CHESHIRE – Cheshire Post 92 continued it’s dominant season with a 10-0 mercy-rule win over Waterbury at Burt Leventhal Field on Thursday afternoon.
The Zone 3 champs entered play on Thursday with a 2-0 lead in the third inning when the game was called due to wet weather on Wednesday afternoon. Cheshire continued to pad their lead and defeated Waterbury in six innings. The win sealed Pod F of the Connecticut American Legion Baseball’s Southern Division regional tournament for Post 92. Cheshire moves on to the Division Super Regionals this weekend at Meriden’s Ceppa Field.
“They played solid,” Cheshire coach John Escoto said. “(Ben) Shadeck threw enough good pitches and we played solid defense plus we hit the ball today.”
Ben Shadeck handled the pitching for Cheshire on Thursday, after Aidan Godfrey threw the first 2 2/3 innings on Wednesday. The duo combined for a one-hit shutout. Shadeck was masterful. He pitched 3 1/3 innings while only allowing one hit. Shadeck also struck out three batters and allowed only two walks.
“Allowing the nine guy behind me to make the plays has helped,” Shadeck said. “I can’t worry about a walk or a pitch. I just move because I can’t control the past.”
The Battipaglia twins, Ian and Eli, were an issue for Waterbury pitching. Eli went 2-for-3 with a double, a run two RBI and a stolen base. Ian went 2-for-3 with two runs, two steals and an RBI.
“The pitchers were giving me the pitch I wanted. I was looking for a specific pitch on a 2-0 count and I got it,” Eli Battipaglia said. “Our pitchers have been doing very well and the overall team chemistry is phenomenal.”
“I’m seeing the ball well and reading curveballs,” Ian Battipaglia said. “Our defense has been great all year and we really only have to put up a couple of runs most games so we’re in a really good spot. Our confidence is definitely high. I think we could keep rolling if we keep hitting the way we have the past couple games I think we’ll be good.”
On Wednesday, Eli Battipaglia got Cheshire on the board in the bottom of the second inning with a double that one hopped the left field wall to bring in Ryan Cyr. Ryan Strollo then singled Battipaglia in to make the score 2-0. Then the rains came and paused play unitl Thursday.
In Thursday’s action, Cheshire picked up right where they left off. Ian Battipaglia reached base on an error to start Cheshire’s third-inning rally. Cole Escoto drew a walk to put two runners on. A sacrifice bunt from Paul Villeco moved the two runners into scoring position. Two batters later, Matt Geyda smoked a line drive into the gap for a double to score both of the runners. Eli Battipaglia then singled down the left field line to drive in Geyda, giving Cheshire a 5-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Ian Battipaglia hit a two-out single and then proceeded to steal second base. Escoto then reached first on an infield single that scored Battipaglia, giving Cheshire a 6-0 lead. Battipaglia had been running on contact and sprinted home once the ball was thrown on the attempt to get Escoto.
A single from Strollo and Ben Schena being hit by a pitch put two runners on for Cheshire to begin the bottom of the sixth. Shadeck then doubled to score Strollo and move Schena to third making the score 7-0. Ian Battipaglia then grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Schena. After Escoto drew a walk, a pass ball scored Shadeck and moved Escoto, who had been running on the pitch, all the way to third, giving Cheshire a 9-0 lead. Villeco then hit a gap shot to bring in Escoto, giving Cheshire a 10-run lead and ending the game via mercy rule.
“I doubt that we’ll win many more games 10-0 but I have to be happy with how we’re playing,” Escoto said. “We’re not making mistakes and we’re putting the ball in play. We’re capitalizing on other team’s mistakes and our pitchers are throwing strikes so I can’t ask for much more than that.”
Cheshire will enter this weekend with a 28-3 record.
Waterbury finishes 17-11.