Although the Mystic Schooners have only played 20 games on the new Fitch High School field for the 2012 NECBL season, for Anthony Turgeon, Greg Porter and Kevin Carlow they feel at home.
For these three hometown heroes this is their second chance to be able to play together again.
"We three would have never thought we would play with each other again," said Porter a sophomore at Eastern Connecticut State University. "So its pretty special to be on the high school field again together."
While Fitch field is their home turf, the field itself has changed drastically since the three have graduated.
"The field is unbelievable," said Porter.
In regards to the fence being moved, Turgeon said, "You used to have to hit the ball three miles to get it out of there, now you can hit a lot more homeruns, it's better entertainment for the fans."
"The whole atmosphere of the field is better than what it used to be," said Porter.
Porter, Turgeon and Carlow have been playing with each other since Little League and for Carlow entering into his final season of summer baseball, being able to be back home at his own field is a blessing.
Carlow a recent addition to the team had no intentions of playing the summer going into his senior year at Brown University. The past two summers Carlow has been apart of the Cape Cod League and the Virginia Valley league, but Mystic is his home.
"I didn't have a team for a month," said Carlow. " I would like to thank Dennis Long, who talked to me the whole time, he told me to stay patient and he played a huge part in getting me on the team."
Dennis Long, the General Manager for the Schooners, had an intricate part in recruiting players to the team, especially the three hometown heroes.
"I have known the three local guys on our team since they were in Little League and I knew they deserved to play in our league," said Long. "They have proven me right!"
Even though the Schooners season has gotten off to a rocky start with a 6-30 start, for Turgeon, Porter and Carlow they care more about getting fans to the field.
Porter, typically a pitcher but has assisted the team with 3 RBIs this season, was beyond thrilled when the Schooners held Groton Little League night on July 4th where the field saw its biggest crowd of the season.
"It's pretty cool for the younger kids around the area to see us play. It gives them something to look forward to, being able to see three local guys playing in this league, it's an inspiration," said Porter.
Long also commented on the impact the local players have on the younger viewers, "The example of hard work, positive personality, and enjoyment of the game is a great teaching tool for parents and kids alike."
All three have made it a priority to spread the word and get more attention for the Schooners. When you look up in the stands you can always find a member of the Turgeon clan. Turgeon, a junior at Central Connecticut State University, explained that his family's support is always present at every game whether it's his parents, grandfather or cousins cheering him on. The love and support has shown tremendously for Turgeon who has a .225 batting average, 7 RBIs and 3 home runs so far this season.
Not only do these three local players have the constant family support at every game, but being able to live at home as provided them each an upper hand.
For Carlow who has been away for multiple summers being able to be at home as been a relief, "I have so much less to worry about, both on and off the field."
For Turgeon, who played in Arizona and the Perfect Game League in New York in summers past, it isn't just his home cooked meals every night but also his ride to the field where he sees the benefits.
"Last summer I stayed in a host family in New York, I had a forty minute drive to the field, it was tough," said Turgeon. "But now I can go home sleep in my own bed."
Porter, Turgeon and Carlow have all stated they are all honored to be apart of the Schooners team and the NECBL for the first time.
"Dennis Long has been a huge help, all that he has done for the team is amazing and we wouldn't be here without him," said Porter.
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