BRISTOL - Despite taking an early lead on Tuesday, the Edgewood baseball team lost to Stamford, 12-5, at Barnes Field to drop to the loser’s bracket of the Senior Little League state tournament.
A pair of four-run innings in the third and fourth frames erased Edgewood’s 4-1 advantage to give Stamford a 9-4 lead Edgewood could not overcome.
“We ran into a little bit of a problem when our pitcher would only throw one pitch,” Edgewood head coach Mike Ziogas said. “We couldn’t get a curveball over. It was just fastball, fastball, fastball. At this level of play, once you start doing that, you’re gonna get beat - they’re gonna put the ball in play. It’s not like they hit the ball all over the place. They just got them in the gaps and scored runs.”
After Edgewood’s Tyler Stickels and Ryan Fradette scored to open the game with a 2-0 lead, Stamford’s Connor McGee responded by punching an RBI single to right field to plate Mike Edwards in the bottom of the first.
Edgewood starter Tyler Martin stranded runners at the corners, though, recording three straight outs aided by right fielder Trevor Nohilly’s diving catch.
Fradette’s hard grounder opened the scoring in the third, as the ball ricocheted off the glove of third baseman Joe Johnson to score Stickels. Fradette then came around on an error for a 4-1 lead, but Stamford starting pitcher Will Garafalo worked out of a bases-loaded jam with a pop out.
Stamford then took a 5-4 lead in the third. Edwards first scored on an error after drawing a walk, and Garafalo helped himself by lasering a two-RBI single up the middle.
Garafalo then scored the go-ahead run, coming home from third after teammate Cole Glazhofer got caught in a rundown between first and second to draw a throw from Martin.
Johnson, in relief of Garafalo, ended Edgewood’s fourth-inning threat with runners on first and second with a swinging strikeout of Fradette, and Stamford tacked onto its lead in the next half-frame with two runs scoring on a bases-loaded wild pitch, another run scoring on a fielder’s choice and Glazhofer’s RBI single giving his club a 9-4 cushion.
Edgewood loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth on an error and two straight singles by Nathan Ouelette and Dylan Woodsome, but Johnson held Edgewood to one run on a fielder’s choice.
After his club gave him a 10-5 fifth-inning lead, Johnson again got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth by inducing a groundout to get Stamford one win away from advancing to Saturday’s state championship game.
Edgewood, meanwhile, now needs two more victories to reach the title game and will square off with either Plainfield or Killingly (5:45 p.m.) in a loser’s bracket contest. Stamford will face Annex in a winner’s bracket game (8 p.m.). Both games will be played Thursday at Southington’s Recreation Park.
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com