Baseball: Waterford ends St. Joseph's run in Class M

Jimmy Evans had an RBI double for the Cadets in the semifinals. — David G. Whitham photo
Jimmy Evans had an RBI double for the Cadets in the semifinals. — David G. Whitham photo

A spirited run through the Class M state tournament that began in the play-in round for the St. Joseph High baseball team came to an end on Wednesday afternoon at Palmer Field in Middletown.

The Cadets could not slow down third-seeded Waterford’s bats, as the Lancers pounded out 16 hits, strung together two big innings and capitalized on two errors en route to a 13-3 victory in the Class M state semifinals at Palmer Field in Middletown.

“Sometimes you’ve got to give credit to the other team,” St. Joseph High head coach Jim Chaves said. “A five-spot in the third inning, a six-spot in the fourth inning. It’s hard to overcome.

Waterford will face either No. 9 seed Haddam-Killingworth or fourth-seeded Lewis Mills of Burlington in the state final this weekend at Palmer Field.

The No. 34 seed Cadets (12-13) trailed 2-1 heading into the bottom of the third, when the Lancers (21-4) sent 11 batters to the plate and scored five runs.

Mike Burrows started the Waterford uprising with a one-out solo home run to left field off of St. Joseph starter Hadyn Gourley.

A single by Walker Sutman, double by Tyler Yeomans and a run-scoring single past the drawn-in infield by Dan Castelpoggi made it 3-1.

After Gourley walked Collin Bakken to load the bases, Chaves went to the bullpen.

Reliever Ben Talbot got Sonny Pezzello to hit a grounder to second base, but the Cadets were unable to turn the double play. That allowed another run to score, making it 5-1, before Dylan Bosco followed with an RBI single.

Two more walks, the second to Alex Petchark, plated the final run of the frame. Burrows then flied out to center field to end the frame, but Waterford increased its lead to 7-1.

St. Joseph pulled back a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, when A.J. Guerrero and Jack Mathews hit sacrifice flies. Charlie Pagliarini, Neil Velasquez and Luke Kirby had started off the inning with consecutive singles.

Waterford squashed any hopes of a comeback by pinning six more runs on the Cadets in the bottom of the fourth. Petchark delivered the key hit — a two-run double that upped the margin to 13-3.

St. Joseph struck first in the top of the first.

Stephen Paolini singled to center, stole second and scored on Jimmy Evans’ RBI double.

In the bottom of the second, the Lancers took the lead for good.

Castelpoggi reached on a lead-off error, moved to second on a bunt by Bakken and scored when Pezzello’s infield single. Bosco, who had four hits, followed with an infield single. The ball was thrown away on the play by the Cadets, allowing Pezzello to score.