Connecticut North MSBL, 35+ Division
Hebron Hops 12, Clinton Brewers 8 (Game two in best of three series sweep)
‘Hops Make it State Record Nine Straight Titles’
For the 2023 Hebron Hops and the quest to capture another 35+ league baseball championship, it was all about battling and overcoming adversity. That adversity included losing three different players to season-ending injuries, including starting catcher Pat Walsh during the first week of the season with a torn Achilles and seeing veteran Jani Perlik carried away on an ambulance during the final stages of the season with a fully torn hamstring.
In having to overcome a rain-shortened season where the team had no practice time, the Hops dug deep for what would ultimately become a state record ninth straight championship! In a testament to the 20 different players who took the field for the Hops during the 2023 season and ultimately to the 12 who were left standing to finish it, the season was one of the most rewarding their veterans could ever recall.
Strong pitching led by the combination of Chase Solarz, who pitched 12 innings in the championship series, Bill Eller, undefeated throughout the season and postseason, and Teddy Roback, who was the team leader in wins and ERA, was the backbone of the 2023 Hops.
The core offensive load was led by Eller with a team-leading .514 average, Alex Narus, who batted .448 and was the league home run champ, and Lee McPeck with a .452 average and was the RBI leader. Postseason leaders with key contributions were Rob Buteau with key RBIs, Todd Johnson and his gutty pitching, Nick Rago by providing a big offensive boost, and Tim Phillips, who was the leadoff catalyst and played solid defense. 2024 will see the Hops strive for Championship #10 and they expect that it will take another total team effort to get it done!