Wolcott Storm add Mickey Mantle World Series host to accolades

The Wolcott Storm 16U baseball team will be the host for the upcoming Mickey Mantle
World Series after a terrific regular season. (Photo via Wolcott Storm Facebook page)

The Wolcott Storm baseball program has been around less than a decade, but it has had some amazing accomplishments along the way.
Add this BIG one to the list: Mickey Mantle World Series host.
The Wolcott Storm 16U squad, made up of players from throughout the Naugatuck Valley and Berkshire leagues, went 12-1 in the Waterbury Mantle league. As a reward for such a stellar season, Wolcott Storm 16U is the host for the Mickey Mantle World Series, which begins on July 26. The game sites are Waterbury’s Municipal Stadium, Torrington’s Fuessenich Park, Bristol’s Muzzy Field, Bethel’s Hunt Field and Newtown High School.
The Wolcott Storm 16U players (high school in parentheses are): Griffen Browne (Pomperaug, Southbury), Ricky Burdick (Wolcott), Justin Butterworth (Woodland Regional, Beacon Falls), Alec Calabro (Wolcott), Dan Graziano (Watertown), Ethan Hibbard (Shepaug Valley, Washington), Robert Johnston (Watertown), Tommy Marciano (Wolcott), Trey Nastri (Wolcott), Jake Nilsson (Torrington), Justin Stephens (Sacred Heart), Cesar Vasquez (Thomaston) and Larry Zapata (Sacred Heart).
“This team is truly a team, there are no individuals on this team, and at some point everyone contributed to our sccessful season,” head coach Bob Warren said. “We have two weeks before the World Series and we will play tournaments in New York and New Jersey the next two weeks to get ready.”
Warren has Rob Graziano, Cesar Santana and Alan Nilsson as his assistant coaches.
The Storm got off to a slow start in their first tournament, but picked it up after that.
“That was the best thing that happened to us because we figured out what we needed to work on and we went into our regular season strong and never looked back,” Warren said.
Butterworth led the pitching staff with a 6-0 record and a ridiculous 0.75 ERA. Offensively, Graziano had the team’s best average at .468. Zapata hit .425, and Johnston batted .390.
Not only has the team been solid, but the experienced coaching staff has been there every step of the way.
Santana, the team’s hitting coach, spent six years in professional baseball, three with the Milwaukee Brewers and three in independent ball. Rob Graziano pitched for four years at Division I UMass-Amherst. Warren has coached at the high school level in Watertown and Wolcott.
Along the way, the Storm have won a Gil Hodges World Series, finished third in the Sandy Koufax World Series, and third in the AAU underclass 14U natonal championship.
You can now add Mickey Mantle World Series host and participant to that list. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Wolcott Storm program.