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Abate Reflects on Early Legion Exit

As the final out was recorded to end the Greenwich Legion senior team's season, players and coaches couldn't help but wonder what might have been. After starting the season 16-0, making the state tournament as the ninth seeded team, and coming back strong in a losers' bracket win over top-seeded RCP, things were looking positive for Greenwich. The team suffered a frustrating 11-4 loss to Niantic to knock them out of the tournament, however, and Greenwich manager Mike Abate was left looking for the positives to take away from a disappointing finish.

"A lot of guys felt we fell short of our quest to win a state championship," Abate said. "We felt like we were good enough to achieve that. I liked our chances, but unfortunately we fell short."

Ricky Riscica was the MVP of the tournament for Greenwich hitting a hefty .545 with eight RBI, including a monster 4-for-5 performance against RCP to help keep his team alive. Greg Bayliss drove in five in the tournament while throwing out several runners from behind the plate. Andrew Coffee and Rob Catalano also made a handful highlight reel catches on defense. Abate says that despite the earlier-than-expected exit, he is excited that all but four of his players are eligible to return next season and for his players' future in baseball.

"I think everybody on our team could play at a higher level," Abate said. "Some might not want to, but it's all about hard work and determination. You never know. In college you start developing more, physically, and you never know where it's going to take you."

Riscica, Bayliss, Catalano, and Randal Weisenberger are the four Cannons that are moving on after this season. Abate and the rest will be back next year for another run at the state title.

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