2004 Baseball Team

    2004 Baseball Team  
2004 Baseball Team
State Champions


Head Coach: Shaun Ratchford
Pitching Coach: Mike Cioppa
Assistant Coaches: Ken Reed, Choppy Pippa, Bob DiNardo
Athletic Director: Chip Salvestrini

Roster: David Arconti, James Blancehette, Kevin Mohr, Sean Moran, Steve Siecienski, Michael Tarsi, Alex Zancan, Steve Bourdeau, Juan Cabrera, Paul DeCarvalho, Bobby DiNardo, Brad Pippa, Jim Tatarzycki, Ryan Ball, Billy Najam, PJ Prunty, Tony Rivera, James Taylor

Managers: Elyssa Baker Moran, Ann Marie DiNardo Blanchette

“The sum of the whole is greater than the parts”, Coach Shaun Ratchford said. That quote correctly describes the 2004 Danbury High School Class LL State Champion Baseball team. Danbury had a 24-2 record and ended the season as the unanimous # 1 baseball team in the state.

Before they could play for the state championship, the Hatters first had to defeat rival Greenwich High School, which accounted for their only two regular season losses. Playing at Muzzy Field in Bristol, the Hatters were able to defeat Greenwich 3-1 in the semi-finals for the right to play for the state championship.

The finals were played on Saturday June 12, 2004 at Yale Field in New Haven. The Hatters were facing Norwich Free Academy North Carolina-bound pitcher, Andrew Carignan, considered a ‘flame-thrower’. Hatter lead-off batter, James Blanchette, set the tone for the game with a single up the middle on 3-2, seven pitch at bat. Blanchette scored the first run of the game in the first inning on an infield throwing error. An RBI single by center fielder Sean Moran delivered Steve Siecienski with an important second run in the fifth for a 2-0 lead.

Hatter pitcher Michael Tarsi allowed just three hits and a run-scoring single to hard-hitting NFA shortstop Eric Campbell, but did not permit a runner past first base after NFA had drawn within 2-1. Campbell produced his second hit of the game, a two-out single in the seventh to keep NFA’s hopes alive, but Tarsi fanned the next batter to end the game, slipping his signature, two-seam fastball over the lower, outside portion of the plate for a called “ strike three”. In winning his fourth game of the tournament, Tarsi threw 87 pitches, 57 for strikes, and walked just one.

It was important to Coach Ratchford that his Hatters win the first Class LL Baseball state title. But it was also important for his team to be made up of better people than players. In 2004 the Danbury High baseball coaches and players were the recipients of the Good Sportsmanship Award, a plaque given annually by the Western Connecticut Umpires Association. Athletic Director Chip Salvestrini summed up the 2004 championship season this way, “This is what coaching is all about, win or lose it’s fitting that it all came together for Shaun this season…..we have a great group of kids. For the players to play this year with such sportsmanship, is a reflection on them, the coaches, and the players families.”