Home runs power Cadets to baseball win
St. Joseph High’s Matt Laveneziana hit an inside-the-park home run to the deepest part of French Memorial Park in the second innings of the Cadets’ non-conference baseball road game with Seymour High on Thursday.
Laveneziana had an easier trip around the bases when the senior slugged the ball into the neighborhood over the fence in right field fence for a three-run blast in the third inning. Head coach Jim Chaves’ team kept on swinging to take an 12-1 decision from coach Bob Kelo’s Wildcats.
Neil Valesquez smacked a three-run homer to dead center to spark a five-run sixth inning that took the score to 10-0.
It took this kind of power hitting to overshadow the pitching of the Cadets’ Mike D’Agostino.
A right-hander, D’Agostino gave up lead-off singles to 8-11 Seymour in its first four at bats. The sophomore got out of each jam by registering seven strikeouts during those frames. He finished with 10 strikeouts and allowed five hits in six innings.
St. Joseph took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning off Seymour right-hander Ryan Driscoll.
Valesquez and Mike Rotundo walked to start the rally and senior Andrew Walsh brought the run across on an infield grounder.
With one out in the third, Laveneziana ripped the ball up the alley in left-center and motored around the bases. Thinking triple out of the box, he kept going and slid inside the tag of Seymour catcher Jaylen Kelley to make it 2-0.
Valesquez beat out a hit to the hole at shortstop with one out in the fifth and went to second on a wild pitch.
Rotundo lined a hit-and-run grounder to third base, where Valesquez avoided Alex Massie’s tag at the bag and both runners were safe.
Laveneziana then drove the ball on to the roof of the house over the right field fence for a 5-0 advantage.
St. Joseph, now 10-9 with a home game remaining Friday with Bridgeport Central at 4:15 p.m., piled on five runs in the sixth.
Matt McKernan singled before Tom Montelli was rewarded for a great at bat, fouling off five balls, by drawing a walk.
A double steal with one out put two runners in scoring position for Valesquez, who drove a home run to centerfield.
Rotundo restarted the rally with a double, Laveneziana beat out an infield single, and Walsh hit a two-bagger up the gap in right-center for two RBIs and a 9-0 lead.
Tully Horne had a bucket of baseball walk and Stephen Toth plated the 10th run with a grounder.
St. Joseph added two runs in the seventh and Seymour avoided the shutout with a two-hit seventh off reliever Steven Amone, who enticed a pair of grounders to strand a runner in scoring position.