TERRYVILLE - The collective dejection could be felt brimming out of the Terryville baseball teamâs dugout as it watched Colin Bamrick get caught in a late rundown between third base and home Thursday afternoon.
The Kangaroos, on the wrong side of a 1-0 pitcherâs duel against Thomaston early on, had already squandered a pair of opportunities with a runner on third base in the third and fourth innings, and this situation seemed to be the latest disappointment waiting to happen with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Bamrick stood on third and watched teammate Justin Carosone sprint to second on a delayed steal. Bamrick jogged halfway up the line as Thomaston catcher Alex Mentone fired to shortstop Drew Colavecchio, who caught the ball several feet in front of second base.
With Bamrick caught in no-manâs land, Colavecchio ran at him, and Bamrick broke for home. Colavecchioâs throw was on time, but Bamrickâs head-first slide and swim move to the outside of the plate - aided on a drop by Mentone- was enough to set off a raucous Roos reaction as Bamrick tied the score at 1-1 that ultimately led to a 3-1 victory.
âI saw the ball go past the pitcher, I went to break and realized it mightâve been a mistake,â Bamrick said. âOnce [Colavecchio] got it, I just broke for the plate and I just wasnât gonna get out with the swim move at home plate. I refused to get out.â
âI was stressed,â said Terryville starting pitcher Albert Molina, who tossed a complete-game, two-hit gem and earned the win. âI had my hands on my face. I looked up and I see Colin halfway down the line and the kid running at him with the ball in his hand. I just saw him break, and my heart just stopped for a second. And then [the catcher] drops it, and I just exploded. I was so stressed going into that inning. Everyone just [let out a breath] like, âAhh. Finally.ââ
Three pitches later, riding the momentous wave of the game-tying run, Anthony Pires smashed an RBI triple to right field to score Carosone. Terryville then plated an insurance run via an error on an infield popup, and Molina put runners on first and second in the seventh but closed the door to polish off a 3-1 victory.
âThatâs not the way we teach it, certainly, but sometimes youâve gotta just force the issue a little bit to make your own luck,â Terryville head coach Brian Rosano said of Bamrickâs play that broke the game open. âColinâs been playing varsity ball for four years and is one of the headiest players Iâve ever been around. So Iâll give him a pass on that one. He wonât make many mistakes, and as it turns out, he made the right decision. Thatâs the thing, I canât yell at him when he scores.â
The late rally gave Molina a much-deserved victory, as the junior southpaw was in control with his four-pitch repertoire - four-seam fastball, changeup, slider, curveball - all day against the Bears (3-1).
The only hiccup came in the first inning, as Molina walked the first two batters he faced before allowing an RBI groundout. He settled in nicely afterward, retiring 13 straight batters before putting runners on first and third in the fifth. He rung up his third and final strikeout to end the threat.
âI just tried to get within myself,â Molina said. âI know in the first inning I was trying to go out and do too much. After that I just kind of relaxed, got within myself and did what I normally do - throw to contact and just work the way I know how to pitch and not do too much.â
The Kangaroosâ three-run sixth inning helped give Molina the win, and it made up for opportunities lost in the third and fourth frames.
Colby Rheault reached third base in the third, but on a groundball in the hole between the shortstop and third base, Rheault did not break for home. Colavecchio made a diving stop and a terrific throw from his knees to gun Zack Rinkavage at first.
In the fourth, the Kangaroos (2-2) put runners at second and third after Bamrick laced a single up the middle, and Pires pulled a hard-hit single to left. An error by left fielder Keegan Daigle advanced the runners, but Sean OâDonnellâs chopper back to pitcher Isaiah Johnson was fielded cleanly to end the inning.
âWe came in confident we were gonna score over 10. We thought we were gonna swing out of our shoes, but [Johnson] just painted the outside corner. Granted, the umps gave him a little leeway, but we just froze,â said Molina, adding that the umpire was consistent in calling outside pitches for strikes for him and Johnson. âWe didnât know what to do. I donât think we were [aggressive]. I think we couldâve swung the bats way better. Even with the circumstances we shouldâve swung way better.â
It was a bounce back win for Terryville, which lost 23-18 to Northwestern on April 3 and fell 15-2 to Shepaug Valley on Wednesday night.
âWe normally swing the bats pretty well,â Bamrick said. âThis was a really good confidence booster to win a comeback game, but this is the type of team we are. Weâre gritty, we donât give anything away, and weâre always in the game.â
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com