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Steve Galluba and the North Branford baseball team battled Notre Dame-Fairfield for nine innings in a 9-6 defeat in the first round of the Class M State Tournament on May 29. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Sound | Buy This Photo)
Ava Galdenzi and the T-Birds’ girls’ tennis team finished the year with a record of 11-6 after losing to Weston in the first round of states. Galdenzi and doubles partner Briana Dautaj went on to compete at the State Open Championship later in the week and won their qualifying-round match. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Sound | Buy This Photo)
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The North Branford baseball team saw its season come to a close when the Thunderbirds took a loss against Notre Dame-Fairfield in the first round of the Class S State Tournament last week. The T-Birds, who were the No. 12 seed, hosted No. 21 Notre Dame on May 29 and dropped a 9-6 decision in nine innings. North Branford finished the season at 14-9 overall.
The game was tied 6-6 until Notre Dame broke through with three runs in the ninth inning. North Branford had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom half of the frame, but was unable to get anyone in. Junior Brett Fee started the game and pitched five innings for the Thunderbirds, after which sophomore Jadon Canelli and junior John Pollock came on in relief.
After giving up a run in the top of the first inning, North Branford answered with three runs in the bottom of the first. Senior captain Nick Mancini led off with a single and then Pollock and senior captain Carl Jacobson both drew walks to load the bases. Freshman Dom Scalia drove a single to plate two runs and then Fee singled home a run later in the inning. North Branford added two runs in the second inning to go up 5-1. Senior Gio Parillo led off with a walk and scored when Mancini tripled to right field. Mancini was brought home on an RBI single by Pollock.
Notre Dame cut it to 5-2 in the fifth, but North Branford extended its lead with a two-out rally in the bottom half. Junior Enrique Diaz, senior captain Steve Galluba, and Parillo hit three-straight singles with Parillo’s bringing home Diaz for a 6-2 advantage. The Lancers came back with four runs to tie the score in the sixth and then went ahead for good by plating three runs in the ninth.
Mancini had two hits with two runs and two RBI for North Branford, while senior Colin Baxter finished with a pair of hits.
The T-Birds earned the No. 11 seed in the Class S State Tournament and took a 7-0 defeat at No. 6 Weston in the first round on May 24. North Branford finished the year with an overall mark of 11-6.
Junior Sofia Cavalier competed at No. 1 singles, while senior captain Sydney Constantinidi played the No. 2 singles match for North Branford. Senior captain Jordan Caplan took the court for the No. 3 singles contest. In doubles action, junior captain Briana Dautaj and fellow junior Ava Galdenzi played No. 1 doubles, senior Alyssa Diaz and sophomore Catie Dow competed at No. 2 doubles, and the No. 3 team of senior Ashley Testa and sophomore Emma Serenson also competed for the T-Birds.
North Branford then sent four competitors to the State Open Championship that got underway on June 1. In the singles bracket, Constantinidi took an 8-1 loss against Emma Caldwell of Wilton in a qualifying-round contest at Conard High School. Cavalier lost a 9-7 decision against Jordan Bonadies of Tolland in a first-round matchup. On the doubles side, the T-Birds’ team of Dautaj and Galdenzi posted an 8-5 win versus Kiara Hima and Morgan Holley from Watertown in the qualifying round. Dautaj and Galdenzi took an 8-0 loss against the Stamford’s top-seeded team of Devon Yaghmaie and Taylor Yaghmaie in the first round.
Girls’ Outdoor Track
The Thunderbirds competed at the Class M State Championship at Willow Brook Park on May 29.
Junior Mackenzie Glenn claimed ninth place in the 400-meter dash by running a time of 1:01.48 for North Branford. The T-Birds’ 4x400 relay of sophomore Nadia Becker, Glenn, sophomore Onna Gott, and senior Gillian Pena placed 10th with a time of 4:21.64. The same four athletes also formed North Branford’s 4x100 relay that finished in 17th place at 53.63 seconds.
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