Baseball: Seymour blanks St. Joseph in state semis

St. Joseph catcher waits for a throw to the plate, as Seymour's Jake Todice begins his slide in the second inning. — Bill Bloxsom photo
St. Joseph catcher waits for a throw to the plate, as Seymour's Jake Todice begins his slide in the second inning. — Bill Bloxsom photo

Most everyone entering Palmer Field in Middletown for St. Joseph’s Class M semifinal baseball clash with Seymour High expected a high-scoring contest.

Seymour pitcher Austin DeRosa had other ideas, as the right-hander limited the potent Cadet attack to four hits and the Wildcats advanced to their first title game since 2011 with an 8-0 victory.

“He did a really nice job mixing it up,” Cadet coach Jim Chaves said after his 12th-seeded team lost to the ninth-seeded Wildcats. “He did a really nice job mixing pitches and throwing change-ups in fastball counts and kept us off balance.

“Offensively, we swung the bats really well the first three games and it is disappointing to come here and not be able to scratch one across.”

Seymour (15-6) will meet Naugatuck Valley League rival Wolcott in the title game at Palmer on Saturday at 7. The No. 3 seeded Eagles (21-3) defeated No. 18 Ledyard, 9-4, in their semifinal.

St. Joseph had scored 41 runs in its first three state games. DeRosa went the distance, striking out five and walking two.

“Austin bends, but doesn’t break,” Seymour coach Jeff Gilbert said. “He gets teams to hit his pitches. He finds his spots and keeps hitters off balance.”

Seymour scored two runs in the home first and second frames off Cadet starter Ben Talbot, with one run unearned.

“We have the ability to hit the ball,” Gilbert said. “Today, our focus was swinging at good pitches.”

The Wildcats put runners on base in every inning behind an 11-hit attack.

John Chacho led the way with four hits, three RBIs, and two runs scored.

Brandon Ellsworth doubled home two runs in the first, an inning that saw Talbot record all three outs on strikes.

St. Joseph’s Aaron Kirby reached on a two-out error in the second inning and Hadyn Gourley followed with a long double to center field. With the tying runs in scoring position, DeRosa got the third out on a pop up back to the mound.

Seymour doubled its advantage with a two-out rally in the bottom of the second on two hits, a walk and a throwing error.

DeRosa set down seven consecutive batters, before Gourley walked on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the fourth.

Kirby fouled off a handful of two-strike pitches and then singled sharply to left, but a missed sign led to Seymour getting the third out on the bases.

Chacho took the score to 6-0 with a double in the bottom of the fourth. Talbot left a runner on third with two strikeouts, but the Cadets were chasing.

Connor Murphy singled with one out in the fifth, Jack Mathews had a base hit in the gap to start the sixth and Kirby walked to open the seventh, but in each instance DeRosa kept St. Joseph from crossing the plate.

After a hit and a hit batter in the Seymour fifth, Trent Price came on in relief and notched a pair of strikeouts to quell the rally.

The Wildcats tacked on two runs in the sixth with Dan Manente and Ellsworth earning RBIs.