ROCKY HILL - It took a late-innings comeback to get it done, but the Bristol Central baseball team has clinched a state tournament berth after its 2-1 victory on the road Friday afternoon over winless Rocky Hill.
After Steve Warkowski started for the Rams and pitched three scoreless innings, Kenny Knox entered in the fourth inning and struggled initially with his control, hitting a batter with the bases loaded to force in the first run of the game. But Knox (5 strikeouts) settled down after that and the two pitchers combined to hold the Terriers to just two hits in the game.
Jeremy Ganavage drove in the tying run in the sixth inning on a fielder’s choice grounder; then a hit batter and a double by Eric Gaudreau set up an Alec Diloreto RBI single that proved to be the game-winning hit.
Bristol Central improved to 8-7, while Rocky Hill fell to 0-15.
St. Paul 14, Ansonia 4: Helped by an Andrew Owsianko grand slam, Ethan Rembish led the Falcons to a 14-4 victory over Ansonia to pick up his fourth win of the season. Starter John Bucci took the loss for Ansonia.
The St. Paul offense got off to a good start against Bucci, scoring a run in the first inning. Nick Morrell singled, stole second and came into score on Ryan Greene’s RBI single.
In the second inning, a walk to Jack Bator, a single by Zach Parent and an infield error loaded the bases with one out. Tom Houle drove a two-run single to left center, and St Paul led 3-0.
In the third inning, Julian Thayer drew a leadoff walk and then Cody Teodosio came in to relieve Bucci. Walks to Bator, Parent and Chris Mills plated another run and left the bases loaded. Houle followed with an RBI single, Morrell also had an RBI single and Owsianko had a two-run double to make it 8-0.
After going hitless against Rembish for the first four innings, Ansonia broke through in the fifth. After back-to-back singles by Jordan Jones and Rich Tracy to open the inning, Bryson Cafaro hit a two-run double to make it 8-2. Then Teodosio followed with an RBI single to make it 8-3.
In the bottom of the frame, Morrell was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and later came in to score on a Thayer RBI single.
In the top of the sixth, Ansonia used singles by Trent Mankulics, Jones and Carafo to score a run and cut the lead to 9-4.
In the bottom of the frame, Teodosio faced only three batters, striking out one and walking two. Then in an unusual move, Teodosio was relieved by John Bucci, the starting pitcher. Tom Houle welcomed Bucci back with a single to load the bases. Morrell walked to force in a run, making it 10-4, then Owsianko hit a grand slam over the left field fence to make it 14-4.
David Strager pitched the top of the seventh for St. Paul. He allowed no runs on one hit.
Bristol Central 8, Rocky Hill 4: The Rams took a step in the right direction toward state tournament qualification with a victory at home.
Sarah Strilkauskas tripled and Jenna Ptak doubled in the game as part of seven hits for Bristol Central (5-11). McKenzie Lewis was the winning pitcher.
Bristol Eastern 9, Berlin 3: A big eight-run fifth inning broke the game open for the Lancers, who had trailed 3-1 heading into that frame.
Mikayla Martin hit a double to left field that one-hopped the fence at Bristol Eastern and a triple to left-center, collecting three RBI in that fifth inning alone.
The Lancers had just four hits in the game, but collected 12 total walks and three hit batters to boost the scoring.
Makenzie Jankowski (1-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBI, 2 walks) and Paige McLaughlin (1-for-2, 1 run, 1 RBI, two walks) collected the other hits for Bristol Eastern (14-2). Taylor Keegan was hit by pitches twice and had a run and an RBI; Nicole D’Amato scored two runs on three walks; and Lauren Aparo had a run and an RBI on two walks.
Erin Girard was the winning pitcher, allowing no earned runs on eight hits, with eight strikeouts.
St. Paul 16, Ansonia 0 (5 innings): The Falcons scored 10 runs in the first inning and never looked back, collecting 17 hits in the game.
A Brigid Johndrow home run was among the highlights, while Katrina Roy went 4-for-4 with two runs and a stolen base.
Abby Poirot got the win for St. Paul (14-4), allowing just two hits and striking out seven batters.
Bristol Eastern 4, Middletown 3: The Lancers swept the singles matches to earn the team victory, improving to 7-4 overall.
Hannah Langlais, Federica Castaldi and Julia O’Leary all won in convincing fashion for Bristol Eastern, while Amy Bhagaloo battled hard to earn the key point, coming back from dropping the first set for a narrow 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Whitney Andrew.