After the team of Rocky Hill, Cromwell and Portland (RCP) won the American Legion Northeast Regional championship on Monday, coach Jay Hickey turned his attention to his team's next task — the World Series.
Hickey knew he had a few important decisions to make.
"My biggest concern was who I'm going to put together as roommates," Hickey said. "I got some guys I've got to keep separate."
RCP (30-9) opens pool play in the American Legion World Series Thursday at noon against the defending national champions, Brooklawn, N.J.
Brooklawn won its fourth straight Mid-Atlantic Regional on Monday with a 10-0 victory over Cecil, Md., in that championship game.
Atfter a day off, RCP plays Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday at 1 p.m., then Midland, Mich., on Sunday at 5 p.m. in its other pool play games.
RCP is set to make its first World Series appearance after a 5-4 victory over Milford, Mass., in the Northeast Regional championship at Palmer field in Middletown. Center fielder Tommy Seaver hit an RBI single to right field in the ninth to give RCP the victory and cap a three-run comeback for the Zone 7 champions.
"I think we've really shown we're a great team and we can do great things," Seaver said. "Hopefully we show that down in North Carolina as well."
After RCP's victory, Hickey was quick to downplay the expectations, saying anything that happened in Shelby would be gravy for the team, which lost the Legion state championship to Cheshire (both finalists advanced to the regional). His players were less guarded with their expectations.
"It's not over," shortstop Christian Budzik said. "We want to go down there and give it our all and whatever happens, happens. There are some good teams down there, but we'll be OK."
RCP will lean on its depth in Shelby. The team has received offensive production from its entire lineup in the postseason and gotten strong starting pitching from Jake Regula and Cole Ogorzalek.