THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS
Three runs in seventh helps Westies beat Guilford
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 6, 2011) – Just call them the Comeback Kids. The West Haven baseball team added another comeback to its resume Friday afternoon as it defeated Guilford 4-3 at Piurek Field.
For the fifth time this season, West Haven was either down or trailed late in the game and rallied for the victory. Friday afternoon’s contest was just as exciting as the Westies were down to their last two strikes, trailing by two runs and rallied for the victory.
Tom Spencer’s single to right scored Wes Gambardella with the winning run as Gambardella narrowly avoided the tag of Guilford catcher Chris Stockmann. The hit by Spencer capped a three-run, two-out rally as West Haven improved to 9-4 on the season.
“This was a big game for us,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “It is big for the SCC. We want to qualify for the tournament. We did not play well but we were resilient.
“It came down to the last pitch again but we found a way to win. We did not play our best. But a sign of a good team is not playing your best and finding a way to win.”
West Haven entered the seventh inning trailing 3-1. With one out, Bobby Moretti hit a pinch-hit single to center to start the rally.
“Bobby Moretti had the big hit,” Anquillare said. “His was the key hit. Matt Gagne made some hard contact and we kept the inning going.”
Tyler Gambardella hit a fly ball to left for the second out before Matt Gagne’s single just got by second baseman Benjamin Monte. Wes Gambardella then drilled Guilford pitcher Nick Rubino’s pitch to the gap in left center, scoring Moretti and Gagne to even the game at three, setting up Spencer’s heroics.
“We left opportunity after opportunity out there,” Anquillare said. “We did not get a clutch hit. I think the layoff hurt us at the plate. We did not get many quality swings. We were also not disciplined at the plate.”
Rubino stifled the Westies from the start. The freshman pitcher got Spencer on a ground ball to shortstop to strand Eric Stone at second in the first inning and struck out Tyler Gambardella with runners on the corners and two outs in the second.
West Haven finally broke through in the third inning. Gagne led off with a single, moved to third on Spencer’s two-out single and scored when Rubino balked.
Rubino settled down and had West Haven off balance. The Guilford pitcher allowed just one base runner over the next three innings before the seventh inning rally by the Westies.
While Rubino was mowing down the Westies, Guilford scored three times in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead.
Jake Battipaglia and Mike Juliano opened the inning with singles off West Haven starter Jeremy Soule. Soule got the next two outs before J.P. Peters doubled to right for a 2-1 lead.
Soule appeared out of the inning when he got Will Stitillis on a grounder to third but Alex Palmieri’s error kept the inning alive. The error would prove costly as Monte singled to left to score Peters for a 3-1 lead.
“When the chips were down, we bounced back,” Anquillare said.
Rubino allowed eight hits, struck out five and walked three in the loss. Soule pitched a complete-game for West Haven, allowing six hits, striking out five and walking one.
Gagne and Spencer each finished with two hits for the Westies. Juliano and Monte each had two hits for the Indians.
Westies defeat Xavier 7-4
By MIKE MADERA
(May 7, 2011) - The last time West Haven played Xavier three weeks ago, the Westies were sloppy from start to finish. Looking to avenge the earlier loss, the Westies traveled to Palmer Field Saturday afternoon.
Behind the offense of Matt Gagne, the pitching of Bobby Moretti and Eric Stone and some solid defense, the Westies defeated the Falcons 7-4. The victory was West Haven’s fifth in a row and improved West Haven’s record to 10-4.
“It is a big win on the road against a team which dominated us before,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “We were able to bang out some hits and we played very good defense. Bobby Moretti settled down after a rough first inning and allowed only three hits over the last five innings.”
West Haven broke a 4-4 tie with three runs in the sixth inning after the Falcons knotted the contest with a run in the fifth inning. Gagne, who reached base four times with three walks and a single, started the sixth inning rally with a single.
Wes Gambardella doubled to put a pair of runners in scoring position and Stone followed with a single to right to score Gagne. Stone went to second on the throw to again put a pair of runners in scoring position for the Westties.
Tom Spencer followed with a single to right off Matt Albanese to score Gambardella. Taylor Serrano relieved Albanese and Moretti promptly greeted the new pitcher with a sacrifice fly to score Stone for a 7-4 lead.
“Again, we were resilient,” Anquillare said. “We came back to tie the game in the second, and after they tied it in the fifth, we came right back in the top of the inning. We were resilient and were able to bounce back. We changed the momentum of the game.”
With a three-run lead, Moretti was able to get the first out in the sixth inning but then issued a one-out walk. Anquillare brought in Stone who got out of the inning, then used a Gagne double play in the seventh to seal the victory.
“We brought in Eric to put the game away,” Anquillare said. “That was big. He came in throwing strikes. The big one was the ground ball up the middle that Matt (Gagne) turned into a double play.”
West Haven jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Gagne walked to open the game against Tyler Cardi, Stone followed with an infield single with one out and Spencer walked to load the bases.
A sacrifice fly and an error on a ball hit by Moretti scored Gagne and another sacrifice fly by Mike Binkowski scored Stone for a 2-0 lead.
Xavier answered with three runs in the bottom of the first off Moretti but the Westies responded in the second. Cameron Stone led off with a walk and Gagne followed one out later with another walk.
Albanese relieved Cardi and got Gambardella on a pop up but Eric Stone reached on an error, allowing Cameron Stone to score to even the game at three.
The Westies took a 4-3 lead in the fourth with Cameron Stone again starting the rally with a single. Gagne walked for the third time with one out and Gambardella was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Albanese walked Eric Stone to force in Cameron Stone for a 4-3 lead.
“We are a different team than we were three weeks ago,” Anquillare said. “We showed it. Matt Gagne was on base four out of five times. He was the catalyst with his speed. He was able to get on base.”
Stone led West Haven with a pair of runs batted in.
Westies defeat Green Knights
Six-run fourth key to victory
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 9, 2011) – The last time West Haven and Notre Dame met, the Green Knights used a late rally to stun the Westies. Looking to avenge that loss, the Westies would need a solid performance across the board Monday afternoon.
While the Westies were sloppy at times, they put up six runs in the fourth inning and defeated the Green Knights 6-5 at Quigley Stadium. The win was West Haven’s sixth in a row and helped West Haven improve to 11-4 on the season.
“It was a big win for us,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “We were able to jump out to a nice lead. We strung together some big two-out hits. Fortunately, we were able to hold on.”
The win did not come easily for the Westies as starting pitcher Cameron Stone had to work out of a seventh inning jam. After retiring Greg Zullo, Stone gave up a triple to Michael Panza and a sacrifice fly to Christian Baglini to cut the deficit to one.
The last out proved hard to get as pinch-hitter Brandon Wynne reached on an infield single, Sean Goldrich singled to center and Jacob DeRosa walked to load the bases. Stone got out of the jam when he got Matt Elia on a grounder back to the mound to end the game.
Stone pitched a complete game, striking out nine. The West Haven sophomore allowed six hits, walked four and gave up four earned runs.
“He (Cameron Stone) was outstanding,” Anquillare said. “He showed his composure in his first varsity start. He threw two innings before this start. He came out and trusted his stuff. He mixed his pitches well and threw them for strikes.”
Trailing 1-0 and having squandered scoring chances in each of the first three innings, the Westies finally broke through in the fourth inning against Zullo. West Haven sent 11 batters to the plate, taking advantage of five hits, a walk, an error and a hit batter to score six times.
Bobby Moretti started the rally with a walk, moved to second when Baglini committed an error at short and moved to third when J.P. Withington was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Zullo got the first out when Alex Palmieri hit a fly ball to right but was not as fortunate with Stone.
Stone helped himself with a double to left, scoring Moretti and Mike Binkowski for a 2-1 lead. A wild pitch by Zullo scored Withington and Wes Gambardella’s single to center brought home Stone.
Eric Stone followed with a single to right and Tom Spencer’s single brought home Gambardella. Moretti, who started the inning, followed with West Haven’s fifth hit of the inning to score Eric Stone for a 6-1 lead.
“We were very patient at the plate,” Anquillare said. “We had a little different approach. We had some good two-out hitting. That was the difference in the game.”
West Haven needed those runs as Notre Dame immediately answered in the fourth. After scoring in the second on a pair of West Haven errors, Notre Dame picked up its first hit of the game in the fourth and scored three times.
Goldrich opened the inning with an infield single and moved to third when DeRosa singled to left and the ball got by Gambardella to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Cameron Stone got the next two outs but Griffin Garabedian doubled to plate two runs and Zullo followed with a double to left, scoring Garabedian to cut the deficit to 6-4.
“He (Cameron Stone) showed his composure on the mound,” Anquillare said. “A young kid may have been rattled but not him. He worked his way out of it.”
West Haven had runners on base in every inning, including two more in the fifth but could not capitalize. Only Cameron Stone’s gritty performance in the seventh prevented those missed opportunities from hurting the Westies.
West Haven had chances to score off Zullo from the start but never capitalized. Matt Gagne led off the game with a double in the first but never moved off second, Binkowski singled to open the second but got only as far as third base and Gambardella was stranded at second after doubling with one out in the third.
“We had a lot of opportunities but did not capitalize,” Anquillare said. “We could have put across more runs.”
Gambardella, Spencer and Cameron Stone each had a pair of hits for the Westies. Cameron Stone drove in a pair in the victory.
Goldrich led Notre Dame with two hits in the loss.
Prep ends West Haven winning streak
Jesuits take advantage of sloppy Westies
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 11, 2011) - Coming off impressive road victories against Xavier and cross-town rival Notre Dame and having won six games in a row, the West Haven baseball team was in position to grab a spot in the upcoming Southern Connecticut Conference tournament. Facing a scrappy Fairfield Prep team, the Westies knew they would be in for a battle.
That battle never materialized as the Westies squandered numerous scoring opportunities, were sloppy in the field and did not come up with the big pitches as the Jesuits defeated West Haven 6-1 at Piurek Field Wednesday afternoon. The loss drops West Haven to 11-5 overall and 3-4 in the Quinnipiac Division.
“We did not play well in one facet of the game,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “We were outhit, our defense was horrendous and we were outpitched. We played some big games in the past week. We just did not have a good day.”
West Haven would see a sign of things to come right from the beginning of the game. Matt Gagne led off the game with a double and moved to third on Wes Gambardella’s single.
Both runners were stranded as Fairfield Prep’s Anthony Redamonti struck out Eric Stone and Tom Spencer and got Bobby Moretti on a fly ball to right.
The Jesuits responded in the second inning with an unearned run as Alex Heiman reached on an error by Stone, moved to second on Kevin Sinclair’s sacrifice and kept running to third when no one covered the base. Max Araya’s grounder to second scored Heiman with the first of five unearned runs on the day for the Jesuits.
“We gave them a lot of runs,” Anquillare said after his team committed three errors.
The Westies had another golden scoring opportunity in the second, loading the bases with two outs on singles by Cameron Stone and Tyler Gambardella and a walk to Gagne. The threat ended when Wes Gambardella grounded to Heiman at short for a fielder’s choice.
After another missed scoring opportunity in the third, West Haven’s defense let Eric Stone down in the fourth inning. Redamonti led off with a double and moved to third on Heiman’s sacrifice.
Sinclair then bounced back to the mound where Eric Stone had Redamonti caught off third. Eric Stone fired a perfect throw to third to nail Redamonti but the throw was dropped by Alex Palmieri to put the runners on the corners with one out.
That play would loom large as Araya grounded out to second to put two runners in scoring position. Instead of the inning being over, Mike Smeriglio followed with a single to center, scoring Redamonti and Sinclair for a 3-0 lead.
“Eric did exactly what he was supposed to do,” Anquillare said. “We had him dead and we drop the ball. Those are the plays you have to make. We gave up five unearned runs. We had four errors against Notre Dame. In our last two games, our defense has been terrible.”
The Jesuits pulled away in the fifth with a quick run. Ryan Wright led off with a single, stole second and scored on C.J. Donohue’s single for a 4-0 lead.
West Haven responded in the bottom of the inning but also wasted a golden opportunity to get back in the game. Gagne and Wes Gambardella opened the inning with walks against Redamonti and Spencer loaded the bases with a one-out single.
Moretti could not bring Gagne home as he hit a shallow fly ball to right but Gagne scored on a wild pitch by Redamonti. With runners on second and third and a chance to get within a run, Mike Binkowski hit a fly ball to center to end the threat.
“The clutch hitting was missing,” Anquillare said. “There was not one thing we did well. We did not show up.”
The Jesuits put the game away against Eric Stone in the seventh, scoring twice. With two outs, Wright reached and advanced to second on Gagne’s error and scored on Donohue’s single.
Matt D’Ambrisi followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position before Eric Stone intentionally walked Redamonti. The move would backfire as Heiman’s infield hit gave the Jesuits a 6-1 lead.
Redamonti pitched a gem. He allowed only six hits, struck out four and walked four. Stone allowed only one earned run, striking out three and walking one in the loss.
Westies fall to Hamden
By MIKE MADERA
(May 13, 2011) – The West Haven baseball team entered Friday afternoon’s game against Hamden with everything to play for, including a possible home game and a berth in the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament. Hamden, on the other hand, was playing out the season with no chance of playing in the postseason.
Hamden (4-13) is the type of team playoff teams need to fear this time of year. With nothing to lose, Hamden played loosely and rebounded from an early deficit to defeat the Westies 6-5 at Hamden High.
The loss dropped West Haven’s record to 11-6 overall and 3-5 in the Quinnipiac Division. While the loss damaged West Haven’s playoff possibilities, it was the effort which bothered coach Mike Anquillare.
“I am disappointed,” Anquillare said. “To go from playing so well for about a week and a half, to playing like we did, is disappointing and unacceptable. There was a lot on the line and we did not respond.”
West Haven took a 4-0 lead in the game off Hamden starter Don Pfeiffer in the first inning. Wes Gambardella singled with one out, Eric Stone doubled and Tom Spencer walked to load the bases.
Bobby Moretti then came up with a clutch hit. His home run to left center gave the Westies a quick 4-0 lead.
“We jumped on them right away then we went to sleep,” Anquillare said. “We got greedy and tried to jack the ball out of the park. That’s not going to happen.”
After Hamden scored twice in the bottom of the inning off Moretti, the Westies went silent. Matt Gagne was stranded in the second after a single and after Moretti doubled and Mike Binkowski singled in the third with two outs, both were left stranded in scoring position when Cameron Stone struck out.
The wasted opportunities proved costly as Hamden scored three times in the third on Tanner Givens’ three-run homer to take a 5-4 lead. The Green Dragons never trailed again.
West Haven had its share of opportunities in the final there innings but never capitalized. In the fifth, Eric Stone tripled with one out but was left stranded as Spencer struck out and Moretti grounded to short.
Hamden added a run in the fifth for a 6-4 lead before Moretti was lifted for Jeremy Soule. Soule was a bright spot as he struck out three of the five batters he faced.
The Westies again showed the resiliency they have had all year when they scored once in the seventh and had the winning runs on base.
Tyler Gambardella started the seventh with a double and scored on Wes Gambardella’s one-out single. After Eric Stone walked and Spencer struck out, Moretti walked to load the bases with West Haven trailing by a run. Pfeiffer escaped without any further damage when he got Binkowski on a fly ball to center to end the game.
“We came back again if that is a bright spot,” Anquillare said. “Jeremy Soule threw the ball well. He struck out three of the five batters he faced.”
Westies lose third in row
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 16, 2011) – Just one week ago, the West Haven baseball team defeated cross-town rival Notre Dame for its sixth straight victory. With five games remaining in the regular season after that contest, the Westies were playing for seeding in the state tournament and for a berth in the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament.
Since that victory, the Westies have dropped three in a row and have looked sloppy in the process. The latest loss came Monday evening when Amity, the No. 2 team in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, rode the pitching of Mike Concato to a 4-2 victory over West Haven at Piurek Field.
“It is not the way you want to close the year,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “We have to get consistency. We have not found that yet. Jeremy (Soule) threw the ball pretty well tonight.”
Again West Haven could not come up with the clutch hits, squandering its scoring chances. The best chance West Haven had to tie the game went by the boards in the sixth inning with careless base running.
Trailing 4-1 entering the sixth inning, Matt Gagne walked and Eric Stone reached on a one-out error by Vin Siena. Tom Spencer followed with a single to score Gagne and put runners on the corners.
With Bobby Moretti at the plate and the tying runs on base, Stone was picked off third base for the second out of the inning. Concato followed by striking out Moretti for the final out of the frame.
“We had the opportunity to do some things there,” Anquillare said. “We were not able to bunt. We always seem to be down runs. We have to start playing ahead.”
West Haven had one final opportunity in the seventh. Gagne walked to start the inning but Concato retired Cameron Stone on a fielder’s choice, struck out Alex Palmieri and ended the game by getting Tyler Gambardella on a pop out to second.
Amity wasted no time getting to West Haven starter Jeremy Soule as the Spartans scored twice in the first inning and never trailed in the game. Nick Baviello led off with a single to right and moved to second on Keith Klebart’s grounder back to Soule.
Siena followed with a triple to right, scoring Baviello for a 1-0 Amity lead. Siena scored on Ted Ballou’s sacrifice fly for the 2-0 advantage.
“We are giving up too many runs in the first inning,” Anquillare said. “That has been very common lately. We settle down after that. But, we need to do a better job with that.”
West Haven cut the deficit in half in the second inning as Moretti doubled to left with one out, moved to third on Mike Binkowski’s grounder to second and scored on a wild pitch.
Needing a quiet inning from Soule in the third, the Westies saw Amity add two more runs for a 4-1 lead. Ballou’s single scored Baviello for a 3-1 Amity lead before Ballou scored later in the inning for a 4-1 Amity advantage.
“That was a key point,” Anquillare said. “We had to shut them down there. Jeremy (Soule) did his job. The defense let him down on two consecutive plays.”
West Haven had an opportunity to get back in the game in the fifth as Binkowski singled to left and was forced on Cameron Stone’s grounder. A balk moved Stone to second, but Concato got Palmieri and Tyler Gambardella to ground out to end the inning.
Binkowski led West Haven with two hits, while Gagne reached twice on a pair of walks.
Westies snap skid
By MIKE MADERA
(May 20, 2011) – After losing three straight games and struggling in all aspects of the game, the rains could not have come at a better time for the West Haven baseball team. Getting three days off from facing opponents, the Westies had time to work on the fundamentals.
Those fundamentals would prove to be big Friday afternoon in New Haven against Wilbur Cross. Using plenty of small ball and riding the pitching of Eric Stone, the Westies defeated Cross 6-0 to get back in the win column.
“It (small ball) really played a part in the game,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said after his team improved to 12-7. “We used plenty of bunts and they put us in position to score. Our bats were a little sluggish but we were able to push across some runs.”
While the West Haven bats were slow to come around, Stone was on his game from the start. The senior had all his pitches working, striking out seven and walking just one. Stone allowed just three hits in the shutout victory.
“Eric was on,” Anquillare said. “He threw all his pitches pretty well. He got better as the game went on. He struck out four in the last three innings. He had all his pitches working.”
West Haven’s offensive struggles continued in the first two innings. The Westies squandered Matt Gagne’s leadoff triple in the first and left the bases loaded in the second.
The struggles would end in the third inning. Mike Binkowski started the rally with a single and moved to third when Wes Gambardella’s sacrifice attempt was thrown away.
With runners on second and third and one out, Binkowski scored on a passed ball for a 1-0 lead. Tom Spencer’s grounder to second scored Gambardella for a 2-0 lead.
“We have been working on it (bunting) in practice,” Anquillare said. “In the beginning of the year, we were outhitting people. We need to get that part of the game going. We were able to get the bunts down and that helped us to win the game.”
The Westies put the game away with two runs in each of the final two innings. Binkowski and Gambardella started the sixth with singles.
After Stone’s sacrifice attempt forced Binkowski at third, an error on a line drive by Spencer allowed Gambardella to score. J.P. Withington’s fielder’s choice later in the inning gave the Westies a 4-0 lead.
West Haven put the game away with two more runs in the seventh. Cameron Stone was hit by a pitch, Gagne walked and Binkowski bunted to put a pair of runners in scoring position.
After Gambardella struck out for the second out, Eric Stone helped himself. The West Haven pitcher doubled to score Cameron Stone and Gagne for the 6-0 lead.
“We needed to get back on track,” Anquillare said. “We dropped three straight and we had the days off. We did enough to get the win.”
Westies paste Panthers
12-run first inning leads to victory in regular season finale
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 21, 2011) – West Haven coach Mike Anquillare was hoping for a productive day Saturday when West Haven hosted Platt Tech in the regular season finale at Piurek Field. While the Westies had won Friday following three days off due to inclement weather, Anquillare was not happy with the offense.
The West Haven coach had no such worries Saturday. West Haven pounded 16 hits, took advantage of 12 walks, scored 12 times in the first inning and cruised to a 21-7 victory over the Panthers.
With the victory, West Haven improved to 13-7 and now waits for its seeding for the state tournament. West Haven gets to prepare for the state tournament as it plays Cheshire in the opening round of the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament Tuesday afternoon.
“We jumped out to an early lead and tacked on after that,” Anquillare said. “We were able to string some hits together. We were patient at the plate. It was a good game as our bats were a little sluggish against Cross.”
West Haven wasted no time showing the offense was ready, sending 16 batters to the plate in the first inning to take a 12-0 lead. The Westies had six hits, drew four walks and also had a hit batter in the inning.
Matt Gagne started the inning with a triple off Platt Tech starter Dylan Noble and Mike Binkowski followed with a walk. Eric Stone laced another triple to deep left to score Gagne and Binkowski for a 2-0 lead.
Tom Spencer walked to put runners on the corners and Wes Gambardella singled to left, scoring Stone. Bobby Moretti reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases and J.P. Withington walked to force in Spencer for a 4-0 lead.
Singles by Alex Palmieri and Tyler Gambardella delivered two more runs and Gagne was hit by a pitch for a 7-0 lead. Binkowski made West Haven’s first out of the inning by lofting a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Palmieri with the eighth run of the inning.
“We had productive at bats today,” Anquillare said.
Eric Stone’s second hit of the inning scored Tyler Gambardella before Spencer had the big blow. Spencer ripped a long home run to center, plating three more runs and giving West Haven a 12-0 lead.
“He (Spencer) hit that ball pretty good,” Anquillare said. “The pitch was up and he supplied the power. That ball had to go over four hundred feet.”
Platt Tech battled back off Moretti in the second as the Westie pitcher walked three in the inning to force in a run. The Panthers added two more runs in the third on two hits, a hit batter and a walk before Moretti was lifted for Cameron Stone.
Cameron Stone got out of the jam by striking out Shawn Murray, setting up another big inning by the Westies. West Haven completely put the game out of reach with another nine runs for a 21-3 lead after three innings.
“He (Cameron Stone) came in and did a good job,” Anquillare said. “He got the one out to get out of the inning. He was pretty good after that.”
Binkowski started the third with a triple, Eric Stone followed with a walk and Spencer reached on an error by John McCall at short to score Binkowski for the first run of the inning. Wes Gambardella walked to load the bases and a wild pitch by Noble and a passed ball scored two more runs.
Gagne singled to center to score Withington, Eric Stone reached on an infield single to score Tyler Gambardella and Gagne scored on Wes Gambardella’s infield single. When Cameron Stone’s single scored his brother Eric, West Haven had a 21-3 lead.
By the time the third inning had ended, West Haven sent 15 batters to the plate and was in complete control. Anquillare had the opportunity to give everyone playing time and those players capitalized as well.
Adam Mink walked and Eric Flores singled in the fourth, Chris Olenick doubled and Jeff Hill walked in the fifth and Alex Soto and Danny Chambrelli each walked in the sixth.
Eric Stone led the West Haven offense with three hits, four runs scored and four runs batted in. Gagne had two hits, scored three runs and drove in a pair and Wes Gambardella had two hits, scored twice and drove in a pair.
Cameron Stone picked up the victory in relief of Moretti, allowing only one hit and striking out three in 3.1 innings of work.
Cheshire beats Westies
Slade pitches gem as Westies fall in first round of SCC
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 25, 2011) – After closing the regular season with a pair of wins, the last thing the West Haven baseball team wanted was a delay to the postseason. Knowing they would be attempting to beat Cheshire for the third time on the season when the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament began, the Westies needed to keep swinging the bats.
Facing Cheshire ace Max Slade in the quarterfinals Wednesday afternoon, the Westies ran into a tough pitcher. Slade stymied the Westies through five innings, then worked his way out of a sixth inning jam as the fifth-seeded Rams upset No. 4 West Haven 5-0 at Yale Field.
“I thought he (Slade) pitched very well,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “The first time against him we banged out nine hits. We only got four today. The bottom line is you have to get the big hit when you need it. We did not do it.”
As the Rams scored twice in each of the fourth and fifth innings, Slade was mowing down the Westies. Slade did not allow his first hit of the game until Bobby Moretti led off the fifth inning with a single over the glove of second baseman Tyler Robertson.
After allowing a two-out single to Cameron Stone to put a pair of runners on, Slade got Matt Gagne on a ground ball to short to end the inning.
Slade’s best work came in the sixth inning. Appearing to leave the ball up in the zone, Slade gave up a single to Mike Binkowski to start the inning and a double to Eric Stone to put a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs.
The Cheshire senior got Tom Spencer to chase three pitches in the dirt for the first out, then got Wes Gambardella on a pop out to short. After walking Moretti to load the bases, Slade got J.P. Withington on a bouncer back to the mound to end the inning.
“We had second and third with no outs,” Anquillare said. “We did not get it done. We did not get that big hit when we needed it.”
The first three innings were a battle on the mound between Eric Stone and Slade. West Haven had the best scoring opportunity early when Cameron Stone reached on a two-out error in the third and Gagne followed with a walk. Slade won the battle as he got Binkowski on a grounder to second to end the frame.
Cheshire broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Dom Severino started the rally with a single down the line in left and scored on Connor David’s double. Matt Jefferis came up with a clutch hit as his two-out single scored Severino for a 2-0 lead.
“Eric kept us in the game early,” Anquillare said. “We did not do enough to win the game.”
The Rams increased the lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning. Matt Croteau reached when his line drive to left to start the inning was misplayed by Wes Gambardella for a double.
Robertson then reached on a bunt single as he attempted to sacrifice and Slade followed with a sacrifice fly to score Croteau. Greg Leonetti plated the second run of the inning when his single to right scored pinch-runner Vikram Lyall for a 4-0 lead.
“They got some key hits,” Anquillare said. “We did not make a couple of plays. The bottom line is it is tough to win with four hits especially when you are not scoring runs.”
Slade tossed a complete game, allowing four hits, striking out six and walking two. Stone also went the distance in the loss, allowing 11 hits.
Matt Gagne looks for a pitch to hit against Max Slade while Mike Binkowski waits on deck in the opening round of the SCC tournament.
Heart and Soule
Senior tosses six-hitter on short notice for first round win
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 31, 2011) – Just two pitches into Tuesday afternoon’s CIAC Class LL first round contest, the West Haven baseball team was thrown a curve ball. Starting pitcher Eric Stone was in obvious discomfort, forcing coach Mike Anquillare to the mound.
With Stone suffering a triceps injury and unable to pitch, Anquillare summoned Jeremy Soule to the hill. The West Haven senior responded in fine fashion, allowing six hits and striking out seven as the 13th-seeded Westies opened the state tournament with a 9-1 victory over No. 20 Norwich Free Academy at Piurek Field.
“You have to give Jeremy Soule a lot of credit,” Anquillare said. “He came in and was firing right from the start. He blew those first two batters away. It was a great job by him.”
Soule set the tone of the game by striking out Austin Trantalis and Joe Paparelli to start the game. The Westies fed off this in the bottom of the inning, scoring twice for a lead they would never relinquish.
Jeremy Soule's effort against NFA helps West Haven advance to second round of CIAC state tournament. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Wes Gambardella started the rally as he reached on a one-out walk and moved to third on Stone’s double to right. After Mike Binkowski was intentionally walked to load the bases, Bobby Moretti walked to force in Gambardella. Tom Spencer followed with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Stone for a 2-0 advantage.
Norwich Free Academy cut the deficit in half on Paparelli’s run-scoring triple in the third, but West Haven put the game away with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Stone, who remained in the game in centerfield, started the rally with a triple to left and scored on Binkowski’s single to right. Binkowski was forced on Moretti’s grounder before Spencer’s double to center scored Moretti and chased Wildcats’ starter Erik Milton in favor of Jake Bochese.
West Haven’s final run of the inning scored on a double steal. With J.P. Withington on first and Spencer on third, Withington took off for second. When the throw by catcher Erik Washburn went all the way through, Spencer scampered home for a 5-1 lead.
“I thought that was a big inning” Anquillare said. “They scored and we came right back and answered. They had the momentum and we took it back.”
West Haven chased Bochese in the fourth inning with four more runs. Gagne and Gambardella reached on one-out infield singles and Stone followed with a single to right, scoring Gagne. Binkowski followed with a double to left, scoring Gambardella and Stone for an 8-1 advantage.
Bochese was replaced by Tim Cote, who was greeted rudely by Moretti. Moretti’s single to left scored Binkowski with the final run of the game.
“We changed the lineup around a bit,” Anquillare said. “We put together some runs. Our main goal today was to score on them quickly. We did that in the first inning.”
The Westies banged out 12 hits against four Wildcats’ pitchers. Seven of the nine batters in the West Haven lineup had hits and all but one of the nine reached base safely in the contest.
Spencer led the offense with three hits and two runs batted in. Stone also had three hits and drove in a run while Binkowski finished with a pair of hits and three runs batted in.
“We adjusted early and got the win,” Anquillare said. “Soule did a nice job. We got some clutch hits and we scored on a play we just put in with the double steal.”
West Haven plays No. 4 Amity Wednesday afternoon. Amity won both meetings of the two teams in the regular season.
Third loss to Amity ends season for Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(June 1, 2011) – The season has come to an end for the West Haven baseball team. A day after watching Jeremy Soule save the season with a gutty effort following an injury to starter Eric Stone, the Westies could not sustain the magic.
Committing errors at key points in the game, West Haven gave up three unearned runs on their way to a 3-1 defeat against Amity in second round action of the CIAC Class LL state tournament in Woodbridge. The Spartans defeated West Haven three times on the season and advanced to the quarterfinals against Cheshire.
“Fourteen wins is pretty good coming from four wins the year before,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said after his team finished the season 14-9. “We would have liked to have gone further but it was not meant to be. Every coach wants to win it all. That’s disappointing. When you look back, fourteen wins is a pretty good year.”
Things did not start well for the Westies as Amity pitcher Mike Concato struck out the side in the first inning and Amity took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. Keith Klebart reached on a one-out error by Matt Gagne and West Haven pitcher Cameron Stone hit Vin Siena.
After Cameron Stone got Ted Ballou to pop out, West Haven had a chance to get out of the inning without any damage. Brian Speer assured that would not happen as he hit a double, scoring Klebart and Siena for a 2-0 lead.
The Westies had their opportunities against Concato but never capitalized. West Haven had runners on in five of the seven innings and left the leadoff man on base in three straight innings.
“We did not get the clutch hit,” Anquillare said, “In three straight innings we left men in scoring position. We just did not get the clutch hit. They did and that was the difference in the game.”
With one out in the second inning, Bobby Moretti singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Cameron Stone’s two-out single to left. The opportunity went by the boards as J.P. Withington grounded to second to end the frame.
After going down in order in the third, West Haven scored its only run off Concato in the fourth. Eric Stone led off with a walk and moved to third on Mike Binkowski’s single.
Moretti hit into a fielder’s choice for the first out but Eric Stone scored to cut the deficit in half. That would be all the Westies would get as Concato sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around a walk to Cameron Stone to end the inning.
“Cameron Stone pitched well enough to win for us,” Anquillare said. “But, I say it all the time. I will take two clutch hits over all the hits any time. They (Amity) got the hits when it counted.”
West Haven had a chance to tie the game in the fifth as Alex Palmieri led off with a single and moved to second on Gagne’s sacrifice. Concato escaped without any damage as he retired Wes Gambardella and Eric Stone to end another West Haven threat.
The Westies’ best chance to tie the game came in the sixth when Binkowski led off with a double. The West Haven catcher was left stranded as Moretti grounded to short, Tom Spencer lined to right and Cameron Stone struck out.
With all the wasted chances, West Haven did not tie the game. Amity took advantage and got an insurance run in the sixth. Adam Kyasky reached on an error by Gagne, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on Sean Butler’s pinch-hit single.
“They played errorless ball,” Anquillare said. “We did not. We had some errors and gave up unearned runs. You can’t do that in the state tournament.
“I thought Cameron was great. He did a nice job holding a quality team like that. I hope that is a glimpse of the future.”
West Haven had one final chance to extend the season in the seventh inning. With two outs, both Gagne and Gambardella singled, but Eric Stone grounded out to end the threat and the season.
Matt Gagne (l.) and Eric Stone (r.) were named to the All-SCC team. Photo courtesy of WHHS.
Please visit Oyster River Petroleum here or call (203) 932-2717
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
Westies stun Rams to open season
Stone, clutch hitting lead Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(April 6, 2011) – West Haven baseball coach Mike Anquillare was looking for his team to make a statement in the season opener against Cheshire. Ranked No. 7 in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, the Westies traveled to Cheshire to take on the No. 2 Rams.
Behind the stellar pitching of Eric Stone and timely hitting throughout the game, the Westies opened the season with a 5-3 victory over the Rams.
“We were fired up for this game,” Anquillare said. “We have been talking about this game for months now. We wanted to come out of the box quickly this year.
“We knew we were playing a top team and wanted to make a statement. We played hard in a big game and grabbed a win against a good team on the road.”
Eric Stone delivers for the Westies against Cheshire. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven came out of the gate quickly and gave Stone a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Westies, who had scoring opportunities in every inning but the sixth, got going early.
Stone helped his own cause with a one-out double to left and scored when Bobby Moretti singled to left off Cheshire ace Max Slade. Mike Binkowski followed with a walk, but Slade got out of further trouble by striking out Wes Gambardella and Tom Spencer.
After the Rams went down quietly in the first, West Haven built another rally in the second but failed to score. J.P. Withington grounded out to start the inning, but Alex Palmieri, Tyler Gambardella and Matt Gagne walked to load the bases.
Slade showed why he will be one of the top pitchers in the state as he refused to give in. The Cheshire ace got Stone to line out to second then struck out Moretti to end the inning.
The Westies took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning with a pair of runs. Tyler Gambardella opened the inning with a single and moved to second on Gagne’s sacrifice.
Stone reached on an error to put runners on the corners before a dropped ball on Binkowski’s fly to right allowed Gambardella and Stone to score for a 3-0 lead.
“We showed some patience at the plate for the entire game as a whole,” Anquillare said after his team banged out nine hits and walked six times. “This was a big test early in the season. Today we answered the bell. The key was we started quickly, scoring in the first, and added on runs.”
West Haven took a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning. Withington started the rally with a walk, moved to second on Slade’s wild pitch and scored on Palmieri’s single.
While the West Haven offense was providing the lead, Stone was cruising through the first five innings, not allowing a hit. That would change in the sixth inning as the Rams scored three times.
Tyler Robertson started the sixth by reaching third when his bunt was thrown into the outfield by catcher Eric Flores. Robertson scored on a wild pitch and Slade followed with a walk.
Stone allowed his first hit of the game to Matthew Jefferis to put a pair of runners on, then allowed a single to Dom Severino to score Slade and cut the deficit to 4-2. When a passed ball allowed Jefferis to score and cut the deficit for the Rams to 4-3, Stone appeared to be in trouble.
The Westie senior showed his poise by getting out of the inning with no further damage. Stone got two ground ball outs to leave Severino in scoring position.
“He (Stone) was really lights out for five innings,” Anquillare said. “He had all his pitches working but he got into a little bit of trouble in the sixth.
“That is where he showed his composure. With one out and a man on second, he got two ground ball outs. He held his composure and retired them in order in the seventh.”
Stone’s line in his first game since his sophomore season because of a knee injury was impressive. The senior allowed three runs, one of which was earned, on two hits in seven innings of work. Stone struck out six and walked one.
After Stone preserved the lead in the sixth, West Haven added an insurance run in the seventh. Spencer and Withington doubled to put a pair of runners in scoring position before Palmieri’s single scored the insurance run.
“To go on the road and face a caliber team like Cheshire and grab the win says a lot,” Anquillare said. “It was a good statement game for us to put ourselves back on the map.”
The Westies dedicated the game to assistant coach Shane Russell, who had just left the hospital with a medical condition. Russell was given the game ball at his home by the entire team immediately following the game.
Moretti stuns Easties
Delivers game-winning double in seventh
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (April 8, 2011) – West Haven baseball coach Mike Anquillare felt the start of the season would be key for his team. With lofty expectations, a quick start to the season would be important despite playing tough competition.
Two games in, the Westies have shown they will be a tough team to beat throughout the season. After defeating a talented Cheshire team in the opener, West Haven used some late-inning dramatics to defeat East Haven 4-3 in the home opener at Piurek Field Friday afternoon.
Trailing 3-2 and down to their last strike in the seventh inning, the Westies shocked East Haven as Bobby Moretti’s double scored a pair of runs.
“It was a good win for us,” Anquillare said. “It is something we have been doing in scrimmages. We have been scoring with two outs.
“I thought it was a good rebound win for us. We came out a little flat coming off a big Cheshire win. I thought the kids did a nice job. We got a couple of clutch hits when we needed them.”
Trailing 3-2 entering the home half of the seventh inning, the Westies staged a rally. Eric Flores led off the seventh against East Haven starting pitcher Nick Lamberti with a walk but was forced at second on a Tyler Gambardella grounder.
With Gambardella running, Matt Gagne grounded out, moving Gambardella to third. Eric Stone followed with a walk to put runners on the corners and Stone then stole second to put runners on second and third, setting up Moretti’s heroics.
Lamberti got ahead of Moretti with the first two strikes, but Moretti did not falter. The sophomore worked the count full then laced a double to left, scoring Gambardella and Stone for the win.
“We are a pretty resilient group,” Anquillare said. “We have a never-say-die attitude. We took it down to the last pitch. It was a big hit by Bobby.”
The Westies rebounded from a 3-0 deficit with two runs in the fifth. J.P. Withington and Alex Palmieri started the rally with walks before a fly out by Flores moved Withington to third.
Gambardella’s fielder’s choice scored Withington with the first run and Gagne’s single scored Palmieri to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The rally helped West Haven pitcher Jeremy Soule as the senior struggled in just the fourth inning, giving up three runs. Soule gave up a run-scoring single to Mike Anastasio, then a pair of walks, including the second to Tom Brunski, helped contribute to two more runs for a 3-0 East Haven lead.
Soule was solid other than the fourth inning. He finished by going the distance, allowing five hits, striking out six and walking five.
“I thought Jeremy was good,” Anquillare said. “He had one rough inning. He scattered a couple of hits and they did not threaten much after the third. He hurt himself with some walks. Our defense played well behind him.”
Lamberti also pitched well for East Haven. Lamberti allowed four hits, struck out five and walked three in the loss.
Quick start leads Westies past Platt Tech
Eight runs in first help Westies start season 3-0
By MIKE MADERA
(April 9, 2011) - Looking to sweep the first week of the season, the West Haven baseball team traveled to Milford Saturday afternoon to battle Platt Tech. The Westies had opened the season with an upset victory over Cheshire and a thrilling victory against East Haven a short few hours earlier.
Wanting to avoid a letdown, the Westies came out swinging, scoring eight times in the first inning off Platt Tech pitcher John McCall, to roll to a 17-4 victory. West Haven sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning, capitalizing on a pair of walks and a handful of hits, and never looked back to improve to 3-0 on the season.
“I thought the key was we jumped on them early,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “That set the tone. We were patient at the plate and we worked some walks. We got a couple of clutch hits and some early runs and I think that allowed (Alex) Soto to relax.”
Anquillare was referring to starting pitcher Alex Soto (1-0), who threw five innings, allowing all four Platt Tech runs. Soto, a junior, left with his team leading by twelve runs, giving way to Jeff Hill for the final two shutout innings.
“Our goal was to sweep the week," Anquillare said. “We are talking it one game at a time. We went in with a chance to sweep and you could not ask for a better situation, especially playing three times in four days.
“It (letdown) did not enter my mind, especially playing on the road. We had such an emotional game Friday and did not have too much time to enjoy it. The game ended at six or seven and we are right back on the field.”
West Haven made sure the game was not as exciting as their first two contests of the year. After failing to score in the second and third innings, the Westies sent ten batters to the plate in the fourth inning, scoring six times for a 14-0 lead.
The Westies added two more runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth for the thorough victory.
“I think we have been a very resilient team,” Anquillare said. “We have bounced back in our games, especially East Haven where we were down 3-0, got two runs to get back into it and finished it in the seventh.
“Against Cheshire, we were up 4-0, they get three back and we answered with a run. We were able to answer each time.”
The Westies pounded out 17 hits in the game. Cameron Stone and Tom Spencer led the offense with three hits apiece. Stone also drove in four runs and scored twice.
Matt Gagne, J.P. Withington, Mike Binkowski and Eric Stone each had two hits in the victory. Gagne and Withington also drove in three runs apiece.
Westies suffer first loss of season
Mistakes hurt as West Haven falls to Amity
By MIKE MADERA
(April 11, 2011) - After winning all three games in the first week of the season, the West Haven baseball team looked to keep the momentum going as the second week of the season began. Traveling to Woodbridge to play perennial power Amity, the Westies knew they would have to have their hitting shoes on.
While the Westies banged out 13 hits, mistakes on the base paths and a lack of execution helped contribute to West Haven's first loss of the season. West Haven and starter Bobby Moretti fell behind early and had to rally before falling to the Spartans 8-5.
“We banged out thirteen hits off a very good pitcher (E.J. Ashworth),” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said after his team fell to 3-1. “We were very resilient and came back.
“But, I thought we made a lot of mistakes. We made some big base running mistakes and mistakes with the bunting game. That is not characteristic of what we do. We hurt ourselves.”
Amity jumped on Moretti early, scoring three times in the first inning. Vin Siena started the rally with a home run and Nick Baviello doubled. When Mark Esposito doubled, the Spartans had a 2-0 lead. Esposito scored on a grounder to give Amity a 3-0 lead after one inning.
With Ashworth on the mound, Amity was in a good position until the third inning. The Westies showed that early resiliency as they battled but could not push across a run.
Wes Gambardella started the third with a single but was caught off first on Alex Palmieri’s fly to right. That mistake would hurt as singles by Cameron Stone and Matt Gagne went for naught.
The Westies kept battling as they knotted the game with three runs in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs, Tom Spencer doubled and scored on a J.P. Withington single.
Gambardella followed with a single to put runners on first and second before Palmieri delivered the big blow. Palmieri’s hit scored Withington and Gambardella to knot the game at three.
“I thought we battled,” Anquillare said. “Alex (Palmieri) had a big hit there.”
Amity wasted no time taking the lead once again off Moretti in the bottom of the inning as three hits and a fielder’s choice gave Amity a 4-3 lead.
West Haven again came back in the fifth off Ashworth. Two-out singles by Moretti and Mike Binkowski had a pair of runners on but Spencer grounded to third to end the threat.
Amity put the game away in the bottom of the inning, scoring three times for a 7-3 lead. Baviello started the rally with a double, Esposito was hit by a pitch and Ted Ballou delivered a sacrifice to advance the runners. Singles by Brian Speer and Adam Kyasky delivered the final runs of the inning.
“I thought Bobby’s ball was up,” Anquillare said of Moretti. “They jumped right on him. You have to give them credit. It was 3-0 before we got out of the first inning. We had to climb out of a hole from the start.”
West Haven had another chance to cut into the deficit in the sixth inning. Gambardella doubled but the Westies could not get the clutch hit to drive him in.
“We could not get the big hit to go ahead,” Anquillare said. “We got thirteen hits. You hope to put up more runs.”
The Spartans added an insurance run in the sixth inning off Cameron Stone. Siena doubled and scored on a pair of wild pitches to extend the lead to 8-3.
West Haven rallied in the seventh but came up short after scoring two runs. Gagne singled and scored on Eric Stone’s triple to cut the deficit in half. Moretti delivered Eric Stone with a sacrifice fly and Binkowski reached on an error but Amity turned a double play on Spencer to end any hopes of a West Haven rally.
“You always want to win them all,” Anquillare said. “I was pleased with the offense. The defense was so-so and the base running was not good. I was happy with some parts. I was happy with the offense but we can still use some more clutch hitting.”
Gambardella led West Haven with three hits, while Gagne and Spencer each had a pair. Ashworth struck out five and did not walk a batter for the Spartans.
Stone gets Westies back on track
Three-hitter leads Westies over Cross
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (April 14, 2011) – Following the first loss of the season against Amity, the West Haven baseball team had hoped to get back on the field quickly. With the weather not cooperating, the Westies had to wait three days before playing again.
That rest may have been just what the Westies needed as they pounded 10 hits and rode the pitching of Eric Stone to a 7-1 victory over Wilbur Cross Thursday afternoon at Piurek Field. Stone allowed just three hits and struck out nine, helping the Westies improve to 4-1 on the year.
“I thought he (Stone) pitched well,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “I thought he had pretty good stuff. His fastball had pretty good pop. He was throwing a no-hitter into the sixth.”
Stone walked three batters in the game, two coming in the first inning, but Stone escaped the first by getting Aaron Berkowitz to bounce into a double play. West Haven’s offense then got going.
Stone helped his own cause in the bottom of the first with a double to left. Bobby Moretti followed with a single to score Stone but Moretti was out trying to go to second.
The Westies took a 2-0 lead with a run in the second. Tom Spencer started the rally as he was hit by a pitch and moved to second on J.P. Withington’s sacrifice.
After Wes Gambardella popped out for the second out, Alex Palmieri came up with another clutch hit. Palmieri’s two-out single scored Spencer for a 2-0 lead.
“We swung the bats well,” Anquillare said. “Alex Palmieri had a big two-out single. That’s his second in two games. He had a big one against Amity. He has had some big hits so far this year.”
Stone pitched to just two batters over the minimum through five innings. He was given some insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth when West Haven took a 4-0 lead.
Matt Gagne started the rally with a bunt single to third and Stone singled to left. Moretti followed with a liner to third for the first out but Cross’ Jamie Rodriguez threw the ball to right trying to double off Gagne.
Gagne scored on the play and Stone advanced to third. After Mike Binkowski walked, Spencer singled to center, scoring Stone for a 4-0 lead.
Cross finally got to Stone in the sixth inning. A pair of infield hits and a bloop single broke the shutout and put the Governors back in the game at 4-1.
West Haven answered in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs. Tyler Gambardella started the rally with a walk, Gagne was hit by a pitch and Berkowitz, who had just come on to relieve starter Charlie Padilla, walked Stone to load the bases.
Moretti doubled to right to score Tyler Gambardella and Gagne and Binkowski’s grounder to second scored Stone for a 7-1 lead.
“We answered in the sixth,” Anquillare said. “We have been doing that well. We have scored with two outs. We have been answering pretty well.
“The big key was it was 4-1 in the sixth and they had runners on first and third and Matt (Gagne) made a nice play on the pop up. We came back and answered with a couple of runs.”
Stone also led the offense, reaching base all four times with two doubles, a single and a walk. Moretti added a single and a double and drove in a pair and Palmieri also singled, doubled and drove in one run.
Eric Stone tosses three-hitter in victory over Cross. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Falcons upset West Haven
Battle of Top Ten teams goes to Xavier
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (April 18, 2011) – Monday afternoon’s Southern Connecticut Conference clash between Xavier-Middletown and West Haven was expected to be a tight match, dominated by pitching and defense. That never happened.
With the two teams combining to score in every inning but the second, Xavier, the No. 7 team in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, defeated No. 3 West Haven 11-6 at Piurek Field.
“At this point, this was the worst game we have played all year,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “It was poorly played. We did not do much right.”
The Falcons never let West Haven (4-2) get comfortable, breaking a 1-1 tie in the third with a pair of runs and icing the contest with five more in the fifth. West Haven pitcher Jeremy Soule did not make it out of the fifth inning, allowing eight runs in the game.
Soule was lifted with one out in the fifth inning as Xavier threatened to break the game open. Soule allowed nine hits, struck out four and walked three.
“He (Soule) was behind almost every batter,” Anquillare said. “We did not play well behind him either.”
Xavier jumped on Soule early as Brett Madore hit a one-out triple in the first inning and scored on Lou Iannotti’s single. Soule worked out of a one-out jam with two on but could not work out of many more jams in the contest.
West Haven evened the game in the bottom of the inning as Matt Gagne led off with a walk and stole second. After Eric Stone and Bobby Moretti struck out, Mike Binkowski doubled to left, scoring Gagne to even the contest at one.
“We have been doing that all year,” Anquillare said. “We have been able to rebound. But, we made way too many errors. We made a lot of mental errors with stuff we continually go over in practice.”
The Falcons took the lead for good in the third inning, scoring twice. Soule opened the inning by walking Matt Burns and Madore.
Burns attempted to steal third and scored when West Haven catcher Eric Flores’ throw sailed into left field. Nick Chapman’s single scored Madore, giving Xavier a 3-1 lead.
The Falcons took a 4-1 lead in the fourth on Burns’ infield single. Looking to stay in the game, West Haven battled back in the bottom of the inning.
Tom Spencer doubled off the fence in center with two outs and scored on J.P. Withington’s single to left to cut the deficit to 4-2. Withington went to second on the throw but was left stranded when Alex Palmieri hit a fly ball to right to end the inning.
“We have gotten some big hits but we are still leaving way too many guys on base,” Anquillare said. “We are getting a lot of hits but not a lot at the right time.”
Xavier put the game out of reach in the fifth, putting five runs on the board. Iannotti led off with a single and went to second when the ball skipped past Eric Stone in left. Tom Lanzoni was hit by a pitch and Chapman reached on a bunt single to load the bases.
Steve Lockman delivered the first run of the inning with a fielder’s choice grounder and Jack Finnegan’s double to right scored Lanzoni and Lockman and knocked out Soule. Cameron Stone relieved Soule and gave up a run-scoring triple to Pat Colavecchio.
“We had walks and missed plays,” Anquillare said of the deciding fifth inning. “It was a complete disaster. That was the game right there. We had just come back with a run in the fourth. You can’t walk the first two guys in the inning.”
Trailing 9-2, West Haven tried to get back in the game in the bottom of the inning. Flores led off with a double, Tyler Gambardella singled and Gagne walked to load the bases.
Stone scored Flores with a fielder’s choice grounder, but any hopes of a big inning went by the boards when Xavier pitcher Troy DeLeon struck out Moretti and Binkowski to end the frame.
West Haven scored its final three runs in the seventh inning. Wes Gambardella and Gagne led off with singles and Eric Stone walked to load the bases. Moretti’s sacrifice fly scored Wes Gambardella, Binkowski’s grounder scored Gagne and Spencer’s single scored Eric Stone.
Spencer and Withington led West Haven as each had two hits and a run batted in. Chapman led Xavier’s 15-hit attack with three hits.
Westies score six in fifth inning to defeat Indians
By MIKE MADERA
(April 20, 2011) - Having a week off from school worries high school coaches. Most coaches feel their teams are out of the rhythm used during a normal week.
For West Haven baseball coach Mike Anquillare and his team, Wednesday's noon start time had an effect on the Westies. Trailing by four runs through four innings and not mustering any offense, the Westies awakened in the fifth, scoring six times to defeat Guilford 9-5.
“We were down early,” Anquillare said after his team improved to 5-2. “Before we recorded one out, we were down 3-0. We made a couple of big plays defensively when we were not scoring.”
After sending 11 batters to the plate in the fifth, West Haven followed by scoring three more times in the sixth to pull away from the Indians. Until the fifth inning, Guilford was in prime position to upset West Haven, the No. 3 team in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll.
The Indians took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on Mike Juliano's run-scoring double and Kyle Hart's two-run home run against West Haven starter Bobby Moretti. After West Haven's J.P. Withington was thrown out at the plate in the top of the fourth, Guilford extended the lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the inning on Benjamin Monte's run-scoring single.
“One of the big momentum turnarounds was J.P. (Withington) got thrown out at the plate on Wes Gambardella’s base hit in the top of the fourth and they scored in the bottom of the inning. It did not affect us one bit. We answered right after that.”
Stifled by Guilford sophomore pitcher Jake Hull over the first four innings, the Westies woke up in the fifth, sending 11 batters to the plate. Four hits, three walks and a hit batter later, West Haven led 6-4.
Alex Palmieri led off the fifth getting hit by a Hull pitch, Eric Flores singled to center and Matt Gagne walked to load the bases. Hull's third walk of the game ended his day and brought in Connor McGinley.
McGinley promptly got the first out on a grounder by Eric Stone to score Palmieri, but Moretti followed with a single to score Flores and put runners on the corners. Mike Binkowski cut the deficit to one when his double scored Gagne and put a pair of runners in scoring position.
Adam Mink ran for Moretti and scored on a wild pitch before Tom Spencer walked to again put runners on the corners. Kevin Knapp relieved McGinley and promptly walked Withington to load the bases.
Wes Gambardella then came up with one of the bigger hits of the game. Gambardella's single scored Binkowski and Spencer to give the Westies a 6-4 lead. Knapp retired the next two batters but the six-run inning had all the momentum on West Haven's side.
“We were able to string together some hits,” Anquillare said. “We got some clutch hits. Wes Gambardella had a great day with three hits and four runs batted in. We swung the bats well.”
Before West Haven could tack on to the lead in the sixth, Cameron Stone started a key double play to get West Haven out of a jam in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded following singles by Ryder Miconi and Hart and a walk to Jacob Battipaglia, Chris Stockmann looked to tie the game. Stockmann's ground ball was turned into an inning-ending double play by Cameron Stone to preserve the lead.
“That was a big play,” Anquillare said of Stone.
West Haven extended the lead to 9-4 in the sixth with three more runs. Eric Stone started the rally with a one-out double, moved to third on Moretti's single and scored on a single by Binkowski.
After Hart struck out Spencer in relief, he walked Withington to load the bases. Gambardella followed with a bloop double to right, scoring Moretti and Binkowski for a 9-4 lead.
“We extended the lead to get a little breathing room,” Anquillare said. “We were able to hold on there. Wes got a big hit again.
“It was a good comeback win. We were not doing anything but we settled in. It was a nice comeback.”
Guilford put together one last rally in the seventh. Singles by Miconi and Battipaglia started the frame and Hart walked with one out to load the bases.
Anquillare had seen enough and brought in Eric Stone, who was scheduled to pitch Thursday against cross-town rival Notre Dame.
Stone needed just 12 pitches to close the contest. After walking Stockmann to force in a run, Stone got both Will Stitilis and J.P. Peters to ground back to the mound to end the game.
Gambardella led West Haven with three hits and four runs batted in. Binkowski and Moretti each had a pair of hits.
Moretti picked up the win, allowing eight hits and five runs.
Four walks in sixth help ND past Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(April 21, 2011) – Thursday afternoon’s battle between cross-town rivals Notre Dame and West Haven was expected to be a low-scoring affair, highlighted by the pitching of aces Gary Flowers and Eric Stone. While the game lived up to the hype, it was the defense of both teams and a decisive sixth inning which determined the outcome of the contest.
Notre Dame capitalized on four walks by Stone in the sixth inning, scoring three times on just one hit, as the Green Knights, ranked No. 10 in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, defeated No. 3 West Haven 5-4 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac Division game at Piurek Field.
“Up to that point, he (Stone) was great,” Anquillare said of his starting pitcher. “Our defense let him down early in the game. We gave them the first run when we threw the ball away and the second one we missed a chance to knock the ball down.
“They had six, seven and eight coming up and he walked the first guy. He just lost the plate. They get a bloop single and a pop fly and they have their runs. It was a long inning.”
West Haven led 4-2 heading into the sixth inning, before Stone lost his control. The senior pitcher walked four in the inning, including the tying run as Notre Dame scored three times to take a 5-4 lead.
Michael Terzi led off the sixth for the Green Knights by working a walk and was erased on Matt Elia’s grounder to third. Stone then walked Griffin Garabedian, Matt Murray and Greg Zullo in succession to force in Elia and cut the deficit to 4-3.
Michael Panza then singled to right to score Garabedian with the tying run. Notre Dame finished the rally when Chris Baglini’s sacrifice fly brought in Murray with the go-ahead run.
“This game hurt,” Anquillare said. “There is a big difference between being 6-2 and 5-3. It was a big week for us.”
Each team capitalized on errors in the second inning to get on the scoreboard. Notre Dame's Anthony DeCaprio led off the second with a single and was forced on Sean Goldrich’s grounder.
Goldrich moved to second on Terzi’s grounder to third and scored when West Haven shortstop Matt Gagne threw away Elia’s ground ball.
The Green Knights (6-2) had a golden opportunity to get more but could not capitalize. Garabedian reached on another error by Gagne to put runners on the corners with two outs, but Stone ended the threat by striking out Murray.
As has been the case all year, the Westies (5-3) responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring twice to take a 2-1 lead. J.P. Withington started the rally with a walk and moved to third on Wes Gambardella’s double.
After Alex Palmieri popped to short for the second out, Flowers looked as if he would get out of the jam when Eric Flores grounded to Baglini at short. A bad throw by Baglini allowed Withington and Gambardella to score for a 2-1 West Haven lead.
“We have been doing that all year,” Anquillare said of his team bouncing back. “We have been resilient. We continue to come back. But, we have been giving too many runs away. That eventually will catch up to you.
“It caught up to us. The team which made the least amount of mistakes was going to win. We made too many mistakes.”
Notre Dame again had an opportunity in the third inning to get on the board but Stone once again wiggled out of trouble. Walks to Zullo and Baglini with one out had Notre Dame set up, but Stone escaped by getting DeCaprio on a fly ball to center and Goldrich on a grounder back to the mound.
The Green Knights tied the game in the fourth thanks to another West Haven miscue. With two outs, Stone struck out Garabedian but the ball skipped by Flores, allowing Garabedian to reach first.
Garabedian stole second and scored when a slow hit ball by Murray just eluded Gagne at short for a run-scoring single. Murray went to second on the throw but was stranded when Stone struck out Zullo looking to end the inning.
“That was huge,” Anquillare said. “We allow him (Garabedian) to get on after we have him struck out. Not only do they score, but Stone throws fifteen more pitches in the inning.”
As Notre Dame knotted the game, Flowers found his groove on the mound and retired seven in a row heading to the bottom of the fifth. Palmieri snapped that string when he led off the fifth with a single to left and moved to second on Gagne’s one-out single to left.
Stone helped himself when he did a good job of hitting, taking Flowers’ pitch to right for a single to score Palmieri. Gagne went to third on the play and scored when Bobby Moretti’s grounder to second went for a fielder’s choice as Baglini could not turn the double play.
Flowers picked up the victory, allowing five hits, striking out 10 and walking three. In six innings pitched, Stone allowed only three hits and struck out six, but the senior walked seven in the loss.
Pitching,lack of clutch hitting show again in WH loss
By MIKE MADERA
(April 25, 2011) - The West Haven baseball team is quickly finding out the importance of pitching. Following a 9-7 road loss to Fairfield Prep Monday afternoon, the Westies had time to reflect on the bus ride home.
What the Westies should have thought about was the common theme in the four losses they now have. Poor pitching and a lack of timely hitting are the biggest reasons the Westies fell to 5-4 following the Southern Connecticut Conference defeat.
“We did not hit in the clutch,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said after his team picked up just five in the loss to the Jesuits. “We didn't deserve to win the game.
“I am disappointed in the pitching. We have been chasing runs in every game. We seem to be behind from the start. We need to do a better job.”
Against Fairfield Prep, Anquillare’s assessment was right on target as the Westies trailed 1-0 after one inning and 3-0 after three innings as the Jesuits took advantage of an ineffective Jeremy Soule.
Fairfield Prep pitcher Anthony Redamonti had set the Westies down in order in each of the first three innings and retired Matt Gagne to start the fourth. West Haven finally broke through.
Redamonti hit Eric Stone and Bobby Moretti followed with a single. After Mike Binkowski reached on an error to load the bases, Tom Spencer laced a grand slam to left, giving West Haven a 4-3 lead.
That lead was short-lived. Knowing the bottom of the inning would be the most important of the game, Soule could not get out of the fourth.
The Jesuits scored five times and knocked Soule out of the game before the fourth inning had ended. When all was said and done, Alex Soto relieved Soule in the inning after the Jesuits tagged Soule for eight runs on eight hits and took advantage of five walks by the hard-throwing pitcher in the game. Soule threw 105 pitches before being replaced by Soto.
“We can’t keep getting down off the bat,” Anquillare said. “We keep scoring runs, but we have to hold the teams that next inning. We are not doing that. We can’t keep giving them runs back.”
Trailing 8-4, the Westies again rallied, scoring twice in the fifth. Tyler Gambardella and Gagne walked to start the rally and Stone followed with a double to score Gambardella. Moretti’s sacrifice fly scored Gagne to cut the deficit to 8-6.
The Westies had a chance to get closer but Spencer struck out with runners on the corners to end the frame.
West Haven got closer in the sixth as Ben Sullivan came in to relieve Redamonti. After a pair of strikeouts started the frame, Eric Flores singled, and Gambardella, Gagne and Stone followed with walks to force in a run.
Trailing by a run with Moretti up, the game was there for the taking. That chance went by the boards as Sullivan caught Moretti looking with a fastball on a 3-2 count to end the threat.
Prep added a run in the sixth to again take a two-run lead before the Westies tried another comeback in the seventh.
Spencer worked a one-out walk and J.P. Withington was hit by a pitch. Wes Gambardella then hit a laser to third which was turned into a force and Flores grounded out to end the game.
“We continue to come back,” Anquillare said. “We have been down in all these games we have lost but have come back. We need to hold the other teams. We are not holding on to the lead.”
New lineup keys West Haven victory
By MIKE MADERA
(April 28, 2011) - West Haven baseball coach Mike Anquillare was not happy following Monday afternoon’s loss against Fairfield Prep. Anquillare felt all aspects of the game were responsible for the loss and knew changes would be made.
Those changes took effect Wednesday afternoon when the Westies hosted Hamden at Piurek Field. Behind a new-look lineup, West Haven scored five times in the first inning, added another in the fourth and defeated the Green Dragons 12-2.
“We wanted to shake it up,” Anquillare said after his team improved to 6-4. “We talked about moving people around. We wanted to change it from top to bottom.
“We got the five runs in the first inning. That gave (starting pitcher) Eric Stone a nice cushion. It was a nice start because we have been chasing runs in the past few games. It was nice we were ahead this time.”
The win was of particular importance as the Westies start the second half of the season Friday against Cheshire. West Haven did not want to limp into the rematch with the Rams and instead, plays Cheshire with a 6-4 record.
“This was a huge win,” Anquillare said. “It gets us going in the right direction. We try to win each week. This gives us a chance to do that.”
Tired of chasing runs out of the gate, West Haven wasted no time jumping on Hamden starter Dan Shultz as the Westies took advantage of two Hamden errors, two walks and three hits in the first inning.
Shultz walked Matt Gagne to open the frame and Gagne promptly stole second and third. Bobby Moretti walked with one out and Tom Spencer singled to left to score Gagne for a 1-0 lead.
After Mike Binkowski’s grounder put a pair of runners in scoring position, a passed ball allowed Moretti to score for a 2-0 West Haven lead. Wes Gambardella’s single to left scored Spencer and the Westies were on their way.
J.P. Withington followed by reaching on an error by Shultz and Alex Palmieri singled. Another Hamden error scored Gambardella for a 4-0 lead.
While Eric Stone was cruising on the mound through three innings, West Haven had a runner picked off in the second and hit into a double play to thwart a rally in the third. The inability to capitalize would temporarily hurt in the fourth inning as Hamden scored twice to get back in the game.
Stone walked C.J. Carignan to start the frame and gave up a one-out double to Brandan Dadio to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Stone appeared to be headed out of the inning when he struck Tanner Givens out looking, but Erin Moskal singled to score Carignan with two outs. Stone’s wild pitch scored Dadio and West Haven’s lead was down to 5-2.
“They scored in the one inning,” Anquillare said. “I thought he (Stone) pitched pretty good. He threw the ball well.”
As they have done all year, the Westies responded in the bottom of the inning with a run. Withington started the rally with a single to right and Palmieri reached on another error by Shultz. A passed ball advanced the runners before Cameron Stone’s grounder scored Withington for a 6-2 lead.
“We were able to bounce right back,” Anquillare said. “We got four more in the fifth. We seem to be able to bounce back. We have been able to string together a lot of two-out hits.”
West Haven padded the lead in the fifth, scoring four more runs. With one out, Spencer walked and Binkowski followed with a double to right, sending pinch-runner Adam Mink to third.
Mink scored on a passed ball for a 7-2 lead and Wes Gambardella followed with a single to left to score Binkowski for an 8-2 advantage. With Gambardella on second, Withington singled to plate another run and Cameron Stone’s single off Mike Franco, who had relieved Shultz with one out in the inning, gave West Haven a 10-2 lead as Withington scored.
Spencer, Binkowski, Wes Gambardella and Withington led a 14-hit attack with two hits apiece. Wes Gambardella drove in three runs, Cameron Stone delivered a pair and Withington scored three times.
Eric Stone went the distance, allowing two hits and two earned runs. The pitcher struck out nine and walked two while throwing 102 pitches.
Westies rally for five in fifth to beat Cheshire
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (April 29, 2011) – With three innings remaining in Friday afternoon’s contest, the Cheshire baseball team was counting outs. The Rams, No. 7 in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, had a four-run lead and could just about taste another victory by avenging a season-opening loss to the Westies.
West Haven had other ideas. Using a five-run fifth inning and the grit of pitcher Bobby Moretti, the Westies rallied to defeat Cheshire 6-5 at Piurek Field.
“This is a huge win for us,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said after his team improved to 7-4 on the season. “We were down 5-0. This was a character win. We got the big hits when we needed them.”
After giving up a run in the third and seeing his team in a 5-0 hole, Moretti got a visit from Anquillare with two runners on and one out. Whatever Anquillare said worked as Moretti got Tyler Robertson on strikes and Greg Leonetti on a fly ball to right to end the inning.
“I just went out there and told him that was enough,” Anquillare said. “It (scoring) ends here. I told him we needed him to be tough and get us out of the inning and that is what he did.
“He shut them down after that. You have to give him credit. You have to credit a 15 year-old for what he did. That’s not an easy thing shutting that team down.”
Trailing 5-0, West Haven bounced back in the bottom of the third inning to get on the scoreboard off Cheshire pitcher Ryan Rougeot. With two outs, Matt Gagne walked and scored on Wes Gambardella’s double to right.
After Moretti retired six in a row over the next two innings, the Westies showed their resiliency once again. Showing it is a team which never quits, West Haven rallied in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead for good.
Cameron Stone started the rally with a one-out single to left and moved to third when Gagne followed with a single. Gambardella then drilled a Rougeot pitch to left for a double, scoring Stone and putting a pair of runners in scoring position.
Eric Stone followed with a double off the line in left, scoring Gagne and Gambardella to cut the deficit to one run. Eric Stone moved to third on Tom Spencer’s fly ball to center and scored when Moretti blooped a single between first and the outfield grass to tie the game at five.
Moretti moved to second on a wild pitch, setting up the late dramatics. Mike Binkowski delivered the sixth hit in the inning when he laced a single to center to score Moretti for a 6-5 West Haven lead.
“We have been able to bounce back all year,” Anquillare said. “This is a very resilient team. We were able to come back enough and hold the lead.
“I thought we ran the bases very well today. Eric Stone tagged up and got us a run. Mike Binkowski had a money swing. It was a big hit when we needed it.”
With the lead, Moretti was not to be denied. He retired the bottom of the Cheshire order in succession in the sixth before facing the top of the order with a one-run lead in the seventh.
Moretti got Max Slade on a liner to short to start the seventh, got Matt Jefferis on a fly ball to left and ended the game by getting Dom Severino to ground to second. Moretti finished the game by retiring the final 14 batters in a row after his visit from Anquillare.
The sophomore pitcher struck out six and walked three in the game. Moretti threw 105 pitches.
"This is one of our biggest wins in a long time,” Anquillare said. “Big win for us today.”
Things did not start so well for the Westies as Cheshire jumped out to a quick lead, scoring twice in the first off Moretti. The Rams increased the lead to 4-0 with two more runs in the second.
Matt Croteau led off the second for the Rams with a single and scored on Leonetti’s triple to center. Moretti’s wild pitch scored Leonetti for a 4-0 Cheshire lead.
The Rams took a 5-0 lead in the third on the windy day. Connor David led off with a double and scored on two wild pitches by Moretti.
Gagne led the Westies as he reached base all four times on a pair of walks and two singles. Gagne also scored twice.
Gambardella hit two doubles and drove in a run and Eric Stone had two hits and drove in a pair.
Punching the Ticket
Westies clinch state tournament bid with win over Easties
By MIKE MADERA
(May 2, 2011) - The first goal for the West Haven baseball team heading into the season was qualifying for the state tournament. Consider that goal accomplished.
Using five solid innings on the mound from Eric Stone and clutch hitting by Matt Gagne, the Westies defeated East Haven Monday afternoon 8-4 in East Haven. With the victory, West Haven improved to 8-4 and clinched a berth in the postseason.
“Qualifying for the (state) tournament was our first goal,” West Haven coach Mike Anquillare said. “Now, we are trying to make the SCC tournament. We have a decent record in the cross-over games and we are right in the thick of things. Our goal was to qualify for the state tournament and we were able to do that.”
West Haven’s clinching victory did not come easily. After squandering a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning, West Haven rallied to score four times in the seventh inning to pull out the victory.
Mike Binkowski was retired hitting a bullet to third to start the seventh inning before J.P. Withington worked a one-out walk. Cameron Stone followed with a single and Tyler Gambardella walked to load the bases.
Gagne then came up with the biggest hit of the day as his two-strike double to left cleared the bases and gave West Haven a 7-4 lead. Eric Stone’s two-out single scored Gagne for the four-run lead.
“It seems like we have an inning or two each game where we are resilient and bounce right back,” Anquillare said. “The momentum was totally with East Haven. Plus, the first out of the inning was a great play, giving them even more momentum.
“We were patient at the plate. That was the key in that inning. Matt had two strikes and took the ball the other way.”
East Haven did not go down quietly, putting together a rally against Jeremy Soule, who had relieved Stone in the sixth. After giving up three runs, including the equalizer, in the sixth, Soule was again tested in the seventh.
Andrew Hinckley worked a one-out walk and Vin Guglietti’s third hit of the game had runners on the corners. Soule came up with the big pitch, striking out Mike Anastasio and retiring Brandon Gargiulo on a ground out to end the threat.
The game started well for the Westies as they took an early lead and rode the arm of Eric Stone. The Westie pitcher allowed just four hits and one run, while striking out seven in five innings of work.
“Eric was great,” Anquillare said. “He was completely in control for five innings. Jeremy (Soule) came in and threw strikes. There were a couple of plays which should have been made. It was unfortunate. I thought he threw the ball pretty well.”
West Haven jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning off East Haven’s Hinckley. Gagne walked to start the game and Wes Gambardella homered to immediately put West Haven in front.
East Haven answered in the bottom of the inning with Guglietti’s run-scoring double to cut the deficit in half.
As has been the case all year, West Haven quickly responded with a run in the second. Tyler Gambardella and Gagne singled to start the frame and Tyler Gambardella scored on wild pitch for a 3-1 lead.
The lead increased to 4-1 in the fourth. Tyler Gambardella opened the inning with a single and moved to second on Gagne’s sacrifice. Consecutive walks to Wes Gambardella, Eric Stone and Tom Spencer forced in Tyler Gambardella to increase the lead to three runs.
East Haven tied the game in the sixth, scoring three times off Soule. Guglietti and Anastasio opened the inning with doubles for one run before Anastasio scored on Nick Poulin’s single. When a Robert Consolatore single delivered Poulin, the game was knotted at four.