For the second straight year, members of the Connecticut Wolfpack 14-and-younger travel baseball team have won a national championship. Many of this summer's U14 players, six of whom are from Fairfield, played on the 2013 team that won the U13 AAU National Championship in Orlando, Fla.
The 2014 team captured the Perfect Game BCS National Championship on July 9 in Fort Myers, Fla., by going 9-0 in the weeklong tournament that attracted 88 teams. The Wolfpack, based out of The Batting Cage in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, defeated Chain Stealth, of Miami, Fla., 3-2 in five innings to take the national crown.
This weekend, the Wolfpack, which draws most of its players from around Fairfield County, is playing in the World Wood Bat Association national championships in Marietta, Ga. Thirteen players are on the U14 team, with Will Lucas, Ryan Meury, Biagion Paoletta, Alex Steele, Henry Prestegaard and Danny Kiernan living in town. These players will be entering their high school freshman or sophomore years later in the summer.
Lucas was one of the team's batting stars by hitting .476 in the nine games. Steele wasn't far behind with his .411 average and five runs batted in. His slugging percentage was .529.
Paoletta, a catcher and outfielder, hit .353 with a .427 on-base percentage. Outfielder Prestegaard had a .667 on-base percentage in a reserve's role. Meury hit .357.
On the mound, Kiernan, who also played some at first base, pitched five innings without giving up a run or a hit. Lucas threw for 7 2/3 innings, striking out 10 and allowing two earned runs. Meury pitched as many innings, allowing the same number of runs and six hits but striking out four. Meury was 2-0, Lucas 1-0. Each fashioned earned run averages of 1.82.
The Wolfpack won the countrywide tournament by defeating the Carolina Bruins, of North Carolina, 11-6; MVP Elite Baseball, of Florida, 11-3; PBA Black 14U, of Florida, 8-0; MPI 14U, of Florida, 11-0; NF Young Guns, of Florida, 10-4; Elite Baseball Training, of Chicago, 2-0; Wake Rays, of North Carolina, 5-2; and Elite Squad 14U, of Florida, 2-1 in the seminfinals.
In the final, two of the three Connecticut pitchers who got the job done against Chain Stealth were Fairfielders -- Meury and Lucas, who started and relieved.