Westies Baseball Working to Fill Gap Left By Recent Grads


The 2022 senior baseball players. (Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.)

With the new year starting, the West Haven High School Blue Devils baseball team is preparing for another 20-game season. After losing nine seniors, a certain question rises for the team: Can they perform like they have in past seasons?

The Blue Devils finished last season with a 11-11 record. They lost to Trumbull 3-0 in the second round of the state playoffs.

During the 2022 season the Devils were led by seniors Gianni Gambardella and Dylan Supan. They proved to be a big duo at the plate and on the mound. Both had great years, which resulted in an all-state year for Gambardella.

At the plate Gambardella batted a stellar .473 with an on-base percentage of .565. On the mound he was even better, with 63 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.43. Dylan Supan, the number two in the West Haven rotation, had 33 strikeouts and a 3.23 ERA. He also led the team in walks and finished the year with a .267 batting average.

There were a couple underclassmen who were able to get some varsity playing time, which hopefully was enough to prepare them for the 2023 season. Evan Jones, a freshman last year, started as shortstop in all 22 games, while Chase Supan and Ray Gilbert, who were both sophomores, played a majority of the 2022 season at various positions.

Chase Supan, now a junior, said he is anticipating a tough season.

“The loss of the class of 22 seniors is tough. It is going to be hard to fill the holes they created.

— Chase Supan

During the summer the Blue Devils played summer legion with a couple of alumni and they surprised plenty of people. This team that people doubted had a historic summer and made it to the semi finals of their division.

Alumni Gambardella and Tyler Jones led the team to a 16-2 record, while winning multiple games in the playoffs. They played a major role on this young team but they weren’t able to stick around forever.

The Blue Devils were on their own during the fall legion season, and they were without any alumni, unlike the summer. The absence of the alumni showed, and it was a less successful season as a whole. They finished with a record of 8-12 while losing to Trumbull once again in the playoffs.

Now that 2023 has finally arrived the Blue Devils are back to work, they are currently lifting, hitting, and pitching. This young team can make a difference if they are willing to put in the work and focus.

Jones said is optimistic about the season.

“I am looking forward to the season,” Jones said. “We have some guys, some dogs out there who are ready to play.”

There were plenty of changes in the off season, one being the huge announcement that head coach Ron Luneau was stepping down. Long-time assistant coach Steven Carden will be taking over. The team and the fans are excited to see what Carden can bring to the table.

Recently Coach Carden revealed that he was only going to have one captain during the 2023 season and it was none other than senior center fielder Kevin Harp. As a junior Harp started every game in right field, and he is making the move to center this year. He is excited to lead his young team and be a role model to them.

The Devils are putting in the work and it is showing, hopefully this hard work can show this season with a positive record. The pre-season starts during March and their season opener is taking place on March 22.