Home - North Branford High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Mon., 4/23  East Hampton  Home - North Branford High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Fri., 4/27  Hale Ray  Away - Hale-Ray HS
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Mon., 4/30  Old Lyme  Away - Old Lyme High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Wed., 5/2  Cromwell  Away - Cromwell High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Fri., 5/4  Old Saybrook  Home - North Branford High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Mon., 5/7  East Hampton  Away - East Hampton High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Wed., 5/9  Valley Regional  Home - North Branford High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Fri., 5/11  Coginchaug  Home - North Branford High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Mon., 5/14  Cromwell  Home - North Branford High School
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Wed., 5/16  Morgan  Away - Indian River Complex
[Directions]  6:30 p.m.      Mon., 5/21  Haddam-Killingworth  Away - Haddam Killingworth HS
[Directions]  3:45 p.m.      Tue., 5/22  Lyman Hall  Away - Lyman Hall, Pat Wall Field
[Directions]  3:45 p.m. 

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