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Q & A With Orange’s Pat Winkel, Twins Baseball Draft Pick

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Jul 262021
 

If you are from the Amity area, you know the name Pat Winkel. If you are lucky enough to have met him, you know how genuine, polite and smart he is.

With the Amity Spartans

If you’ve been fortunate enough to have seen him play baseball locally, from the time he was a child playing in Orange Little League, then later on the American Legion team, and finally at Amity High School where he was named Athlete of the Year in 2018 then you have seen the joy on his face when he’s on the field. This young man genuinely loves the game.

While in high school, Pat made headlines as the 31st round pick by the New York Yankees in the 2018 MLB Draft. He chose to study at UCONN and play baseball with his big brother, Chris, instead.

Earlier this month, he was picked in the 9th round by the Minnesota Twins.

Last week Orange Live talked to Pat to catch up, congratulate him and to get the answers to those questions that may have been bopping around your heads.

Here’s our conversation:

OL: How does it feel to be drafted again? 

From UConn Website

It feels unbelievable, especially with the draft being shorter, and less kids being picked, its even more of an honor now than it was back then. I’m finally able to start that chapter in my life and it feels even better.

OL: Out of High School you chose your further education and playing college ball with your brother over the Yankees, how is this time different?

I think I’m more ready. I used that time at UConn to learn about myself more – to learn about my game a little bit more and hone in on those things that I’m good at, and fix some things that I wasn’t “amazing” at to become a better player. 

OL: Did you expect your name to come up sooner or later?

At the end of the day I’m just really happy that it worked out for me. It’s not really about where, it’s about the opportunity and that’s an important way to look at it. It’s great to say that you were in this round pick or that one, but really it’s all about getting the opportunity and getting a chance to come here and start that pro career that people always dream about. For me, just getting the call and hearing my name — it was awesome.

OL: Were you happy that it was the Twins who chose you?

I’m happy the Twins took me, it’s a great organization. I was surprised because it happened really quick from the time I found out they were considering me to when they took me was all in a couple of minutes. It happened really fast.

OL: Where are you now?

I’m in Fort Myers, Florida at their baseball academy which is their spring training complex and we’re doing physicals and acclamation and [other] work over the next so many days.

OL: The Twins have 6 farm teams — Are you going somewhere else or are you going to be based in Florida?

I’m not quite sure, yet. I’m down here for what’s called a mini-camp and then after the mini-camp I’m assuming the players that are drafted will be placed on different teams, but I’m not sure yet.

UCONN

OL: How many catchers do the Twins have in their farm teams? What kind of competition do you have?

I’m not really sure. I know they took another great catcher that I met through college and this summer when I was at Cape Cod. He’s a great player. I’m not sure how many they have in the farm system but obviously everyone here is a professional and everyone is here for a reason so I’m sure, but the competition is going to be very tough. 

OL: How many steps away from major leagues are you now?

Well, I’m here now and then there are four or five teams prior to the majors, depending on where you get placed. The goal is to just keep playing well and going up the system.

OL: How did our local Orange little league, American Legion and Amity High School prepare you for this moment in your life?

They are all so intertwined. Not only Orange but the Woodbridge and Bethany (Amity) system puts such an emphasis on not only sports but also making good quality people too. The coaches we’ve had preach on you being a good person on and and off the field and tell you how to have a good character, so just going through that system and the little league system really gives you the tools to be able to go to that next level. So whether it was going from little league to middle school and middle school to high school, then college it just made the transitions seamless.

OL: When did you first take on the position of catcher?

I first became a catcher in little league. So, I’ve been catching for 13 or 14 years and I haven’t had any problems (knee injuries) with it, and that’s the goal to just stay healthy. I knew pretty early that that’s what I wanted to do, and that’s when I became serious about it. I think that benefitted me to take all of those years and hone in on one thing versus trying different positions and figuring out that I didn’t want to play shortstop or be a pitcher.

OL: How are your friends and fans reacting to the latest news?

Oh, it’s great, I’ve gotten so much support from all my friends, kids that I knew in high school who I haven’t talked to in a long time because we went to different schools, or they’ve been busy. But there have been a ton of people reaching out saying congrats and wishing me the best. It’s great hearing from people from Amity and even middle school and grammar school that I haven’t heard from in a bit.

My coaches were some of the first ones to call me. (Bob Mirto from Legion ball and Amity Coach Sal Coppola) They’re the greatest. They always wish the guys the best. I always have them to talk to, they’re always checking in. Those are great relationships that will never die.They are lifelong friends, quality coaches that only want the best for their players.

OL: Do you have any advice for kids in the early stages of baseball (little league, etc) to get to where you are.

Yes. At the end of the day, it is a game, especially in little league that’s the time when you want to enjoy it the most. You should really have fun and don’t put too much pressure on yourself, because it’s hard to play when there’s too much pressure on you, and you may not play well. So remember it’s a game, enjoy it the best you can and good things will happen.

OL: You were always known for wearing bowties when you dressed up, can we expect to see that signature look in the future?

Absolutely you can. That’s going nowhere.

 

Orange Live thanks Pat for taking the time to chat with us and of course, we wish him the very best in the future. 

Pat Winkel Still Has It!

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Mar 272021
 

Amity Grad Pat Winkel of Orange is still a baseball phenom, now working his magic at UCONN.

UConn Baseball (@UConnBSB) Tweeted:

Walk Us Off Pat Winkel!!!! https://t.co/3WXTK527HY

https://twitter.com/UConnBSB/status/1375907646893486082?s=20

Baseball: Amity Playing Like Amity Again – Defeats Shelton In Six Innings

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Apr 152018
 

The Amity Spartans Baseball team was on the road in Shelton on Saturday for a matchup with the Gaels which had been postponed due to weather.

The Spartans got a jump on the Gaels with two runs in the first inning (Justin Hafle, pitching)

With Ben Lodewick on the mound and Pat Winkel behind the plate, Shelton only managed to get one run in. Amity leads 2-1.

The second inning was Amity’s time to shine, they added 6 runs to Shelton’s 1, pulling even further ahead. Second Inning score 8-2.

The Spartans didn’t score in the third, but Shelton added one. (score 8-3)

Amity saw a lot of action in the fourth, adding four more runs (Gaels’ Will Ciccone pitching) yet Shelton didn’t have any further success (Spartans’ Will Rotko pitching).

The game went on for two more innings (Shelton putting Mike Kennedy on the mound in the fifth) with no advancement on either side. Amity wins 12-3.

Amity 12, Shelton 3 (6)

AMITY      260 400 — 12 13 3
SHELTON 111  000 —   3   9 2

Notes:

Amity: Pat Winkel went 3-3, 3 walks, 2 doubles, 3 runs, 1 RBI; Jack Nolan went 2-3, 2 runs, 3 RBI, 1 walk; Quinn Burke went 3-4, 2 runs, 3 RBI.

Shelton: Mike Kennedy 2 innings pitched, 2 walks, 2-4 1 run; Matt Hunyadi went 2-3, 1 walk; Will Ciccone pitched 1-4, 2 innings pitched, 1 hit allowed, 1 walk issued, no runs;

Record: Amity 3-2

(file photos by Marcy Winkel)

Baseball: Rundown Of The First Four Games

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Apr 132018
 

The Amity Spartans 2018 Baseball season began last week and so far, they are 2-2.Here’s a rundown of the first four games.

Game 1

CHESHIRE 8, AMITY 3

CHESHIRE  011  005  1 — 8 10 2
AMITY         000 000 3 — 3   9 2

The Amity Spartans were home for their season opener against Cheshire on April 5.

Ben Lodewick pitched the game, and CTs top catcher Pat Winkel was behind the plate (and 15 Major League scouts were on hand to check him out).

The first inning was scoreless, then, Cheshire got in one run in both the second and third innings. The Rams retained this 2-0 lead through the fifth inning, in the sixth, they scored five times, and the Spartans were still scoreless. 7-0 Cheshire.

The Rams pulled even further ahead with one final run in the last inning, and Amity came alive, avoiding a shutout with three runs.

Records: Cheshire 1-0, Amity 0-1.

(Photos by Marcy Winkel)

Game 2

AMITY 8, RIDGEFIELD 5

RIDGEFIELD   000 000 5 — 5 6 2
AMITY              120 131   x — 8 8 2

The Amity Spartans were back on the home field for their second game of the season on Saturday, April 7 this time against Ridgefield.

With Junior John Lumpinski on the mound and Senior Pat Winkel behind the plate, and Sebastian Formica as shortstop, the Spartans had a very good day.

Lumpinski threw six shut out innings, while Amity quickly took a 3-0 lead by the end of the second.

The Spartans got another run in the fourth, then scored three more in the fifth, and one in the sixth giving them a 8-0 lead.

Ridgefield had a huge seventh inning making five runs, impressive, but it wasn’t enough.

Amity won this one 8-5.

 

Game 3

FAIRFIELD PREP 6, AMITY 5 (8 INNINGS)

AMITY 230 000 00 — 5 7 0
PREP    012 020 01  — 6 10 1

The Spartans were on the road in Fairfield for a game against Fairfield Prep on Monday, April 9.

Amity took a quick lead with two runs in the first, adding three in the second. Prep scored one run in the second and two in the third.  Third inning score 5-3 Amity.

In the fifth, Prep tied things up 5-5.

After two scoreless innings, the game went into overtime, at which time Prep added the winning run. Final 6-5 Prep.

Records: Amity (1-2); Prep (4-0)

 

Game 4

AMITY 10, XAVIER 0 (5 INN.) 

XAVIER     000 00 —   0  4  2
AMITY       321 4X — 10 12 0

The Amity Spartans hosted Xavier in Woodbridge on Wednesday, April 11.

Pitcher John Lumpinski did a phenomenal job striking out six. Jack Nolan had a home run with two runs scored and three RBIs. Pat Winkel had two RBIs and scored two runs.

The game only went five innings and Amity enjoyed an easy 10-0 victory.

 

Record: Amity 2-2.

NEXT UP: The Spartans are on the road for the next two games. Saturday, April 14 at Shelton, 1 p.m., and Monday, April 16 vs Daniel Hand at Poison Baseball Field, 3:45 p.m.

Meet The 2018 Amity Baseball Team

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Apr 092018
 

The boys are back. After winning an unprecedented four consecutive state titles, the Amity Spartans winning streak was broken last May when Staples defeated them 5-1 in the 2017 Championship game.

This is the year to start building a record again.

Following is the 2018 Roster – showing Seniors to Freshmen.

Seniors: Edward Criscuolo (#4); Jack Balocca (#8); Michael Ficaro (#13); Ben Lodewick (#17); Quinnlan Burke (#19); Jared Smith (#20); Jacob Knies (#21); Jack Nolan (#22); Quentin Pitter (#23); Zachary Cole (#28); Pat Winkel (#30).

 

Juniors: Marc Chodos (#1); Sebastian Formica (#2); Peter Spodnick (#3); Jonathan Mcnelis (#6); John Lumpinski (#7); Cole Kuchachik (#10); Jack Pletter (#24); Anthony Esposito (#25); Logan Corris (#26); Michael Shepa (#29).

Sophomores: Chris Parkin (#14); William Rotko (#27)

Freshman: Julian Stevens (#18)

 

I Can’t Say Enough About Pat Winkel

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Apr 032018
 

For several years, since I began covering sports for Orange Live – and Yes, I know I’m still a bit oblivious about writing sports stories, but I have developed a pretty good eye at picking out the “star” players on different teams, just by watching the boys and girls during scrimmages.

One young man who’s impressed me for many years, during Amity and American Legion Baseball games, is catcher Pat Winkel.

He has natural instincts, speed, skill and an excellent swing, and after this weekend’s scrimmage games I wanted to write something about him. But I knew it wouldn’t do him justice after I read a wonderful write up on the Register’s Gametime Webpage about him.

Author Dave Borges did a phenomenal job highlighting Pat’s rise from a little league player to the dream prospect of becoming a Major League draft pick.

Read this excellent story HERE and share in the excitement of what may lie ahead for Orange’s hometown boy. 

 

 

Ludlowe Bows To Amity In Third Round CIAC Tourney Game

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Jun 032017
 

It’s been a long season, but we are almost there, the Amity Spartans Baseball team shut out Fairfield Ludlowe 12-0 today in Woodbridge.

It was like a nice autumn day up on the hill, windy and cloudy – perfect baseball weather. The only ones sweating it out were the Falcons.

The game got off to a slow start with no score in the first inning.

Second inning — Ludlowe failed to score again, but Amity came alive. Colin Beaulieu and Pat Winkel brought in runners on walks and Andy Hague brought one in on a single. 3-0 Amity

Third inning — 0 for Ludlowe. Beaulieu walked and Amity scored a run. Hague hit a two-run single, Jack Nolan hit a two-run triple and Max Scheps had a one-run single. 9-0 Amity

No action in the fourth.

Fifth inning — Nolan had a one-run triple and Scheps had a one-run single. (Somewhere in there another run came in). 12-0 Amity

And that was all she wrote, neither team scored after that and Amity advances in the tournament.

Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin tweeted: “Spartans win their 27th consecutive postseason game, head back to LL semifinals.”

The Lady Spartans ended their season today in Stamford, but they had a really good run.

 

Baseball: Amity Celebrates Its Third Consecutive SCC Championship Win

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May 272017
 

The Amity Spartans Baseball team faced off with Fairfield Prep for the SCC Championship game at West Haven High School today.

In the first inning, Prep had two runs with one out and it was looking good for them. Then Teddy Hague (#7) hit the ball and brought in Amity’s first run followed by a two-run single by Max Scheps (#21), which gave Amity the 3-2 lead.

No one scored in the second inning but then, Amity exploded in the third inning. With the bases loaded, Jack Nolan (#22) brought Andy Hague in with a walk. Teddy Hague came in on Max Scheps walk and Rohan Patel (#18) hit a two-run single.

Adam Hurwitz (#2) hit a one-run double. With the bases loaded, Andy Hague (#1) hit a two-run double. This 7-run inning gave the Spartans an uncatchable 10-2 lead.

In the fourth inning, Prep’s #12 hit a home run, 10-3 (Amity)

Then it was Amity’s turn, Scheps hit a one-run double.

In the final inning, Prep had a one-run triple, and that was all she wrote. Amity won the 2017 SCC Championship 11-5.

Three In A Row

Amity has won four SCC Championship titles in the past 6 years. Today, they won their third consecutive title. (second time against Fairfield Prep).

2017 vs Fairfield Prep 11-5

2016 vs Notre Dame, West Haven  17-0

2015  vs Fairfield Prep  14-6

2012 vs Shelton 2-1

In Addition, Max Scheps was awarded the 2017 SCC Baseball Player of the Year and Patrick Winkel was named the “Ed Marocco” Most Outstanding Player for the Tournament.

Congratulations to the Spartans, Max and Pat. Now on to the state tournament, which begins on Tuesday. Be at Amity at 4 p.m. to cheer them on.

Baseball: Amity Advances to SCC Semi Finals After Defeating Hamden

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May 242017
 

The Amity Spartans Baseball team hosted the Hamden Green Dragons in Woodbridge for the SCC Quarter Final Game Tuesday afternoon.

The first inning was scoreless, yet it didn’t take long for Amity to get things going. In the second, Max Scheps hit a home run and in the third, Pat Winkel also sent one over the fence.

By the end of the fourth inning, Amity had scored twice again, making the score 4-0. The Green Dragons scored on a single in the fifth inning. Amity pulled away with two additional runs ending the fifth with a 6-1 lead.

Amity scored their final run in the sixth inning — 7-1.

Just when it seemed like it was all over, with two outs, Hamden junior Michael Ferrett (#22) hit a home run, but the Green Dragons couldn’t do any more than that and Amity won 7-2, advancing to the Semifinal.

The SCC Semifinal game against the East Haven Yellow Jackets (13-7) will take place at Piurek Field at West Haven High School Wednesday, May 24 at 7 p.m. This is the first time that Amity and East Haven meet this year.

East Haven defeated North Haven 7-6 on Tuesday.

Amity Baseball 10-0 Going Into Saturday’s Rematch With Prep

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Apr 292017
 

The Amity Spartans Baseball team was on the road in Milford on Thursday, for a matchup with Jonathan Law.

The Spartans took an early lead with 4 runs in the first inning, followed by three in the second, but the Lawmen kept them on their toes with five runs in the second inning.

Scoreboard
Amity 432 123 0  — 15 23 2
Law    050 230 0 — 10 11 3

Amity won its ninth consecutive game 15-10. Teddy Hague was the winning pitcher.

 

Amity Shuts Out Sheehan

On Friday, Amity hosted the Sheehan Titans in Woodbridge.
Max Scheps pitched this one and did a fine job. The Spartans shut out the Titans 10-0.
In the first inning, the Titans’ center fielder went after a fly ball, hit the fence, and crumpled to the ground. His teammates, Amity players and the Amity trainer ran to his assistance as the left and right fielders yelled, “we need a towel!” The boy reportedly cut his face up, but never lost consciousness. He should be alright, and we wish him well.

Scoreboard

Sheehan 000 000 0  —  0   6 5

Amity       314  003 X — 11 12 0

Team records: Sheehan 6-5 (3-1); Amity 10-0 (4-0).