The 2006 Raider’s baseball team lacked the experience of the 2005 State Champion team, but they returned two starting pitchers in Nick Michaud and Chad Giannuzzi and Evan Michaud stepped in, ultimately winning two games in the state tournament. Coach Farr was asked several times during the 2006 season if the Raiders could repeat as champions. His standard answer was they would have to be good but also lucky. The 2006 team started the season better than good, getting off to a 10-0 start. Then they hit a midseason slump, losing three games in a row along with their league lead. In addition, Chad Giannuzzi was injured and he missed nine games. Before the injury Chad’s record on the mound had been 6-1 and his batting average 404.
Unlike the 2005 team which tied for first in the league, the 2006 Raiders finished second but won the league play-offs at Eastern Connecticut. They opened the league tournament against a dangerous rival, Suffield, who had 2 players ultimately drafted by the minor leagues. The Raiders beat Suffield 4-2 behind the pitching of Evan Michaud who struck out eight. Jordan English, Joe Spath, and Nick Michaud led the offense. In the league championship game Locks defeated the league champion Tolland 8-4. Tim Quagliaroli got the win. Jordan English, Josh Buckley, and Nick Michaud fueled the offense. The league playoff win was impressive considering that the Raiders did not pitch undefeated Nick Michaud (7-0) or Chad Giannuzzi (6-1).
The Raiders entered the state tournament with momentum and their 15-4 record earned them the third seed. The Raiders first game was a 5-1 win over 30th seed Portland. The Raiders trailed1-0 but rallied late, with Joey Griskewicz, Josh Buckley, and Evan Michaud providing the offensive spark.
Next up was 14 seed Coventry. The Raiders jumped out to a 9-1 lead before winning 9-5. Evan Michaud was the winning pitcher. Josh Buckley had 3 hits and one RBI, Jordan English had 2 doubles, and Tim Quagliaroli had 2 hits and an RBI. Evan Michaud and Steve Alosia had an RBI and Andrew Hebebrand had 2 RBIs as the Raiders scored all of their runs in the third inning.
The Raiders then faced 6th seeded Shepaugh Valley at Muzzy Field in Bristol. The Raiders won 1-0. Nick Michaud pitched a complete game shut out, allowing only two hits. In the sixth inning the Raiders had 2 runners on via walks. Tim Quagliaroli lofted a short fly to right field, and Jordan English scored. Third base coach Mike Barile made a good call sending the runner home. In spite of being no hit the Raiders advanced to the tournament semi-finals.
Waiting for them in the semis was a familiar rival, 2nd seeded St. Bernards. St.Bernard had 3 eventual college division 1 players but the Raiders got the 3-2 win. The Raiders beat St. Bernards in each of their championship seasons. The fifth inning was again the charm with the Raiders scoring 2 runs and taking a 3-2 lead. Josh Buckley and Jordan English got the key hits. Evan Michaud and Chad Giannuzzi did the rest on the mound. Giannuzzi making his first appearance in over 3 weeks earned the save.
The state finals brought another formidable challenge against yet another familiar foe; number 1 seed Old Lyme which had not lost a game that season. Again, Yale Field was kind to the Raiders. The Raiders jumped out in front on Steve Alosia 2 run double. Old Lyme scored 2 in the fourth to tie the score and entering the seventh the score remained tied. With 2 outs in the seventh, harkening back to 2005, Joe Bogli walked and stole second. Andrew Hebebrand one of the Raiders many heroes lined a triple in the gap to break the tie and scored on a wild throw, Chad Giannuzzi escaped a jam with men on in the seventh; the final play coming on a wind-blown infield fly call when the runner on second broke for third. Evan Michaud alertly tagged him ending the game. The Raiders won their seventh straight game and finished the season with a 22-4 record; likely the most wins in school history. And they had their second state championship in a row proving to be more good than lucky.