BRISTOL – The St. Paul Catholic baseball team went into extra innings before claiming a thrilling, 3-1, walk-off victory over St. Bernard on Wednesday. The top-ranked Falcons are among the final eight teams remaining in the Class S State Tournament.
Seven scoreless innings passed at St. Paul High with strong pitching on both sides. Left hander Brendan Foley tossed seven superb innings, giving up just one hit and striking out 12. Joey Tonnotti relieved Foley in the eighth inning, giving up one run, one hit and striking out two. Tonnotti picked up his second win in as many days.
St. Bernard took advantage of a Falcons miscue in the top of the eighth. Giuseppe Satti sprinted to first base after a dropped third strike, safely beating the off-target throw from catcher Casey Cerruto. A sacrifice bunt from pitcher Aidan Whitten advanced Satti to second base and into scoring position. Center fielder Luca Muscarella singled on a ground ball to left, driving home Satti.
“At that moment I thought we lost the game,” Cerruto said.
The Falcons were down 1-0 as they headed to the bottom of the eighth.
Shortstop Ryan Daniels stepped into the batter’s box with one out. The UConn-bound senior connected on a base hit to right field and advanced to second on the throw. Power hitter Mario Izzo was intentionally walked, bringing Cerruto to the plate.
“Ryan got a hit to start off the inning. Mario, he’s a really good hitter, so they walked him. I knew it was my time to go up there and try to put a ball in play,” Cerruto said. “It was the first pitch, a pretty high fastball, and I really don’t know what happened; the ball went out,”
Cerruto, a senior captain, drove the ball deep over the left field fence, ending the game with a walk-off three-run homer.
The Falcons advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday, where they will face No. 9 seeded North Branford at home.