ORANGE — It seems forever ago that the Cheshire baseball team opened the season on April 1 losing 1-0 at home to Amity.
You can bet the Rams didn’t forget.
In the rematch on Wednesday night at the Old Tavern Road Complex, they certainly played like a team itching for payback, and they got it nine times over, 9-0.
The Rams jumped all over John Lumpinski, the pitcher who had shut them out in Cheshire. They put up runs in each of the first three innings to build a 4-0 lead, then landed the knockout punch with three runs in the fourth.
From there, the Rams rode the three-hit pitching of starter Matt Downing and reliever Ian Battipaglia to their 18th straight victory. The defending Class LL state champs are now 18-1 … and April 1 seems even further away in the rearview mirror.
It was Cheshire on Wednesday night from start to finish, as the Rams hopped out to a 1-0 lead by capitalizing on two Amity errors in the first inning and finished off the romp with two runs in the seventh.
In the second, Lumpinski walked the bases loaded and Paul Villeco delivered a sacrifice fly that, if not for a fine running catch by the left fielder, would have gone for extra bases.
Cheshire kept it coming in the third. Ryan Strollo led off with a double and promptly scored on a single by Matt Costello, who promptly scored on double by Downing off the center field fence.
The Rams chased Lumpinski in the fourth. Villecco doubled into the right-center gap to score Ryan Scialabba, who had led off with a single. Strollo scored in turn on an infield single by Strollo.
Rob Roles greeted the first Amity reliever with a RBI single.
Downing worked into the fifth, allowing just three hits and one walk while fanning four. Ian Battipaglia finished up. He also went 2-for-5 at the plate.
Strollo finished 2-for-3. Costello and Scialabba also enjoyed two-hit games.
Maloney 6, Wilcox Tech 4: The Spartans qualified for the Class L state tournament at 8-9 with the non-conference victory over the Tribe at Ceppa Field.
It was a good back-and-forth game. Each team took an early lead — Wilcox scored two in the first; Maloney answered with four in the second — before Wilcox scored twice more to tie it in the third.
Maloney snapped the 4-4 tie with a two-run fifth inning.
The winning rally started with two outs. Owen Papciak singled, went to second on a throwing error, advanced to third on a passed ball and, after Evan Avery drew a walk, scored on a double steal.
Avery, in turn, stole third and scored on a base hit by Ethan Brazel.
In Maloney’s second inning, Kam Hartenstein cracked a two-run double and Evan Cordero followed with a RBI single.
On the hill, Papciak started and worked three innings. So did reliever Max Giacco. They allowed two runs apiece.
Giacco got the decision. Elliott Good closed it out in the seventh for the save.
Platt 8, Shepaug Valley 1: The Panthers cranked out 10 hits and put up crooked numbers in the third, fifth and sixth innings to notch the non-conference home victory at Legion Field.
The No. 4-7 hitters — Cam Germe, Jack Clancy, Aaron Nieves and Andrew McCarty — all had two-hit afternoons. Both of McCarty’s hits went for two bases.
Clancy, Nieves and McCarty also drove in two runs apiece. Germe and Jack Clancy (double) had one RBI each.
Joe Salafia earned the pitching win working into the fifth inning. He allowed only two hits, but did walk eight while striking out two. Jonathan Avitable and Ricky D’Aniello finished up.
The victory was the third straight for the Panthers, who are 9-7 heading into CCC South-Colonial home games over the next two days against Berlin and Middletown.
Lyman Hall 16, Career 3: The Trojans, like the Spartans, secured a state tournament ticket on Wednesday, with first-year LH coach Billy Rich joining Maloney counterpart Ricky Marrero in the Class L field.
Matt Battiste and winning pitcher Jake Ranney racked up two hits and four RBI apiece to power the Trojans over the Panthers at Pat Wall Field.
Joe Chasse and Anthony Boyle also had two hits each as LH improved to 8-11. Chasse drove in two runs.
Ranney worked five innings on the hill. He allowed three runs on four hits while striking out seven.
Lyman Hall closes the regular season on Friday with a rivalry game against Sheehan at Pat Wall Field at 6 p.m.
Sheehan 6, West Haven 3: Bill Gorry singled home two runs in the top of the seventh inning to extend a 4-3 lead and Caden Cloutier closed it out in the bottom half by striking out two and inducing a game-ending double play as the Titans posted the Tuesday night victory in West Haven.
Nick Iannone was the winning pitcher. He went 5 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on five hits while fanning three.
Joe Romano went 3-for-4 to pace Sheehan’s 10-hit attack.
The Titans are 7-11 with two games left to play: at Lewis Mills on Thursday and at Lyman Hall on Friday.