HARTFORD, May 5, 2021 – It was a memorable night at Dunkin’ Donuts Park Wednesday night. By the time the game between Avon and Farmington got underway, most of the rain had moved out of the area.
The wet, green grass shined under the lights and the infield looked spectacular. Fans, many with masks and some without, spread out across the lower deck of the ballpark. Two groups of students gathered and cheered on their classmates on the diamond.
They were together sharing the experience – something that many of us took for granted 15 months ago.
And the players got to play on the diamond that is home to the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.
“This is a great venue for any high school athlete,” Farmington High baseball coach Mike McGuire said. “Most of our high school athletes don’t go on to play at the next level. So, this for them is the quintessential experience for baseball. Our kids were so excited that they were going to be here and we’re happy for them to be here.”
The smiles were a bit larger in the Farmington dugout after the River Hawks beat the Falcons, 9-2 in a CCC West battle before a few hundred fans. Farmington (8-3) had 11 hits, including a single and a home run from Jackson Ferrigno, who will be playing baseball at UConn next spring.
It was breath of normalcy in a world that has been turned upside down for so many people and in so many ways in the last 15 months. COVID-19 is still a threat. There are still people testing positive and kids that need to quarantine.
“We’re trying to enjoy every moment we can,” Avon High coach Jon Yolles said. “We’re trying to enjoy ourselves, be competitive and have some fun.”
The Falcons started all of their seniors and everyone got into the game, Yolles said.
Farmington took an early 2-0 with runs scoring on an error and Ferrigno stealing home. The Falcons cut the lead to one thanks to a one-out double from Ben Angus and a two-out RBI single from Daniel Bae that drove in Angus.
The River Hawks broke open the contest in the fifth inning. Cole Caccamo, who was 3-for-3 with two RBI, reached base on a single. With two outs, Caccamo scored on a RBI double to right field from Austin Bohlman. Ferrigno followed with a home run over the left field wall to push the lead to 5-1.
Brendan Kelly singled and scored on Nathaniel Watson’s RBI double for a 6-1 lead. The River Hawks added another run in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh.
“We didn’t execute some of the little things that we normally do,” Yolles said. “We didn’t get some bunts down and some execution in the field didn’t go our way. Everyone was hitting but we couldn’t do the little things that we have been doing up to this point.”
Angus was 3-for-4 in the game with a pair of doubles for Avon while Dylan Love was 2-for-3 with two doubles. Bae got the start on the mound for Avon and gave up nine hits, striking out four and walking three.
Avon had two nice defensive plays in the fourth inning.
Angus, who playing shortstop, snagged a hot line drive off the bat of Garrett Snyder and caught Nathanial Watson off second base for a double play. The third out came when Liam Chamberlain’s hit bounced off the first base bag and Avon first baseman Nick Amatulli chased it down and fired to second baseman Luke Coppen who tagged out Chamberlain at second base.
Brendan Kelly went five innings on the mound for Farmington, scattering seven hits and striking out two.
“We kept it close but we broke it open once we got the bats going,” Ferrigno said. “When (our) pitching and bats are going like that, we’re a hard team to beat.”
Farmington beat the Falcons for the fourth straight game dating back to 2018.
The Falcons return to action with back-to-back games with Lewis Mills. Avon travels to Burlington to face the Spartans on Friday beginning at 3:45 p.m. before hosting Mills on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at Buckingham Field for Senior Day.
It was Avon’s second game at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. The Falcons beat Bulkeley, 20-1, during the 2018 season. The Yard Goats season began on Tuesday and the Goats are playing a six-game series in Richmond. In the meantime, the Yard Goats have been hosting collegiate and high school games at the ballpark over the past week.
Farmington 9, Avon 2
Farmington (8-3) 200 041 2 — 9-11-2
Avon (6-4) 100 010 0 — 2-8-1
Brendan Kelly, Garrett Snyder (6) and Nathaniel Watson; Daniel Bae, Ben Angus (5), Alex Grant (7) and Angus, Emmett Borenstein (4); WP: Kelly; LP: Bae (1-2); 2B: Ben Angus (A) 2, Dylan Love (A) 2, Austin Bohlman (F); Nathaniel Watson (F); HR: Jackson Ferrigno (F)