West Hartford

West Hartford bats blast NCL in American Legion playoff matchup

West Hartford — West Hartford’s bats were on fire in a hot and humid game against NCL (Windsor/Windsor Locks) in a win-or-go-home American Legion playoff game, on July 19.

The game was the third-round, loser bracket match in the 19U Northern bracket, the eventual winner of which will go to the Super-Regional bracket.


With West Hartford already up 1-0 in the third inning, pitcher Drew Seidman blasted a two-run shot that opened the lead up to 3-0. The rout continued in the fourth inning with three more runs, including a sac-fly RBI by Seidman. A four-run fifth triggered the league’s 10-run playoff mercy rule, sealing the victory for West Hartford.

Coach Sean McCann said his team felt a sense of urgency at the plate, which led to the great hitting.


“We’ve had a quiet couple of games... quiet bats,” he said. “Sometimes we’ve been used to everyone hitting in the lineup that [we’ve been complacent], thinking, ‘This guy will pick me up, or that guy will pick me up.’ You just can’t have that attitude. Today, everyone was accounting for their own at-bats.”

West Hartford had a 16-0 regular season, and had only one loss, to Ellington-Somers-Rockville, which won 4-0 in the second round of the playoffs.

West Hartford was set to play a crucial double-header the following day - something the coach said there is not really any time to prepare for, except to tell his players that they need to stay aggressive.

“We’re going to stand over here and look at a team on the other side of the field that punched you in the mouth, that quieted your bats, and put you in a position where we made some errors, and how do you respond?”

NCL coach Jason Jones said his team members can hang their hats on a great season, as well, and can look ahead to a big future. NCL won the state title last year, but returns only two of those players.

“This is a great group. They’re all young. I have four or five 14-year-olds, two returning kids from the state championship team, so not much experience, but they’ve come a long way,” he said. “When they’re 16, 17, or 18, they’re going to be a scary team.”

Jones added that among promising players are ace pitcher Allen Hinckley, who kept the team in a lot of games, and catcher Xavier Angel, who batted .333 and stole 14 bags.

Seidman, a 6′ 5″ college sophomore who plays shortstop when he’s not on the mound, threw a five-inning no-hitter, facing just 16 batters and hitting one with a pitch.


“He’s one of our older guys, and he’s a big guy,” McCann said. “I was proud of him. His velocity was there today, he was loose. When he extends his hands, you can see what the ball can do when it comes off the bat.”

Whether their run ends in a title or sooner, McCann said his team has had a great season.

“Nothing could put a black eye on what we’ve done,” he said. “It’s been an awesome season, and West Hartford continues to compete at a high level.”

For complete results and playoff brackets, visit