The plan for the East Catholic High Baseball team’s Class M semifinals against coach Martin Fiery and Waterford was to pitch four or five innings before turning the game around for senior Finum Frank Mozzikato to close the door.
The perfection of the plan works.
Win allowed two runs in five straight innings and Eastern Connecticut’s promise was a double hook off Hong Penders’ double and 3 runs with two RBIs in an 8-2 win over fourth-seeded Waterford at Muzi on Wednesday.
Ellington resident Mojikato, who is likely to be selected early in the next MLB draft, has lost two awkward innings to reach 42/3 in the next scoreless innings.
Mojikato threw more than 75 pitches, which means he will be eligible to pitch in Saturday’s title game.
We have a plan and we have a plan B and C, and as the game progresses it dictates what to do, Jim Penders Sr. took over the program in 2012, Fiery said. TJ was great. It was not an easy day to throw away. He hit the man, so he hit him. But they are a good club. And Frank got clever and finished the job when he arrived.
Trevor Juan added two triplets, including a triple-one and an RBI (24-0) for the Gulls, who will face North-Western in the championship game at Palmer Field in Middletown on Saturday. The first launch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Ryan Shaw had two hits and junior Alex Erizari, who is committed to Maryland, scored twice for the Eagles.
Great games present the best of all of us, Penders said. We know when it’s time for a crisis and we have to do our job. There are no more chances in the playoffs. You have to bring game ‘A’ every now and then and we did it today.
East Catholics is participating in the first championship game since 2011, in Penders Senior’s final season as coach. The Eagles last won four of their four state titles in 1997.
Everyone on the team deserves this claim, Fiori said. Our children have worked hard and I am proud that we have kept the theme going. I’m not here to change what Coach Pender has done. The date of the date never graduates and we have kept the traditional date.
Win allowed four hits, made three, and walked no path to victory.
Waterford (19-3) starter Dan Driscoll lost. The veteran allowed four runs and seven hits while continuing to work through three runs and four innings.
To lead into the top of the second inning, Will Rockhetti hit, stole the second and hit a single by Evan McQuey to give Waterford a 1-0 lead.
But Eastern Catholics responded with two below the third. Ryan Shaw grounded to one out and returned with first and second runners.
Driscoll turned around and attempted a double play a second time, but he knocked the ball to the ground and passed Rocketshi, allowing him to score a run. The next hitter, Ryan St. Jean, blew a sacrifice down center to lead the Ag Gols.
East Catholic Chris Canelli led the RBI singles and Juan RBI added two runs under the triple quarter to take a 4-1 lead.
Ryan Salvador, an RBI single, led East Catholic’s lead in the fifth cut with a 4-2 lead. However, the Reaches Goals are under four-run innings to keep the game out of reach.
Even after I ran for the first time I knew that crime would be on my side, Win said. Being a crime like this is a great confidence booster.
Mosaicato fired the team in 6th. He allowed two walks in the seventh, but coaxed a grounder to end the game and maintain his shutout continuity.
I just went there, threw a strike, and tried to stop it, Mozikato says. He got heated, but you have to adapt. He needs to feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations.
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