New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

The Sports Journal

EC Goodwin Tech Baseball Team Having Historical Season

The EC Goodwin Technical High School Baseball team has been having a season that no one has seen over the past 20 years. The team, which has had success in previous years, is 13-1 as of May 12 but has never started off the season with this kind of record. Head Coach Joe Granja, who is also the CADD Department Head and teacher at the school, says that a big reason for their success this year is because of several players.

For example, Granja pointed out that despite being a sophomore, Manuel “JJ” Sanchez has done great things for the team. A pitcher and first basemen, he is batting.440 with 15 RBIs. His pitching record is 4-1 with a 0.67 ERA, with the only loss being when they played New Britain High School. Another standout player is junior shortstop Jorge Rivera, who is batting.370 with 22 RBIs, 23 runs scored and 17 stolen bases. Senior 2nd baseman, Jensey Baez, is batting.373 with 14 RBIs, 24 runs scored and 17 stolen bases.

The contributions don’t stop there though. Junior catcher Gage Spencer is batting.409 with 13 RBIs. Senior centerfielder Dave Barr is batting.390 with 12 RBIs and 20 runs scored. On the mound, Juniors Adam Upson and Augustin Cruz are solidifying the rotation, going 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA, respectively.

One of the reasons why these players have been so successful is because Granja didn’t hold back on his expectations coming into the season despite having six seniors on the team, with only three of them starting.

“Our two main goals that we set before the season started were to go far into the CSC Tournament as well as the CIAC State Tournament. Every day, we talk about our goals and we expect to improve every time we step on the field,” he said.

According to Granja, the last time the team had a great season was in 2012 when they made it to the CIAC State Tournament Quarterfinals, where they lost to Plainville High School who went on to win the championship.

Despite the success that the team has had under Granja, there are some within the baseball community in New Britain who believe that if there weren’t two high school baseball programs (EC and NBHS), New Britain would be a dominant force in baseball each year. However, Granja doesn’t see it that way.

“This is my 17th year and we have made the state tournament seven out of the last eight years. I like the program that my assistants and I have built,” he said.

With the team already having clinched a spot in both tournaments, Granja will now look to his players to continue their great play and carry the team deep into each tournament. Even if they fall short this year, he is excited about what the future holds.

“We have six seniors, three of which start. With a pitching staff that is made up of mainly underclassman, the future looks bright.”

Granja is assisted by Chris Lynch, Mike Scott and Frank Sesto. They will finish their season on May 21 and then will look towards the CSC Tournament and the CIAC State Tournament.