Woodland slips past Ansonia



(Ken Morse)
Woodland High scored the game-winning run (above) in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Stephen Baeder came home on a single from Anthony Ross and the throw to the plate got past Ansonia catcher Matt Pitney.

The Ansonia High baseball team has have been in four nail-biters this season, according to head coach Mike Vacca, and do not have a win to show for it.

On Saturday in Beacon Falls, the Chargers frustration continued as Woodland plated a run in the bottom of the fifth to escape with a 3-2 win.

“There are three aspects of the game of baseball,” Vacca said. “Pitching, offense and defense. You need to have all three or at least two of them in your favor in order to win..

“Right now we are getting solid pitching and wasting it. Crucial errors in untimely situations and an offense that is not coming up with the timely hits.”

Ansonia jumped out to a 2-0 lead against the Hawks in its first at-bat.

Bobby Schyver reached base on an error and scored on an RBI hit from Darwin Elias. Matt Simon drove in Elias with a hit for the Chargers’ lead.

Woodland tied the game in the bottom of the first. Anthony Scirpo reached on a two-out hit and scored on an infield error. Mike Kenney then drove home Tanner Kingsley making it a 2-2 game.

“We have only put it all together for one game this season and that was the win against Seymour,” Vacca said.

“We get out to a lead against Woodland and give it right back with an error. Then, we get shut out the rest of the way. We won’t win too many games like that.”

The Chargers’ Adam Thayer was up for the task as he held the Hawks to six hits and struck out eight. Woodland pitcher Anthony Ross did his part, holding Ansonia to six hits and two walks, while striking out eight.

“In five of the six games we’ve played we got solid pitching, but we are wasting those performances,” Vacca said.

“The team is starting to get frustrated because we get a lead and then allow teams to get back in it by making errors.

“We are really behind the eight ball right now, six games into the first half of the season with only one win to show for it.”

Ansonia had something going in the second inning, but baserunning mistakes took it out of a potential big inning.

Sean Bonaparte led off with a solid single to right, but was gunned down on a stolen base attempt at second base.

With two outs, Ryan O’Conner reached on an error and took second on a passed ball. O’Connor was later thrown out on the base paths as the Chargers offense came up empty.

Thayer struck out five Hawks over the next three innings as the 2-2 tie reached the bottom of the fifth, where Woodland took advantage of an error to score the eventual game-winning run.

Stephen Baeder reached on a fielder’s choice and went to third on a base hit from Ross.

A ball in the infield was thrown to the plate high and Baeder slid in safely to put the Hawks up 3-2.

In the top of the seventh, Ansonia was still in it chasing one run, when Bonaparte led off with a single to right.

Louis Nicoletti belted a fly ball to center that didn’t find its way for a hit. O’Conner ripped into a pitch for a line shot to shortstop that found Bonaparte too far off the bag for a game-ending double play.

“We just need to put one W together and then just go from there,”Vacca said. “There are no weak teams in the NVL, we just need to put all three aspects together like we did in the win over Seymour.”

T.J. Williams hit a two-run home run and Schryver hit a solo shot when Ansonia lost a 12-7 decision to Wolcott High on April 9.

Ansonia will be back in action today when it hosts 5-1 St. Paul of Bristol. They travel to Waterbury on Friday to take on Wilby.

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