BASEBALL: With two-out magic, Cheshire pulls out victory on LH

BASEBALL: With two-out magic, Cheshire pulls out victory on LH

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WALLINGFORD — Cheshire used a seven-run sixth inning to earn a come-from-behind 9-6 SCC Hammonasset baseball victory over host Lyman Hall at Pat Wall Field on Friday afternoon.

All of Cheshire's runs in the frame came with two outs. The uprising was aided by three Trojan errors.

With the victory, the Rams (4-12, 2-5 Housy) completed the season sweep of LH (7-8, 1-7). Cheshire won the first meeting at Burt Leventhal Field on April 23, 11-10.

"This was a good win for us," Cheshire coach Mike Lussier said. “We put a seven-spot up and we didn't give up. A lot of times this year we've been down early. A lot of times we came back. Three times we came back and lost in extra innings. To come back on a day like this today, it’s awesome.”

Friday’s action started strong for the Trojans behind starter Zach Ranney. Lyman Hall scored single runs in the first two innings to grab a 2-0 lead.

Senior Anthony Boyle opened the scoring with a two-out RBI single to centerfield scoring Aidan Weir. Ranney and Weir opened the frame with back-to-back singles.

LH did lose two runners on the bases in the first when Ranney was thrown out trying to steal third on a double steal with Weir. Boyle was also picked off by Cheshire starter Luca Raccio to end the frame.

The Trojans doubled their lead with another run in the second. Joe DiCrosta led off with a single, advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw and eventually scored on a groundout by Ryan Brockett.

Cheshire tied it 2-2- with two runs in the top of the third inning. Anthony Tirado started the rally by smacking a one-out single. The sophomore swiped second base and scored on a single off the bat of E.J. Quint.

Quint went to second on a wild pitch  and then successfully stole third. On the steal, the throw hit Quint in the face as he dove head-first into the bag.

The ball rolled toward the LH dugout. Quint got up and scored to tie the game. Cheshire’s leadoff hitter also stayed in the game.

Lyman Hall responded with two runs in the bottom of the third to retake the lead, 4-2.

Both Ranney and Justin Hackett scored on wild pitches with two outs. Ranney doubled to start the inning and Hackett reached on an infield single.

On the hill, Ranney worked into the fifth inning. The LH right-hander exited after surrendering a leadoff double to Ian Wirtz. Relief pitcher Thomas Pallotta worked around the two-bagger for a scoreless fifth. 

Ranney's allowed two runs on four hits, a walk and he fanned three. He took a no-decision, departing with a 4-2 lead that was about to be obliterated when Cheshire exploded for seven runs in the top of the sixth.

Cheshire loaded the bases with no outs to start the inning. Pallotta walked Gustafson and Chris Leddy, and Mike Simione reached on one-hopper to short.

Pallotta induced a pair of pop-ups to get two quick outs. The lefty then uncorked a wild pitch allowing Gustafson to score and cut the Cheshire deficit to 4-3.

Tirado then walked to reload the bases and turned the Cheshire lineup back over to Quint.

The leadoff hitter produced a one-hopper that never left the infield, yet managed to clear the bases thanks to two errant throws on the play.

Quint ended end up on third with Cheshire up 6-4. Scialabba drove him in with a single down the left field line to put the visitors ahead 7-4.

Raccio then reached on an infield single. He and Scialabba scored on a throwing error on a grounder off the bat of Gustafson to finished the big Cheshire inning with the Rams up 9-4.

"That rally was huge," Raccio said. “We had runners on and two outs and we just kept running around the bases. We all just put the bat on the ball.”

Lyman Hall didn't go out quietly. Pallotta started the LH seventh with a double and scored on a triple blasted by Ranney to right field that made it 9-5.

Weir followed with a line drive RBI single to score Ranney as LH closed to 9-6.

That ended the day for Raccio. Daniel Zawalich came in relief and closed the door for the save.

Boyle did single with two outs to bring the tying run to the plate, but Zawalich, a junior righty, got a strikeout to end it for his first save of the year.

Raccio (2-2) earned the win on the mound. The junior lefty logged 6 2/3 innings. He allowed six runs on 11 hits, three walks and one strikeout in his third start of the season. His outing was aided by a pair of pickoffs.

“He has a great move," Lussier said. “Luca usually comes in relief, but he did a good job today.”

Raccio said he puts a lot of trust in his defense to make the plays behind him.

“My pitches weren't working the best today, but I worked through it," Raccio said. “I threw a lot of inside two-seam fastballs and used changeups later in the count.”

Scialabba was the only Ram to have multiple hits on the day. The senior went 3-for-3 with a walk, double, RBI and run scored.

“This was a big team win,” Scialabba said. “Obviously, this yaer we've been struggling a good amount. The last two games we've hit the best we’ve hit all year. It's great to see our bats come alive.”

Lussier said he wants his team to finish strong. He was pleased with the effort he saw on Friday.

On the other side, Friday was a frustrating day for LH.

"We played a good five innings and the sixth inning was a collapse," LH coach Billy Rich said. “It was Little League baseball, just throwing the ball around. We didn't put them away when we got the opportunities and let them hang around. It was an awful inning.”

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