THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS
Guilford smashes Westies
Indians post 21-0 win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 3, 2017) - The West Haven baseball team was looking to ride the momentum of a walk-off victory over Lyman Hall on Saturday. The four days off proved to cool down the Westies.
Pounding 21 hits and scoring three in the first, six in the second and eight in the fourth, Guilford cruised to an easy 21-0 victory over the Westies at Piurek Field in West Haven. With the loss, West Haven dropped to 6-5 on the year.
Pete Richetelli (8) against Guilford, May 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Guilford had eight hits and nine runs through three innings and cruised from there in the route. Logan Hitchcock went 4-for-4 with four runs batted in, Matt Donlan was 3-for-3 with three runs batted in and five runs scored for the Indians. Kam Miles and John Luke Cianciolo each had two hits and two runs batted in, while Jack Strand worked four scoreless innings for the win.
Westies blank O'Brien Tech
Jefferson leads team to seventh win of year
By MIKE MADERA
(May 4, 2017) - The West Haven baseball team improved to 7-5 with a 12-0 victory over O’Brien Tech Thursday evening at Piurek Field in West Haven.
Coming off a drubbing at the hands of Guilford, the Westies wasted no time getting back on the winning track.
Mario Kiaunis (25) against O'Brien Tech, May 4, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Sean Jefferson led the way as he picked up the victory on the mound and also had three hits and drove in three runs at the plate. Tim McCarthy added two hits and drove in three runs, and Nick Flammia had three hits and a run batted in.
Brett Gradoia (17) against O'Brien Tech, May 4, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
ND tops Westies
Postseason on hold for WH
By MIKE MADERA
(May 8, 2017) - With a chance to lock up a postseason bid, the West Haven baseball team could not have asked for a better scenario, facing cross-town rival Notre Dame. The Green Knights had other ideas.
Looking to avenge an earlier season loss to the Westies, Notre Dame did exactly that, posting a 4-1 victory over West Haven at Piurek Field Monday evening. With the loss, its fourth in the last six games, West Haven fell to 7-6 on the season.
Notre Dame at West Haven, May 8, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Pete Richetelli (8) at bat against Notre Dame, May 8, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
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Cheshire no-hits Westies
Postseason still not clinched
By MIKE MADERA
(May 10, 2017) - The West Haven baseball team was looking to clinch a spot in the postseason Wednesday afternoon. Instead, the Westies lost their fifth contest in their last seven games with a 6-0 loss in Cheshire.
With its second straight loss, West Haven fell to 7-7 on the year.
Cheshire's Gary Costello threw a complete game no-hitter, walking one and striking out five. Ben DeLaubell added a two-run triple and Evan Sokolik had a run-scoring double.
Trojans rally past Westies
Lyman Hall posts 6-4 win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 12, 2017) - Jake Ranney and the Lyman Hall baseball team remember quite well the results against West Haven the last time the two teams met two weeks ago. A walk-off home run by the Westies in the seventh inning sent Lyman Hall to defeat in what looked like a victory heading into the last inning.
Looking to avenge that loss, Ranney and his Lyman Hall teammates rallied from a four-run deficit to defeat West Haven 6-4 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Housatonic Division game at Pat Wall Field in Wallingford Friday afternoon.
“After we were down 2-0 in the first, our team captain Mike Caruso rallied us,” Ranney said. “He got us going, and after that, we just started hitting and got on a roll. We needed to get this win. We remember the last game against them.”
Ranney came up with the big hit in the fifth inning as his double to left scored Nick Santello with the eventual winning run, giving Lyman Hall a 5-4 lead. The Trojans added another run in the sixth inning as a single by Kal Gonzalez scored Brennan Toussaint for a 6-4 lead.
“This is a great character win for us,” Lyman Hall coach Chuck Burghardt said. “This is a big win especially after yesterday when we came out flat. We came back with our bats today and did what we had to do against a decent West Haven team. They are a scrappy team. They keep coming at you.”
West Haven (7-8) got on the board first, scoring four times in the first two innings, including three in the first inning.
In the opening inning, Dom Cambino led off by reaching on an error, Tim McCarthy singled, and both moved into scoring position when Sean Jefferson grounded to second.
Ty Reeves then reached on another Lyman Hall error to score Cambino for a 1-0 lead. With two outs, John Cambino singled to right to score both McCarthy and Reeves to give West Haven to 3-0 advantage.
John Cambino singles to score two runs against Lyman Hall, May 12, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
West Haven increased the lead to 4-0 in the second with another run as McCarthy's two-out single to center field scored Mario Kiaunis.
That was all the Westies would get off Lyman Hall starter Derek Delaney, who settled down after the second inning. Delaney went the distance for the Trojans, allowing the four runs on just four hits, while walking four and striking out five.
“I thought Delaney was outstanding,” Burghardt said. “He settled in after the first two innings. He was tough after that.”
The Trojans (9-8) started their comeback in the third inning when Mike Caruso led off with a walk off West Haven starter Michael Kalander, Russell Edeen singled to right with one out, and Ethan Day doubled to left to score Caruso. A fielder’s choice off the bat of Matt Battiste scored Edeen to get the Trojans within 4-2.
“We have not been hitting,” Burghardt said. “This week, so far, we scored five runs in three games. You're not going to win many games like that. Today, we came up with some big hits.”
The Trojans tied the game in the fourth as Santello led off with a double to left and Ranney followed with an infield single to short to put runners on the corners. Caruso followed with a sacrifice fly to center to score Santello.
After Jack McDonald and Edeen walked to load the bases, Day’s sacrifice fly to right scored Ranney to even the game at four.
Lyman Hall took the lead with a two-out rally in the fifth. Santello walked and scored later in the inning when Ranney doubled to left for a 5-4 advantage.
With the loss, West Haven still needs one more victory to qualify for the postseason.
“I thought Mike Kalander pitched a fabulous game,’ West Haven coach Ron Luneau said. “It was a gutsy performance. He battled the whole time. I thought our kids as a team played hard. In both games against Lyman Hall, they were decided by two runs. We are two evenly matched teams.”
Ranney and Day led the Lyman Hall offense as each had a pair of hits and one run batted in.
McCarthy had two of West Haven’s four hits and drove in a run in the loss.
Richetelli rallies WH past Hamden
Senior delivers game-winning hit in postseason clincher
By MIKE MADERA
(May 15, 2017) - West Haven senior Pete Richetelli is no stranger to the big moment. An All-State hockey player, Richetelli has come up with his share of big plays.
Coming off the bench to pinch-hit in a tie game, Richetelli delivered his senior moment on the baseball field, roping an opposite field run-scoring double to drive in the eventual winning run as West Haven topped rival Hamden 3-2 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Housatonic Division contest at Rochford Field in Hamden Monday afternoon.
Pete Richetelli hits eventual game-winning double against Hamden, May 15, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“I told him his number was going to come up,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said of Richetelli. “He is an All-State hockey player. He knows what it is like to be in big moments. I told him this was going to be his senior moment and it was.”
The win, which also saw a complete game effort on the hill from junior Mike Vitolo, allowed West Haven to improve to 8-8 on the season and qualify for the postseason. Vitolo was solid in his return back from a finger injury, allowing two earned runs on seven hits, while walking just one Hamden batter and striking out three.
“I was ready to go,” Vitolo said. “I felt very healthy out there. We got timely hitting today and our defense made all the plays. We are excited to get in (postseason).”
Mike Vitolo (12) went the distance against Hamden, May 15, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Trailing 2-0 after the Green Dragons (11-7) scored twice in the fifth, West Haven came right back to take the lead in the sixth.
Ty Reeves started the rally with a one-out single and John Cambino, who had three hits in the game, followed with a double to left. Brett Gradoia evened the game at two when he ripped a single down the line at third, scoring Reeves and Cambino.
Brett Gradoia drives in two runs against Hamden, May 15, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
With two outs, Nick Zaino walked to put a pair of runners on for Richetelli. Down 0-2 in the count, Richetelli perfectly took the ball the other way to right, landing on the chalk for a double to plate Gradoia for the 3-2 lead.
“I was just thinking I had to adjust at 0-2,” Richetelli said. “I moved up in the box before it could get a good break and I just went with it. I always try to be ready and be mentally prepared to go in. I’m just glad it worked out for the team.”
The rest was up to Vitolo and he delivered, using a perfectly turned double play ball by the middle infield of Gradoia and Mario Kiaunis to end the sixth. Vitolo then set the Green Dragons down in order in the seventh to send the Westies back to the postseason after missing last year’s tournament run.
“It is great to be back in,” Luneau said of the postseason. “It is all about the seniors and their great senior leadership and hard work. This team has worked very hard.”
The loss for the Green Dragons was a disappointing one as Hamden seemed to be in control following the two-run fifth.
The fifth saw a pair of clutch two-out hits get the Green Dragons on the board as Tyler Osborne doubled to score Mark Durwin, and James Santore, who had two hits in the game, singled to score Osborne.
Each team had its chances to score early in the contest, but neither capitalized. Tim McCarthy singled and Reeves walked in the first for the Westies, but both were left stranded. West Haven, which came into the game having lost four of its last five games, stranded Reeves on third in the third, and John Cambino on third in the fourth.
For the Green Dragons, winners of five of their last six entering the contest, they could not give starting pitcher Mike Ferrett any more run support as they left Santore on second in the second, Durwin on second following a double in the third, and a pair of runners on base in the fifth.
“I do not feel we are always as motivated as we should be,” Hamden coach Chris Borelli said. “It bothers me that we are hot and cold right now. When we are ready to play and focused, we can compete with anybody. When we do not focus for seven innings, we can get beat by anybody. That is not to take anything away from West Haven. They played great. Their pitcher (Vitolo) did a nice job on the mound and they made the plays.”
West Haven played solid defense against Hamden, May 15, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Ferrett tossed the first six innings for Hamden, allowing three runs on eight hits, while walking two and striking out three.“I thought Mike was fantastic today,” Borelli said of Ferrett. “He threw a lot more strikes. He might have run out of gas at the end. He had a good fastball today. I thought he did a great job.”
Westies roll past Panthers
WH wins 8-2 on Senior Night
By MIKE MADERA
(May 16, 2017) - Just one day after qualifying for the postseason with a thrilling comeback victory, the Westies honored their seniors before playing Platt Tech. When all was said and done, West Haven pounded 11 hits on its way to an 8-2 victory over the Panthers at Piurek Field in West Haven Tuesday evening.
Ty Reeves led the offense with two hits, two runs batted in, and one run scored, John Cambino and Mike Vitolo each had two hits and a run scored, while Dom Cambino added one hit, two runs batted in, and one run scored. A day after his game-winning hit, Pete Richetelli had one hit, one run batted in and one run scored.
Sean Jefferson picked up the victory with a solid outing on the hill as he allowed just one earned run on nine hits, walking one and striking out five.
Mario Kiaunis (25) scores against Platt Tech, May 16, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Trailing 2-0, West Haven split the deficit in half in the second inning as Reeves led off with a triple to right and scored one out later on Brett Gradoia's sacrifice fly to left.
The Westies took the lead for good with three runs in the third. With one out, Mario Kiaunis singled to right, Dom Cambino walked, and Tim McCarthy reached on an error to score Kiaunis. Jefferson then reached on an error to load the bases, before Reeves singled to center to score Dom Cambino and McCarthy for a 4-2 lead.
Tim McCarthy (2) scores against Platt Tech, May 16, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies added four insurance runs n the sixth. John Cambino led off with a single to center, Gradoia walked, and Vitolo singled to load the bases. Richetellisingle dto left to score John cambino, Kiaunis was hit by a pitch to score Gradoia, and Dom Cambino singled to left to score Vitolo and Richetelli for the 8-2 advantage.
Tigers pound Westies 13-3
By MIKE MADERA
(May 17, 2017) - Looking to extend its winning streak to three games, the West Haven baseball team met its match in Hand-Madison. Scoring four times in the second inning to break an early tie, Hand topped West Haven 13-3 in Madison Wednesday afternoon.
West Haven (9-9) led in the opening inning, but watched as the Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the first and took control with four in the second.
Leading 7-1, Hand watched West Haven get within four runs in the fifth, but answered with six of its own in the bottom of the fifth.
Westies top Career
Tigers pound Westies 13-3
By MIKE MADERA
(May 19, 2017) - The West Haven baseball team improved to 10 - 9 with a 7-1 victory on the road over Career Friday afternoon.
The Westies pounded 10 hits in the victory and we're led by Sean Jefferson, John Cambino, and Mike Vitolo, as each had a pair of hits. Cambino scored twice in the game, and Vitolo drove in three runs in the victory.
Mike Kalander against Career, May 19, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Mike Kalander pitched a complete-game four-hitter, allowing one earned run, walking two, and striking out five.
Trailing 1-0 in the second, Cambino started the rally with a single to short, Brett Gradoia reached on an error to put runners on first and third, and Cambino scored on a wild pitch.
The Westies took the lead for good with two runs in the third inning. Jefferson singled to center, Ty Reeves singled to right, and with two outs, Vitolo singled to right to score both Jefferson and Reeves for a 3-1 lead.
Dom Cambino against Career, May 19, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven increased the lead to 6-1 in the fifth inning with a two-out rally. Cambino doubled to left, Gradoia followed with a double to score Cambino, and Vitolo singled to center to score Gradoia. Dennis Gamester then doubled to score Vitolo for a 6-1 lead.
The Westies scored the final run of the game in the sixth as Dom Cambino doubled, move to third when Tim McCarthy hit a fly ball to right, and scored on an error off a pick off play.
Branford defeats Westies
Regular season closes at 10-10
By MIKE MADERA
(May 20, 2017) - The West Haven baseball team capped the regular season with a 6-2 loss at Branford Saturday afternoon. With the loss, West Haven closed the regular campaign at 10-10 and will await the pairings for the state tournament.
Tim McCarthy had two of West Haven's five hits and drove in a pair of runs as well. Sean Jefferson and Mike Vitolo pitched in the loss for the Westies.
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Championship teams - 1967, 1973, 1984, 1988, 2009 (No. 1 in Ct.)
All-State Players - Anthony Pacileo '84; Mel Wearing '85; Mike Anquillare '86; Nick Piombino '88; Paul Mulligan '88; Dave Anquillare '89; Aaron Sellner '92; Kevin Jason '92; Shane Russell '93; Rob Farnen '94; Jason Criscio '95; Gary Tarquino '95; Pete O’Neill '96; Joe DeCrescenzo '97; Jerry Gambardella '00; Matt Cavallaro '02; Rich Mordente '03; Matt Gianini '03, '04; Nico Gambardella '05; Tom Lawrence '09; Eric Stone '10; Tyler Gambardella '13
Retired Numbers - Jerry Gambardella (Class of 2000) #21
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Westies blast Bassick
14 runs in 4th leads to 21-3 win
By MIKE MADERA
(April 3, 2017) - West Haven coach Ron Luneau and his staff were looking to get off to a quick start in the 2017 season. Fourteen runs in the fourth inning certainly helped.
Behind the big inning and a 12-hit attack, West Haven rolled to a 21-3 victory over Bassick in the season opener at Piurek Field in West Haven Monday afternoon.
Mike Vitolo (12) had a big day against Bassick, April 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Junior Mike Vitolo led the way with three hits, including two doubles, while he also drove in seven runs. John Cambino knocked in three runs, and Brett Gradoia and Mario Kiaunis each knocked in two in the opener.
Sean Jefferson was the beneficiary of the outburst as he needed just 85 pitches to throw the complete game. Jefferson threw 63 pitches for strikes, allowed just five hits and one earned run, while striking out seven and walking one.
The Westies got on the board first in the first when John Cambino reached on an error, went to third on another Bassick error, and scored on a sacrifice fly.
Sean Jefferson pitched well against Bassick, April 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westes increased the lead to 3-0 in the second inning as Gradoia singled to left, stole second and moved to third on a ground out. Vitolo doubled to score a pair for a 3-0 advantage, before he scored when Dom Cambino reached on an error.
Leading 4-2, West Haven increased the lead to four runs in the third inning when Vitolo singled to score both Ty Reeves and Gradoia.
The Westies put the game away with 14 runs in the fourth. Dom Cambino singled, Tim McCarthy walked, and Nick Flammia also walked to load the bases. Gradoia singled to score Flammia, McCarthy scored on a passed ball, and Reeves scored on a single by Kiaunis for a 9-2 lead.
When Vitolo doubled to score Gradoia and Kiaunis, West Haven had an 11-2 lead. A Bassick error scored two more runs, Flammia walked to force in a run, and Reeves singled to score another.
The Westies received plenty of offensive support in the win as eight different players had hits on the day. Vitolo led the offense with three hits, and Dom Cambino and Gradoia each had a pair of hits.
Nine different players drove in runs as Vitolo delivered seven, John Cambino knocked in three, and Gradoia and Kiaunis each knocked in a pair.
Ten different players scored as Gradoia scored four times, Reeves crossed the plate three times, and John Cambino, McCarthy, Flammia, Kiaunis, Jefferson, and Vitolo each scored twice.
Westies fall to Hatters
Danbury posts 2-0 win over WH
By MIKE MADERA
(April 8, 2017) - The West Haven baseball team was hoping to get off to a quick start in the 2017 season. The plan did not go as hoped.
With the two teams combining to make 12 errors, five by West Haven, the Westies fell in 2-0 in eight innings against Danbury Saturday at Piurek Field in West Haven.
Sean Jefferson (16) throws a pitch against Danbury, April 8, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Sean Jefferson went the distance for the Westies, allowing seven hits and one earned run, while walking three and striking out six. Jefferson threw 117 pitches, 77 for strikes.
Jefferson also led the West Haven offense with a pair of hits. Ty Reeves, Brett Gradoia, and Nick Flammia each had a hit in the contest.
West Haven never got on track offensively. With two outs in the second, Mike Vitolo reached on an error, but was left stranded.
John Cambino (1) against Danbury, April 8, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
John Cambino reached on a two-out error in the third, but was left stranded, before a single by Reeves in the fourth with two outs went for naught. The pattern remained the same in the sixth as Flammia and Reeves reached on two-out errors, but neither came around to score.
West Haven’s best chance to score came in the seventh as a single by Jefferson, a fielder’s choice and another Danbury error had runners on the corners with two outs. The threat ended on a pop out by Gradoia to end the inning.
Danbury then rallied in the eighth to take home the victory.
Pitching leads Westies
Vitolo, Reeves lead WH past Branford
By MIKE MADERA
(April 10, 2017) - The West Haven baseball team needed just two days to rebound from its first loss of the season.
Behind solid pitching from Mike Vitolo and Ty Reeves, West Haven used single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to rally for a 2-1 victory over Branford Monday afternoon at Piurek Field in West Haven.
Mike Vitolo pitches against Branford, April 10, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies (2-1) trailed 1-0 in the fifth before rallying to even the contest at one. Dominic Cambino started the inning by reaching on an error, and Tim McCarthy followed suit one batter later.
With two runners in scoring position, Nick Flammia doubled to score Cambino and sent McCarthy to third. That was all the Westies could muster in the inning as Vitolo grounded to short, Pete Richetelli struck out, and Brett Gradoia grounded out to end the threat.
After Reeves retired Branford in the top of the sixth inning, the Westies scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning. With one out Mario Kiaunis walked, John Cambino singled, and Dominic Cambino followed with another single to score Kiaunis for a 2-1 advantage.
As was the case in the fifth inning, West Haven could not build on the lead. John Cambino was caught stealing third and McCarthy hit a fly ball to center for the final two outs.
Mario Kiaunis (25) against Danbury, April 8, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Branford put two runners on with one out in the seventh, but Reeves used a line out and a strike out to end the threat and the game.
Dominic Cambino and McCarthy walked in the first, but did not score, and Sean Jefferson singled and Gradoia reached on an error in the second, but neither scored.
Reeves picked up the win in relief, throwing 27 of his 44 pitches for strikes. Vitolo threw 94 pitches, 51 for strikes.
Guilford silences Westies
Indians post 8-1 victory over WH
By MIKE MADERA
(April 12, 2017) - The West Haven baseball team was looking for its third win of the year. That search will have to continue.
Held to just four hits, West Haven was defeated 8-1 in Guilford Wednesday afternoon.
The only offense for the Westies came off the bat of Nick Flammia to give West Haven a 1-0 lead in the third inning. The rest of the game was all Guilford.
The Indians answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning, one in the fifth and three more in the sixth to defeat the Westies.
West Haven (2-2) managed just four hits in the game.
Check back later for the rest of this article.
Jefferson propels Westies
Complete game effort key in win over Career
By MIKE MADERA
(April 13, 2017) - The West Haven baseball team is looking to go on a run. If that is to be the case, the Westies will need a consistent effort on the pitching mound.
That effort is exactly what the Westies got Thursday afternoon from Sean Jefferson. The senior was in control throughout, needing just 65 pitches, 48 of which were strikes, in a complete game effort as West Haven topped Career 10-2 at Piurek Field in West Haven.
Tim McCarthy (2) makes a play at first against Career, April 13, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Jefferson allowed seven hits, just one earned run, while striking out two and not walking a batter. Jefferson improved to 1-1 on the season.
West Haven (3-2) led 2-0 before exploding for seven runs in the third inning to blow the game open. Dom Cambino and Nick Flammia led the offense as each had a pair of hits. Mario Kiaunis, John Cambino and Dom Cambino each scored twice, while Tim McCarthy and Nick Flammia each drove in a pair of runs.
West Haven took a 2-0 lead in the first inning as John Cambino was hit by a pitch, Dom Cambino singled to put runners on the corners, and John Cambino scored as part of a double steal. With two outs, Jefferson singled to score Dom Cambino for a 2-0 lead.
The score remained that way until the third as the Westies took a commanding 9-0 lead.
Dom Cambino (19) had a big day against Career, April 13, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Flammia opened the inning with a single, Ty Reeves walked with one out and Mike Vitolo followed with another walk to load the bases. Brett Gradoia singled to score Flammia, and after Reeves scored the fourth run of the game, Vitolo scored on a bunt by John Cambino for a 5-0 lead.
Dom Cambino made it a 6-0 game when he walked to force in Gradoia, before McCarthy's sacrifice fly to center scored Kiaunis. Flammia then delivered a big blow when he tripled to score John Cambino and Dom Cambino for a 9-0 lead.
With a 9-1 advantage, West Haven scored its final run in the fifth inning. Kiaunis led off with a single, Dom Cambino singled with one out to put runners on the corners, and McCarthy followed with a single to left to score Kiaunis for a 10-1 lead.
Jefferson's 2-run double leads WH past Notre Dame
By MIKE MADERA
(April 17, 2017) - West Haven designated hitter Sean Jefferson had a plan in place in his third at bat against Notre Dame – West Haven Monday afternoon.
With his team trailing by a run with one out and two runners on base in the sixth inning, Jefferson took the ball the other way for a two-run double to lead West Haven to a 2-1 victory over cross-town rival Notre Dame in a Southern Connecticut Conference Housatonic Division game at Quigley Stadium.
Sean Jefferson against Notre Dame, April 17, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“I just wanted to go with the pitch,” Jefferson said. “I knew if he was going to pitch me in, I was going to turn on it. I just went with it.”
After walking in a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to put Notre Dame on top, Mike Vitolo opened the sixth with a long double to left. Tim McCarthy followed with an infield single to put runners on the corners, before Notre Dame starting pitcher Michael Sansone got Nick Flammia on a shallow fly to center for the first out.
With a pair of strikeouts in his first two at bats, the lefty-hitting Jefferson got going when he ripped a solid shot to the gap of left and center, scoring Vitolo and McCarthy for a 2-1 West Haven advantage. Sansone got the final two outs of the inning, but the damage had already been done.
“This is a very hard working group of kids,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said. “This group of kids really knows how to work hard.”
Ty Reeves relieved Vitolo in the sixth and worked a perfect inning, before Reeves and the West Haven defense closed the deal in the seventh. Reeves walked Brad Zsampar to open the final frame, but the hustle of freshman catcher Dennis Gamester proved to be a vital piece of the victory.
Notre Dame’s Michael Piechota grounded to third where the force was easily made at second. When the relay throw on the turn for the double play sailed past McCarthy at first, Gamester raced to back up the play and easily nailed Piechota trying to advance to second for the second out of the inning. Reeves then got Michael Torniero on a grounder to short to end the game.
Dennis Gamester against Notre Dame, April 17, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“They wanted it more than us,” Notre Dame coach Don Martone said. “West Haven wanted to win more than we wanted to win.”
The Green Knights (4-3) lost their second straight game, getting just one hit in each contest. Against West Haven (4-2), the Green Knights had eight batters reach by way of the walk, but could only capitalize in the fifth inning.
West Haven’s Vitolo, who went the first five innings, walked Matt Martinello to open the frame, then threw away a sacrifice bunt attempt by Zsampar to put a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs.
A diving stop by second baseman Brett Gradoia on a ball hit by Piechota saved a run when the loose ball was picked up by shortstop Mario Kiaunis to nail pinch-runner Andrew Kendrick at the plate. Torniero popped out for the second out, but Vitolo intentionally walked Maxwell Mariano to load the bases.
Vitolo battled, but walked Frank Longley on a 3-2 pitch to force in Zsampar for a 1-0 Notre Dame lead. Vitolo rebounded to get Michael Dziczkowski on a pop out to end the Notre Dame rally.
“We are not going to beat anybody by getting picked off and not making the proper reads when we are on third base,” Martone said. “West Haven wanted to win this game more than we did. It has to do with heart and effort.”
The Green Knights had their share of opportunities to get on the scoreboard against Vitolo but could not come up with a big hit. After two Notre Dame batters reached by way of walks in the first, Vitolo got Dziczkowski on a fly to center to end the threat.
With two on in the second, Vitolo started a perfect pick off play to slow down the Green Knights, before another walk went to waste by the Green Knights in the fourth when Vitolo got John Martinello to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Vitolo picked up the win as he went five innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit, while walking seven.
Sansone tossed six innings for the Green Knights, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out nine and walking one.
Mario Kiaunis makes a diving play against Notre Dame, April 17, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Sean Jefferson doubles against Notre Dame, April 17, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Three in a Row
Westies top Cheshire for fifth win of season
By MIKE MADERA
(April 18, 2017) - The West Haven baseball team entered Tuesday afternoon's contest against Cheshire looking to avoid a let down. The Westies had just come off a big victory over crosstown rival Notre Dame a day earlier and wanted to extend their winning ways.
Sean Jefferson once again had the answer. Not only did he pitch his team to victory as he threw seven solid Innings, but he once again came through offensively with two big runs batted in for the Westies.
Jefferson was the difference for West Haven on the mound, allowing two runs, one of which was earned, while walking two and striking out four.
Ty Reeves scores against Cheshire, April 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven (5-2) took the lead in the second inning as it rallied with one out. Ty Reeves started the rally with a single, stole second, and scored on a single to center by John Cambino.
After Cheshire scored twice in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead, West Haven once again took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the third.
Dom Cambino started the rally with a single to left, and with one out, Tim McCarthy walked to put runners on first and second. With two outs, Jefferson singled to left to score Dom Cambino to tie the game and put runners on the corners.
McCarthy scored later in the inning on an error in the infield for a 3-2 West Haven lead.
Tim McCarthy makes the play against Cheshire, April 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies increased the lead to 4-2 in the fifth inning. McCarthy once again was at the center of the rally as he opened the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice by Nick Flammia.
McCarthy moved to third on an error, and scored when Jefferson lofted a sacrifice fly to center.
Four runs were more than enough for Jefferson as he allowed only seven hits in the game and only the two third inning runs by Cheshire.
Dom Cambino led the offense with two hits and a run scored, while McCarthy had a hit and two runs score.
Hamden holds off Westies
WH falls 5-4
By MIKE MADERA
(April 24, 2017) - Looking to extend its winning streak to four games, the West Haven baseball team fell to Hamden 5-4 Monday afternoon in West Haven.
With the game even at three, Hamden took the lead for good with a run in the fifth and another in the seventh.
A West Haven rally in the bottom of the seventh fell short as West Haven dropped to 5-3 on the year.
West Haven fell to Hamden, April 24, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Dom Cambino, Brett Gradoia and Mike Vitolo led West Haven with two hits each, while Gradoia drove in three runs and Ty Reeves scored a pair.
Sean Jefferson took the loss, throwing a complete game. He allowed three earned runs, walking two and striking out four.
Trailing 5-3, West Haven rallied in the seventh as John Cambino led off with a single, and moved to second on a ground out by Mario Kiaunis for the second out. Dom Cambino singled to score John Cambino to get West Haven within a run and Vitolo followed with another single. The rally ended when Tim McCarthy grounded out to end the game.
Ty Reeves and West Haven fell to Hamden, April 24, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After Hamden took a 2-0 lead in the second, West Haven evened the game in the bottom of the inning. Jefferson led off with a single, Reeves walked and John Cambino reached on an error to load the bases. Gradoia singled to score Jefferson and Reeves, but West Haven could not add any more runs as Kiaunis and Dom Cambino were retired.
After Hamden took a 3-2 lead in the fourth, West Haven evened the game in the bottom of the inning. Reeves led off with a single, moved to second on an error, and scored on a single by Gradoia.
Tigers top WH 2-1
By MIKE MADERA
(April 26, 2017) - For six innings Thursday afternoon, Hand coach Travis LaPointe watched his team battle but come up empty. All that changed in the seventh.
Taking advantage of a pair of walks and a clutch two-out, run-scoring single by Julian Barerji, Hand rallied to a 2-1 Southern Connecticut Conference victory over West Haven at Piurek Field.
“This is huge,” LaPointe said. “We just fought late in the game. We have been doing that. I am not surprised. We have been doing it every game. Today, we prevented the big inning against us and we had a big inning of our own.”
Mike Vitolo (12) pitched well in a loss to Hand, April 27, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Held scoreless for six innings by West Haven starting pitcher Mike Vitolo, Hand (5-4) started the seventh with a leadoff walk by Will Reiner. That was all for Vitolo, who was replaced by Ty Reeves.
Reiner moved to second on a sacrifice by Phoenix Billings and third on a balk by Reeves. Thomas Hobin walked to put runners on the corners and a push bunt by E.J. Mastronardi delivered Reiner with the tying run. Barerji followed with a line single up the middle, scoring Hobin for a 2-1 Hand lead.
“We were in it the whole game,” Barerji said. “We felt like we were going to win the whole time. We just needed to get going. It worked out for us. Our pitching has been great this year. A game like this can get us going. We are 5-4 right now and we need to take it one game at a time.”
West Haven (5-4) did not go quietly in the seventh as Reeves led off with a single to left off reliever Spencer Oliver. Battling back from a 3-0 count, Oliver bounced back to strike out Pete Richetelli, then followed with a strikeout of Dom Cambino.
Nick Flammia then grounded to short in what looked like a game-ending grounder. An error on the play put a pair of runners on, but Oliver again worked through a jam by striking out Tim McCarthy to end the game.
“Spencer Oliver had a tough save tonight,” LaPointe said. “He came back and battled to get the job done.”
The seventh inning struggles for West Haven just summed up a day which saw numerous scoring chances for the Westies go by the boards.
The Westies took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when John Cambino was hit by a pitch from Hand starter Ryan McAneany to force in McCarthy, who was also hit by a pitch. That was all the scoring on the day for West Haven as it squandered its chances.
The Westies stranded Nick Zaino on second in the second, one runner in the fourth, had a pair of runners picked off, and saw a rally end with an inning-ending double play.
“I am disappointed,” West Haven coach Ron Luneau said. “We have four losses, and in three of the four losses, we have had good pitching and have played solid defense. We left too many guys on base. We did not get a big hit. We are waiting to see who that guy is going to be to come up with that big double. We have not gotten it yet.”
The lack of offense by the Westies spoiled a gutty effort on the hill by Vitolo, who went six-plus innings, allowing six hits, walking two and striking out four.
“Mike Vitolo pitched a whale of a game,” Luneau said. “I have nothing but accolades for the way he pitched out there.”
McAneany was equally tough for Hand, going six innings, allowing two hits, walking two and striking out three.“I thought we pitched great,” LaPointe said. “Ryan McAneany looked off his game in the first inning. He pitched tough enough to get out of the jam and I thought he was on cruise control the rest of the game.”
Flammia lifts Westies
Walk-off homer leads to 10-8 win over Lyman Hall
By MIKE MADERA
(April 29, 2017) - On two separate occasions, the West Haven baseball team found itself trailing Lyman Hall Saturday afternoon. Each time, the Westies came back.
Nick Flammia made sure the final rally was a memorable one as his long three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh rallied West Haven from a one-run deficit and led the team to a 10-8 victory over the Trojans at Piurek Field.
Nick Flammia is mobbed at home plate after hitting a game-winning homer against Lyman Hall, April 29, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"The kids earned that victory," West Haven coach Ron Luneau said. "We were down twice during the game and we came back. The kids proved their mental toughness today."
Trailing 8-7 after Lyman Hall took the lead with four runs in the sixth, West Haven provided the game-winning rally in the seventh.
Brett Gradoia started the rally with a single and Mario Kiaunis followed with another single to the left side to put a pair of runners on. After Dom Cambino bunted into a fielder's choice, Flammia laced a long homer to left, scoring Kiaunis and Cambino for the 10-8 win.
The long ball by Flammia capped a day which saw both teams combine for 29 hits. The day also saw each team take the lead,only to struggle to hold on to it.
West Haven celebrates a run against Lyman Hall, April 29, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Trailing 4-0 after Lyman Hall scored three times in the first and another in the second, West Haven evened the game with four runs in the third.
Dom Cambino led off with a single, Tim McCarthy hit a one-out single to right, and Sean Jefferson followed with another single to right to score Dom Cambino.
With two outs, Ty Reeves reached on an error to score McCarthy, and John Cambino singled to load the bases. Gradoia followed with a double to plate Jefferson and Reeves to even the game at four.
The Westies (6-4) took a 7-4 lead with three runs in the fourth. Dom Cambino started the rally with a walk, Flammia singled to left and both advanced on McCarthy's grounder to first. Jefferson followed with a single to score Dom Cambino and Flammia for a 6-4 advantage. After Mike Vitolo and Reeves singled, West Haven led 7-4.
Flammia led the West Haven offense with three hits, three runs batted in, and two runs scored. McCarthy and Jefferson each had a pair of hits, with Jefferson driving in three and each scoring once.
Gradoia also had two hits and two runs batted in, while Dom Cambino scored three times.
Flammia also picked up the victory, tossing 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.