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Notre Dame upsets Avon; Canton rallies to win, East Granby dominates

AVON, May 28, 2024 – The Notre Dame-West Haven baseball team didn’t finish the season well, losing their final four games of the season.

But the Knights are thriving in the postseason.

No. 26 Notre Dame won for the third time in four games with a 4-1 win over No. 7 Avon on Tuesday at Buckingham Field in the first round of the Class L tournament. The Knights went 2-1 and advanced to the final of last week’s Southern Connecticut Conference tournament.

Notre Dame (12-12) scored their first two runs on two-out hits and they added a pair of runs in the seventh inning to put more pressure on the host Falcons.

Notre Dame pitcher Gehrig Footit went the distance to secure the win, allowing just two hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking none.

The Knights took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out single from Connor Martinello. But Avon (15-6) responded immediately. David Pengel reached base on a two-out error and promptly stole second base. Pengel scored on Chase Beloin’s RBI single to left field to tie the game at 1-1.

A RBI double from Jackson Burr with two outs in the third inning gave Notre Dame a 2-1 lead.

Notre Dame threatened in the fourth inning, loading the bases thanks to an error and two runners getting hit by a pitch. But Avon starting pitching Luke Coppen got out of the jam by getting Martinello to fly out to left field to end threat.

Avon’s defense kept them in the game in the fifth. Brandon Skerritt walked but Avon catcher Reyan Fawad threw him out trying to steal second base. After reliever Eli Lukasiewicz gave up a pair of walks, Notre Dame’s Finn Knowilton was thrown out at home, trying to score from second base on a single from Matthew Cinque.

Pengel scooped up the ball in center field and throw out Cinque at home, who was tagged out by Fawad.

Tyler Assaro-Gracy led off the bottom of the fifth for Avon with a double but was stranded there when Notre Dame got three consecutive outs.

It put a disappointing end to the season for Avon, who closed out the regular season with four straight wins.

Notre Dame-West Haven 4, Avon 1
At Avon

ND-WH (12-12)               101  000  2  — 4-11-1
Avon (15-6)                       100  000  0  — 1-2-1
Gehrig Footit and Brandon Skerritt; Luke Coppen, Eli Lukasiewicz (5), Stephen Westrick (6), Ethan Lavore (7) and Reyan Fawad; WP: Footit; LP: Coppen (4-2); 2B: Tyler Assaro-Gracy (A), Jackson Burr (ND); NOTE: Burr was 2-for-3 with 1 RBI while James Mascari was 2-4 for ND; Chase Beloin and Assaro-Gracy had the only hits for Avon. Footit (ND) struck out 5 and walked none

Canton 4, Derby 2
CANTON, May 28, 2024 – A pair of triples in the sixth inning sparked a rally to help the Canton High baseball team beat No. 24 Derby on Tuesday, 4-2, in a first round Class S tournament game at Bowdoin Field.

The No. 9 Warriors (16-6) trailed by a run as they went to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ian Clark led off the inning with a triple to center field and tied the game at 2-2 on a single to left field from Sammy Lincoln.

Lincoln went to second base on the throw to the plate as Clark scored. With one out, Lincolm scored on Nate Hiscox’s triple to center field for a 3-2 lead. Hiscox scored on a sacrifice fly from pitcher Ben Biskupiak for a 4-2 lead.

Three straight strikeouts from Biskupiak secured the game for the Warriors, who advance Wednesday’s second round. Canton will face No. 8 Lyman Memorial in Lebanon.

Biskupiak (1-0) pitched his first complete game of the season, allowing just four hits and striking out nine in seven innings of work. He spent a majority of the season pitching in relief.

Joseph Nadeau also had a double for the Warriors.

Canton 4, Derby 2
At Canton

Derby (9-12)                      100  001  0  — 2-4-1
Canton (16-6)                  100  003  x  — 4-5-1
Max Netto and Kobe Marroquin; Ben Biskupiak and Noah Asmar; WP: Biskupiak (1-0); LP: Netto; 2B: Joseph Nadeau (C); 3B: Ian Clark (C), Nate Hiscox (C); NOTE: Biskupiak went the distance, allowing 4 hits and striking out nine., Nikolas Kotucek (D) was 2-for-3

East Granby 16, Innovation 2
EAST GRANBY, May 28, 2024 – Pitcher Kyle Anthony had a single and a home run and picked up the win on the mound as No. 5 East Granby eliminated No. 28 Innovation, 16-2 in a first round Class S tournament game Tuesday.

Adrian Bento was 2-for-4 with three RBI for the Crusaders (16-6) while Cole Malinowski was 2-for-4 with one RBI and three runs scored.

Five East Granby pitchers combined to limit Innovation to three hits and and seven strikeouts. The Crusaders will host No. 21 Somers on Wednesday in the second round.

East Granby 16, Innovation 2
At East Granby

Innovation (7-13)            010  001  0  — 2-3-4
East Granby (16-6)         226  402  x  — 16-11-1
Ortiz, Torres (2), Wyskiewicz (3) and Heknandez; Kyle Anthony, Jackson Moore (2), Adrian Bento (4), Elijah Rich (6) and Jacob Guilmartin; WP: Anthony; LP: Ortiz; 2B: Bento (EG), Moore (EG), Luke Kleinman (EG), HR: Kyle Anthony (EG); NOTE: Anthony was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI with Bento going 2-4 with 3 RBI. Cole Malinowski (EG) was 2-for-3 with 1 RBI and 3 runs scored. Five EG pitchers combine to strike out seven, walk 4 and allow 3 hits

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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