NEW BRITAIN - Another local baseball standout will be back competing in the Hardware City this summer.
Tommy Hughes, a three-time all-conference selection during his tenure with the Goodwin Tech baseball team, was announced as the latest addition to the New Britain Bees on Monday morning, as the team continues to put together a roster that will make up the Bees’ first season as part of the Futures League.
The while the signing may have been announced on Monday, Hughes represents one of the very first additions by the Bees. He was on New Britain’s radar almost immediately after becoming a Futures League team, which was announced when Hughes was preparing for his sophomore season with Southern Connecticut State University. Hughes comes with Futures League experience, having pitched for the Bristol Blues last season.
“When we first started this, way back when we announced that we were joining the Futures League, his assistant coach Ed Bethke from Southern Connecticut reached out to us and highly recommended Tommy,” Bees general manager Brad Smith said. “His talent level is a good fit for the Futures League, and as a local guy, we're happy to have him.”
Hughes, primarily a reliever for SCSU, is in the midst of his second season with the team, though that season is currently postponed until at least next month and could be lost entirely due to the coronavirus outbreak that has led to the cancellations of numerous collegiate spring sports, including at CCSU and UConn. Currently, Hughes has allowed two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking six. As a freshman, the righty tossed 27 innings and allowed 15 earned runs and struck out 28, showing the strikeout stuff he boasted with the Gladiators, when he fanned 20 batters in the opening round of the Class M state tournament during his senior season.
Hughes also threw a no-hitter during his sophomore season against Vinal Tech, all a part of a journey to signing with the Division-II Owls, making Hughes the first Goodwin Tech player to play collegiately at that high a level.
“He's a great kid,” Goodwin Tech head coach Joe Granja said. “He's always been a hard worker and continues to grow as a player and as a young man. I'm just really excited for him.”
With the Bees, Hughes will join his friend Danniel Rivera, who graduated from New Britain this past summer after a historic career with the Hurricanes. The two will once again be playing in the Hardware City this summer, though this time they’ll be teamed up at New Britain Stadium.
“It's exciting,” Granja said. “I've known Danny for a long time...I've known the family for a long time. I know Danny and Tommy are friends, so it will be exciting to see them play this summer.”
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org