Published Apr 14, 2019 • Last Updated 02:08 pm, April 16, 2019
After losing two of its three games during the first week of the 2019 season, the North Haven baseball team flipped the script by winning two of three last week to level its record at 3-3 on the year. The Indians took a 10-0 loss against Amity in their first game of the week, but bounced back to earn a 6-4 victory over Fairfield Prep two days later. North Haven finished off its week by posting a 6-1 win versus Xavier in its first SCC Quinnipiac Division game of the season.
North Haven hosted Amity on April 8 and lost to the Spartans by a 10-0 score. Amity scored five runs in the top of the third inning and then added five more runs in fourth to take a 10-run advantage over the Indians. The game was called after the fifth inning due to the mercy rule. Senior Matt Solomon and junior Mason Balmer each had a hit for North Haven. Senior John Gontarek threw a scoreless inning in relief.
On April 10, the Indians traveled to Fairfield University and claimed a 6-4 road victory versus Fairfield Prep in a rematch of last year’s SCC semifinal. North Haven was trailing 4-2 heading into the top of the fourth inning, but rallied to push four runs across the plate and take a 6-4 lead. Senior Reid Kankel laced a two-run single to tie the game, after which junior Matt DeRosa got a two-run base knock with two down to put North Haven up for good. Senior Hunter Garthwait held Fairfield Prep off the board the rest of the way to secure the victory for Head Coach Bob DeMayo’s club. Garthwait earned the win by pitching 5.1 innings of relief in which he allowed just one unearned run.
DeRosa led North Haven at the plate by going 4-for-4 with a double, three RBI, and a pair of stolen bases. Kankel went 1-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI, Balmer was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run scored, and an RBI; and Solomon went 1-for-3 with a run and a stolen base.
The Indians grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, when junior Dave Christoforo walked, advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by senior Danny Cannavaciolo, and scored on Balmer’s RBI double. Fairfield Prep came back by scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 3-1 advantage.
North Haven got one back in the third as Garthwait drew a walk and then scored on a double from DeRosa to cut the deficit to 3-2. The Jesuits scored a run in the bottom of the third to make it 4-2.
In the fourth, Cannavaciolo was hit by a pitch and then Balmer drew a walk to set the stage for North Haven’s four-run frame. With one out, Kankel’s two-run single to center field brought home Cannavaciolo and Balmer to tie the game at 4-4. Solomon was then hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Following the second out, DeRosa came to the plate and clubbed a two-run double to score Kankel and Solomon for a 6-4 lead.
Garthwait had to work his way out of trouble several times during the game’s final innings in order to solidify the win. Fairfield Prep loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, although Garthwait escaped the jam by inducing a double play. The Jesuits also had bases loaded with one out in the sixth, but Garthwait recorded the last two outs of the inning without allowing a run to score. After Fairfield Prep’s leadoff man reached in the seventh, Garthtwait, got a double play to clear the bases. Following a two-out single, Prep’s next batter hit a fly ball to center field for the final out of the game.
Two days later, North Haven went up against Xavier in its SCC Quinnipiac Division opener and prevailed by a 6-1 score at DeMayo Ballfield. Kankel blasted a two-run home run, and Christoforo hit a solo shot for the Indians. Kankel scored a pair of runs, Balmer also had two runs scored to go with a hit, a walk, and a stolen base; and Solomon hit a two-run double in the victory.
Sophomore JJ Mazzaro turned in a great effort on the mound to earn his second win of the year for North Haven. Mazzaro pitched 6.1 innings and allowed just one run on six hits and no walks with five strikeouts. Kankel came on in relief to record the last two outs of the game.
The Indians scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-0 lead over the Falcons. Christoforo got it going when he hit a solo homer to right-center field for a 1-0 lead. After Balmer singled and stole second base, Kankel launched a two-run shot over the left field fence to give North Haven a 3-0 advantage.
North Haven increased its lead to 6-0 by putting up another three-spot in the fourth. Balmer drew a walk, Kankel was hit by a pitch, and then both runners raced home when Solomon lashed a two-run double to left field to make it 5-0. DeRosa drove in Solomon later in the inning for the Indians’ sixth run of the game.
Xavier avoided the shutout by hitting a leadoff homer in the seventh to trim the deficit to 6-1. Mazzaro got the next batter to fly out, after which Coach DeMayo went to Kankel to shut the door. Kankel got a fly out and then struck out the next hitter to solidify the victory for North Haven.
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