SOUTHINGTON — The Northwest Catholic Lions beat the Southington Blue Knights 5-4 in a CCC West baseball game on Monday evening at Fontana Field.
The Blue Knights honored nine seniors prior to first pitch, then trailed 3-0 before they even stepped up to the plate.
Southington did rally to tie things up by the third inning behind three hits from Frank Boutot Jr. and a two-run HR from Colin Crowley, but Northwest Catholic promptly retook the lead with two runs in the fourth and neither team scored after that.
The Blue Knights head to the Class LL state tournament at 13-7, but riding a three-game losing streak.
Northwest, at 5-14, is scrapping for a spot in Class S.
Against Southington, the Lions jumped on top when Tristan Hong hit a RBI triple to right field in the top of the first that was followed by a two-run homer from John Flammini into the trees in left field.
Southington answered back in the bottom of the first thanks to a RBI double from Boutot and then tied the game at 3-3 in the third inning when Crowley hit a line drive two-run homer of his own.
The Lions took the lead right back in the fourth, 5-3, after stringing together hits from Flammini and Ben Hall.
Southington got one run back in the bottom of the fourth with a RBI single by Jaden Maia. However, after the fourth the bats cooled off for both teams, with the last three innings being scoreless.
Hall pitched out of trouble in the fifth after allowing a hit and a walk. Northwest coach Cory Carlson paid a visit to the mound in that fifth inning and had a reliever ready in the bullpen, but opted to stick with his starter.
“Hall wanted one more batter,” Carlson said. “He’s our Monday guy and he has been all year. We trust him to get out of those jams.”
Hall ended up retiring DeGumbia via flyout to end the threat.
The Lions turned to Andrew Hurlburt to close the door and he picked up the save, throwing two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
Hall earned the win with his five innings. He allowed six hits, walked five and surrendered four runs.
Max Krom got the start for Southington and settled down, retiring the last eight batters he faced after the early first inning home run. His final line was three innings, three hits, three runs and four strikeouts.
The Blue Knights, who also lost 7-6 to Newington last Wednesday and 4-0 to Hall on Friday, will look to put this rough patch behind them and shift their focus to the start of the state tournament beginning next Tuesday, May 30.