The Connecticut Tides 18u baseball team captured the Nutmeg State Games championship in New Britain over the weekend with a trio of victories over local teams.
One of 12 teams competing at the Nutmeg Games, the Tides defeated the Connecticut Rampage of Manchester 9-2, the Fairfield Rage of Bridgeport 6-1 and the Fairfield Senior Legion team (Fairfield) 10-2.
The Tides' roster featured players from all over Fairfield County, including three from Norwalk, Joe Careccia, Nick Cesare and Chris Holomakoff. The other players were Sam Fraser (Greenwich), Brandon Muto (Greenwich), Garrett Furnivall (Wilton), Josh Newborn (Ridgefield), Brian Dexheimer (Westport), Michael Keshin (New Canaan), Sam Gillespie (Darien), Chris Lattarulo (Armonk, N.Y.), Eric Jones (Ridgefield), Anthony Arditi (Armonk, N.Y.), Paul Merolla (Wilton), Jack Voigt (Darien), Kevin Cross (Ridgefield) and Kevin Cotto (Beacon Falls).
The Tides were coached by Pace University alumnus Mike Riveles and Norwalk Community College alumnus Nick Rhodes, who started the AAU travel program eight years ago. Both Riveles (St. Louis Cardinals) and Rhodes (Tampa Bay Devil Rays) played in Major League farm systems after college.
The team competes in nationally sanctioned tournaments and has had a successful summer with victories at the Father's Day Classic in Branford in June and the Indepedence Day Classic at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, N.Y. in July.