Amity baseball set to contend in 2012 behind Vinny Siena

Few teams have been as consistent as Amity baseball in recent years. If the Spartans weren't winning the state championship, they were certainly in the running. Last season, they came up just short, losing an extra-inning game to Newington in the Class LL state semifinals. But with most of the key players returning this season, Amity coach Sal Coppola is confident that the team will be a contender again this spring.

"I expect we're going to be a team that can last deep into the tournament," Coppola says. "I'd put us in that group near the top, in terms of potential."

Senior shortstop Vinny Siena has more potential than just about any player in the state. Last year he hit .380, slugged well over .500 and cracked seven home runs while playing stellar defense at shortstop. An ESPNHS All-State first team selection, Siena will be the centerpiece of Amity's championship drive this season.

"Vinny is the best defensive player in the state, in my opinion," says Coppola. "He's been clocked at 88 throwing across the diamond, so he's got an incredibly strong arm. He led our team in just about every offensive category last year, and he's gotten bigger this year because of his hard work in the weight room."

The though of Siena with added power is not a pleasant one for opposing pitchers, but he's not the only talent on the Amity squad. The pitching staff will be led by a pair of junior right-handers, Sam Nepiarsky and Mike Concato, and both have the raw stuff to dominate. Nepiarsky has already committed to UConn (as has Siena), and his fastball/slider combo should make him one of the state's best pitchers this season. Concato is also being recruited by Division I schools after a solid sophomore season.

Add it all up, and it looks like Amity baseball is right where you'd expect it — in the hunt.