New Canaan advances on walk-off single in New Milford
Updated 1:40 pm, Wednesday, July 15, 2015
NEW MILFORD — For the third time in as many days, the New Canaan 12/70 Ripken team stepped onto New Milford’s Dearlick Farms Field with its spot in the regional tournament on the line.
And for the third time, the Rams survived to see another day.
With the game tied, bases loaded and no one out in the bottom of the seventh, New Canaan’s Will Bozzella stepped to the dish looking to take advantage of a drawn-in infield.
“I just squared up the ball,” Bozzella said. “I knew that if I hit it hard on the ground, most likely it would go through since the infield was in.”
Bozzella ripped a sharply-hit grounder between third and short, allowing Jack Sanders to come home with the winning run in the Rams’ 8-7 walk-off victory.
“Against this pitcher I think I was 0-for-2,” Bozzella said. “I knew he threw hard so I loaded before he went into his stride to pitch.
The bottom of the seventh started with a walk by Sanders and a single to right by Will Cosco. Both advanced a base on a wild pitch and Jack Lisecky walked, bringing Bozzella to the plate.
Bozzella notched the walk-off hit against Duxbury’s Charlie Coon, who struck out 15 New Canaan batters earlier in the tournament.
“We hit the ball,” Lisecky said. “It was a little sloppy, but we made some big plays. I felt good.”
Bozzella’s game-winning knock wouldn’t have been necessary had it not been for a sixth-inning rally by Duxbury. Billy Mrowka got aboard with the potential tying run with a one-out walk, Will LeClair walked with two outs and Michael Cicerone delivered the game-tying single to left with a full count as Mrowka slid just safely into home plate.
Pitching in his third inning after relieving Jack Ellis, New Canaan hurler Zack Ramppen recovered to strand the tying run on third by getting the next batter to ground out to third.
Ryan Higgins would claim the victory by pitching a 1-2-3 seventh and striking out a pair.
“Zack is not normally one of our pitchers,” New Canaan coach Frank Ramppen said. “He’s our every-inning catcher. He came in and did a good job. Ryan wasn’t expecting to come in there, and he came in and did what he does. He’s an outstanding pitcher.”
Duxbury’s afternoon got off to a fast start when it plated three unearned runs in the top of the first, a rally that was highlighted by Will Gallagher’s two-run single to left-center.
New Canaan responded in the bottom half of the frame, however, as Lisecky led off with a double, Bozzella walked and Zack Ramppen was hit by a pitch. Ellis then stepped to the plate and ripped a bases-clearing two-out double to center and Nick Visconsi came through with an RBI single for the 4-3 advantage.
New Canaan plays the loser of Wednesday’s loser’s bracket finale between Youngsville vs. Exeter.
“There was some sloppy play in the first inning,” New Canaan coach Frank Ramppen said. “They go up three runs and we know they have a powerhouse pitcher who is probably coming in later in the game. We know we’re in a little bit of trouble and we come right back and score four. That’s the way these guys play.”
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NEW CANAAN 8, DUXBURY 7
DUXBURY 302 011 0 — 7 8 2
NEW CANAAN 411 010 1 — 8 10 2
Records: 2-2; New Canaan 3-1.
Batteries: D—Nate Garrett, Charlie Coon (4, L) and Johnny Hammel; NC—Jack Ellis, Zack Ramppen (4), Ryan Higgins (7, W) and Ramppen, Henry Cannon.
Highlights: D—Will Gallagher went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Tanner Smith went 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, an RBI, three runs and two stolen bases. Charlie Coon went 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, two runs and two stolen bases. NC—Will Bozzella went 1-for-4 with a walk, a walk-off single, an RBI and a run. Jack Ellis went 1-for-3 with a double, three RBI, a hit by pitch and a run. Jack Lisecky went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two walks and a run.