WALLINGFORD — Down to their final out and trailing by five runs, the Sheehan Titans gave the full crowd at Pat Wall Field the show they all came to see Wednesday night.
After beating cross-town rival Lyman Hall 8-7 on the back of a seven-run bottom of the seventh in the first matchup, the Titans were ready to repeat history.
And repeat they did. The Titans sent 11 batters to the plate in their final turn to bat to turn what once was a 10-5 deficit into a 12-10 win.
“We never give up,” Sheehan head coach Dom Lombardozzi said. “That’s one thing I really like about the way thee guys work: They’re competitive. Even when you get down, we’re never out of a game.”
John Cotter and Anthony MarkAnthony scored in the seventh when Chris Barkasy plated both on a single going to the opposite field. Now trailing 10-8, it was Josh Mikulski who kept the train moving, and he did with an infield single.
“Offensively, turn it over to the next guy,” Lombardozzi said. “Keep it going.”
That’s when Lyman Hall opted to intentionally walk Sheehan’s clean-up hitter, Charles Ennis, and chose to face Andry Guy instead. Guy, who entered in relief of starting pitcher Matthew Moconyi, was already 2-for-2 with one RBI before his turn in the last frame.
“We know he’s a bat that when he comes into the lineup, it’s not a giveaway. It’s a guy who’s going to put the ball in play,” Lombardozzi said.
That’s exactly what Guy did. He didn’t make hard contact, but enough to plate a run and reach first base. The Trojans added to the late-inning collapse when they threw the ball into the outfield and allowed the tying run to come home.
Cotter came to bat two spots later and gave the Titans their first lead when he ripped a two-run single down the first base line.
“It was a lot of ‘We’ve done this before, have faith in yourselves, I believe in you guys,’” Lombardozzi recalled of his conversation with his team before the inning.
“Nobody can hit a five-run home run,” he added.
Guy stayed on in the bottom half of the frame to shut the door on the Trojans. Though they would get runners on second and third with two outs, Guy got Owen Rich to ground out to third to complete the season sweep of Lyman Hall
“He’s the ultimate gamer,” Lombardozzi said of Guy. “We ask him to do 100 things and he’ll do 101.”
The Titans stole the show that had once belonged to Justin Hackett. The Trojans’ shortstop went 2-for-4 on the night with a grand slam and a two-run triple.
But thanks to some timely hitting from the bottom of the lineup, from the likes of Cotter and MarkAnthony, the Titans hung around. It was MarkAnthony who singled and scored the inning after Hackett’s grand slam. MarkAnthony plated Cotter in the fourth — when Sheehan tied the game at four — after Cotter was hit by a pitch.
Cotter went 2-for-3 with two singles, two runs, and two HBPs. MarkAnthony added a 3-for-4 night with two RBI and two runs.
“At the bottom of the lineup, what we’re hoping for with him there is for him to turn it over to the top,” Lombardozzi said of MarkAnthony.
The Wallingford teams played in front of nearly the whole town. It was their annual Breast Cancer Awareness game in which all proceeds benefited The Sisters Fund in town. Little League teams, other high school sports teams and Wallingford residents all around came out to support the teams and the cause.
“This night is always special for the town, for the baseball community. I’m hoping that they raised a ton of money for such a great organization,” Lombardozzi said. “The two teams here usually battle it out and this is usually a very competitive, close game no matter where both teams stand, no matter what the year is. And tonight, again, proved to be just that.
“I hope we gave everyone a good show.”