BASEBALL: Record-Journal Expos improve to 15-4 as Hesseltine goes the distance for the Expos in a CG win

MERIDEN — The Record-Journal Expos continued its dominant summer in the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League with a 5-1 victory over Rainbow Graphics on Tuesday evening at Ceppa Field behind a strong pitching performance from player/manager Charlie Hesseltine.

The lefty improved to 3-1 on the season as the Expos rolled to 15-4 and now are 9-1 at Ceppa.

Hesseline went the distance. He allowed one run on five hits. He walked one, hit one batter and fanned six in the gem.

“All wins are big,” Hesseltine said. “We want to win out the rest of the season. Rainbow is a tough team. They fight and they battle.”

Rainbow Graphics (10-11) scored a run in the first and the Record-Journal squad countered with two in the fourth and one in the fifth and two in the sixth to pull out the win.

Tim Hanlon struck a one-out double to center to start the first-inning rally for Rainbow. Bryan Rodriguez drove him in with a two-out, line drive single off of Hesseltine up the middle to put the Expos up 1-0.

Hesseltine allowed the first two Graphics batters to reach in the fourth, but retired the next three hitters to end the threat. The veteran southpaw faced the minimum in the fifth and sixth innings. R-J turned a slick 4-6-3 double play starting with Javon Malone to Sebby Grignano to Jeff Massicotte for the twin-killing.

“I started out slow but I was pounding the zone,” Hesseltine said. “They hit the ball hard the first couple of innings and they did what they planned on doing. After the first inning, I was locked in.”

Rainbow Graphics starter Ryan Callanan retired the first seven Expos in order. Andrew McCarty was the lone baserunner for Meriden in the first three innings. He was hit by a pitch with one out in the third.

In the fourth, the Record-Journal squad had plenty of traffic on the bases. Meriden scored two runs in the frame without the benefit of a hit.

Malone and A.J. Hendrickson both reached on errors. Malone scored on a wild pitch to tie the game, 1-1.

Callanan issued three straight walks and a free pass to Andrew McCarty drove in Hendrickson as Meriden went on top, 2-1.

Callanan logged the first four innings. He allowed two unearned runs on no hits, three walks and one hit batter. He fanned three in defeat.

Chris Zampino came in to pitch in the fifth and sixth for Rainbow Graphics. R-J’s Javon Malone drew a one-out walk in the fifth. He swiped second with two outs and was doubled in by Hendrickson with a two-bagger and put the Expos up 3-1. Hendrickson’s double was Meriden’s first hit of the game with two-outs in the fifth.

R-J added some insurance in the sixth. Justin Marks singled to start the inning. He went to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on an RBI double by Nhasean Murphy to make it 4-1. Murphy hustled home on a fielder’s choice grounder off the bat of Sebby Grignano to put the hosts up, 5-1.

“It’s great being a part of this team right now,” Hesseltine said. “These guy keep me young. They brought the fun back for me. I like these guys and I’m getting used to their style of play. It’s really fun.”

The Record-Journal team will travel to the Hartford Colts on Thursday at 6 p.m.


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