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North Haven Baseball Takes Two in States, Before Losing to Guilford

Sophomore Dave Christoforo hit a walk-off homer that capped off a crazy comeback for the North Haven baseball team in its 9-6 victory versus Berlin in the second round of the Class L State Tournament. The Indians went on to take a 5-4, ten-inning loss against Guilford in the quarterfinal round finish 19-6 on the year.(Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier Buy This Photo)

Chris Piccirillo, Sports Editor • Contact Reporter Published Jun 03, 2018 • Last Updated 07:05 pm, June 03, 2018


On the heels of getting Bob DeMayo his 900th win as head coach of the North Haven baseball team, the Indians opened up the Class L State Tournament by claiming victory in their first two games last week, before taking an extra-inning loss versus Guilford in the quarterfinals. The Indians earned a 3-1 win over Woodstock Academy, rallied for a ridiculous 9-6 walk-off victory against Berlin, and then lost to Guilford by a 5-4 final in 10 innings in a quarterfinal contest. Coach DeMayo’s squad finished its season with an overall record of 19-6. North Haven began the Class L State Tournament with a first-round home game on May 29, and the 2nd-seeded Indians claimed a 3-1 victory against No. 31 seed Woodstock Academy. North Haven scored a run in the first inning when Andrew Laudano singled and scored on a sacrifice fly from sophomore Dave Christoforo. The Centaurs knotted the game with a run in the third inning, and it stayed tied until the Indians scored twice in the sixth. Erbe singled and scored the go-ahead run when Christoforo hit a double. Pinch runner Christian Somma later came home on a base hit from senior catcher Kevin Lucey, who also threw out a pair of runners attempting to steal second in the game. Nate Zalegowski allowed one unearned run in 2.1 innings, after which fellow senior Luca Lawrence came on in the third and worked out of a jam on his way to pitching 4.2 scoreless innings to improve to 8-0. The following afternoon, North Haven hosted No. 18 Berlin in the second round and rallied for an improbable 9-6 victory by scoring eight runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Erbe singled in the tying run with one out and then Christoforo blasted a three-run, walk-off home run—his second of the inning—to win it for the Indians. Berlin scored a run in the first inning and another in the fifth to take a 2-0 lead. North Haven made it 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth when Perillie singled and scored on a double by Garthwait. Berlin came back with a run in the sixth and three in the seventh to put the Indians in a 6-1 hole entering the bottom half of the seventh. Christoforo led off by hitting a solo homer. Lucey followed with a double, and Somma pinch ran for him. Perillie singled and then sophomore Matt DeRosa walked to load the bases, ending the day for Berlin’s starter, Adam Bilinsky. In came Gianni Fanelli, who gave up an RBI single to Garthwait that scored Somma to make it 6-3. Following a strikeout, senior Andrew Laudano drew a walk that forced in Perillie and cut it to 6-4. Junior Justin Shea pinch ran for Laudano. Farina drew another walk to bring in DeRosa and make it 6-5. Erbe singled in Garthwait to tie the score and, with the bases still loaded, Christoforo homered to win the game. Erbe was called out for interference and so, instead of a grand slam, it was a three-run shot for Christoforo with Shea and Farina scoring ahead of him. Junior Ben Sbabo allowed two runs through 4.1 innings, before senior Zach Pincince came in for relief. Pincince threw two innings, allowing four runs (1 earned), after which Sbabo came back in to retire the final two batters of the seventh. North Haven advanced to face No. 10 seed Guilford in the Class L quarterfinals in a game that began on June 2 and was completed the following day. Trailing 1-0, North Haven scored four runs in the second inning. Erbe homered to lead it off, and then DeRosa’s RBI single put the Indians up 2-1. Garthwait followed with a bases-loaded walk to force in a run, after which junior Matt Solomon hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1. The score stayed that way until Guilford scored two runs in the sixth inning to cut it to 4-3. In the top of the seventh, Guilford used a leadoff walk, a stolen base, and a one-out single to tie the score at 4 and, ultimately, send the game to extra innings. North Haven loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, when the game was suspended due to rain. When play resumed the next day, Guilford’s pitcher was able to escape the jam by getting a pair of outs. In the top of the 10th, Guilford took a 5-4 lead on a two-out single. Lucey reached on a one-out single in the bottom half of the inning, but North Haven couldn’t push the tying run across. Lucey, Christoforo, and DeRosa all had two hits for the Indians. Solomon had a single with a walk, an RBI, and a stolen base. Lawrence pitched 6.1 innings for North Haven, after which Pincince threw the next 2.2 innings. Zalegowski retired two batters in the 10th inning, and Sbabo got the final out. Prior to playing in states, North Haven took a 7-0 loss at Fairfield Prep in the semifinals of the SCC Tournament on May 24. The 4th-seeded Indians had advanced to the semis by earning a 7-6 quarterfinal win versus Amity the previous day, marking DeMayo’s 900th win as the Indians’ head coach. Facing top-seeded Fairfield Prep, Sbabo pitched three scoreless innings for the Indians. Junior John Gontarek, senior Chris Ciarleglio, and Garthwait each pitched one inning of relief. Lucey drew two walks, while Perillie singled and stole a base.

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