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After earning All-SCC Hammonasset Division honors at Notre Dame-West Haven this spring, Eddie Zanor is happy to be playing baseball in his hometown with the Branford Senior Legion team. (File photo courtesy of Eddie Zanor )
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Branford resident Eddie Zanor recently graduated from Notre Dame High School in West Haven, where he played baseball and basketball for the Green Knights. While he loved competing for Notre Dame, Eddie feels happy that he’s playing baseball in his hometown with the Branford Senior American Legion baseball team this summer. Eddie is having a great time on the diamond alongside a bunch of friends that he’s known since Little League.
“It’s a lot of fun. Since I went to Notre Dame, I haven’t played with these guys in a while,” says Eddie. “It’s a lot of fun to be back with them.”
Eddie says that his days at Notre Dame were an important time in his life. Eddie believes that his experiences on the field and in the classroom helped him get ready for what lies ahead beyond high school.
“I enjoyed my four years there. I thought it was a great fit, both academically and athletics-wise,” says Eddie. “I got to play two sports there. It was a great experience for me.”
Eddie made a big impact on the baseball field at Notre Dame. Eddie was a pitcher and a first baseman who earned All-SCC Hammonasset Division accolades as a senior this spring. Now, he’s playing those same two positions for Head Coach Kyle Heins with the Branford Senior Legion team.
“Eddie is a great kid that works hard. He’s an important piece to the middle of our lineup, defense, and pitching staff. The kid’s a gamer,” Heins says. “Eddie is a competitor, and he leads by example. The kids really flock to him. He’s really fundamental. He’s just a pure athlete.”
Eddie is batting third in the lineup for Post 83 this season, just like he did for Notre Dame. Eddie likes hitting in the No. 3 hole, especially since he knows that he’s always going to get an at-bat in the first inning.
“It gets me in the right mindset for sure,” says Eddie. “I know I’m getting up early and, hopefully, with the chance to drive guys in.”
On the mound, Eddie throws a fastball that can reach the mid-80s. The lefty also features a curveball and changeup. Eddie learned a lot about how to throw the changeup from Hornets’ alum and former Branford coach Ed Bethke.
“My change has always been my best pitch. I have a unique way to throw it. It was shown to me at a young age, like when I was 12, by Ed Bethke. I kind of stuck with that, and it’s been a better pitch for me throughout the years,” Eddie says. “I feel pretty good with all three pitches in any given count. That confidence helps a lot. I like to play around a lot with the off-speed pitches in the bullpen before a game to get a feel to see what is better on a particular day, and then I go from there.”
Eddie is going to continue his baseball career at the collegiate level at Division III Wesleyan University in Middletown. Eddie revved up his college search while playing AAU baseball for New England Pride last year.
“It was a lot of showcases and reaching out to some college coaches. It was actually the very first school I visited my sophomore year and that was non-baseball related,” Eddie says. “I liked the campus then, and then, this past fall, I went up and had a meeting with the coach. He showed me all the athletic facilities, and I like it a lot.”
Eddie really wanted to stay in the Northeast to play college ball. Now, Eddie has that opportunity, and he’s looking forward to succeeding both athletically and academically at Wesleyan.
“Being close to home was a big part of the whole college process. I was lucky enough to have a lot of great options, and I’m excited to be close to home,” says Eddie. “Academics is something that has always come first for me. It was a top priority throughout the whole college process and baseball came after. To go to a school that values both is important.”
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