Connecticut Bombers return after eight years

Jake Newby
Connecticut Bombers

It's been eight years since the Connecticut Bombers out of Hamden, Conn., have played in the Connie Mack World Series, but the North Atlantic qualifiers are back in the mix this year.

The Bombers first tried to enter the series through the American Connie Mack Regional. They made it to the final without a loss before the Dallas Tigers beat them in a pair of close games, 6-5 and 2-0.

"We started to really swing the bats well in that American qualifier," Bombers coach Greg Simler said. "Even though we came out of that without a bid, we felt confident we still had a chance to get in."

By breezing through another Connie Mack Regional without a loss, the Bombers again found themselves unbeaten on July 24 as they headed into a final against the South Troy Dodgers, who needed to win twice to secure the North Atlantic spot. South Troy won the first game, and, in the second inning, the Dodgers were ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Bombers rallied to win 5-4, clinching their first Connie Mack World Series berth since 2008.

This year's team doesn't boast as much elite talent as the 2008 squad, but Simler, who was an assistant coach for that team, said this group of Bombers plays the game the right way.

"These kids are mature for their age," he said. "They play really hard, really tough and really smart."

Durable catcher Michael Caruso has handled almost all of the work behind the plate this summer for the Bombers, and he'll be a key bat in the lineup, while the versatile Dylon Reynolds will be a top starting pitcher, as well as the team's No. 3 hitter.

2016 Connie Mack World Series preview

A Closer Look 

Coach: Greg Simler

Hometown: Hamden, Conn

Region: North Atlantic

Roster (number, name, position)

2 Rudy Sarro, SS/OF 

3 Tyler Pyne, RHP/INF

4 JR Lopez, LHP/OF 

6 Josh Rakowsky, 1B/3B/RHP 

7 Nick Catandella, LHP/OF

8 Steve Carrano, C

12 Zach Ardito, RHP/INF 

13 Matt Soloman, SS/3B 

16 James Judenis, RHP 

18 Tim Zupkus, RHP/OF

19 Mike Caruso, C 

19 Jack Depaolo, RHP/1B/3B 

22 John Thrasher, C/RHP 

23 Tim Doty, LHP 

26 Dylon Reynolds, LHP/OF 

32 Matt Chamberlain, OF 

42 Gio Torres, SS/2B