LITCHFIELD >> With runners on second and third with no outs in the top of the sixth, John Lippincott ripped a line drive that skipped under Josh Guilmart’s legs and into left field, scoring both runners, opening the flood gates for a seven run inning for Northwestern, which is all they needed defeating Litchfield, 7-0.
“We were a little tentative early, we had six sophomores in the lineup,” Northwestern co-head coach Tom Germano said. “After we broke through, the hitting got contagious.”
Sophomore Bryce Ramsay, followed up Lippincott with a base hit, then an RBI double by sophomore Tony Pucino, 3-0. Nick Pedrolini added an RBI base hit; he was thrown out trying to steal.
After a strikeout, and a double steal where Pucino scored, sophomore Joey Colombie hit an RBI double, which was followed up by a passed ball that allowed Garrett Healey to score, 7-0.
Litchfield’s Evan Shortsleeve shut down the Highlanders’ lineup early, allowing just four hits, before the error in the sixth inning.
“I was getting in a rhythm, I focused every inning like it was the first inning,” said Shortsleeve who finished with four strikeouts in the loss.
He would leave in the sixth inning without recording an out.
“I wanted to pitch the whole game,” he said. “Especially against Northwestern.”
Litchfield head coach Kyle Weaver was very happy with his only senior’s start.
“He did great,” Weaver said. “He showed up and gave a chance to win, we just couldn’t score.”
On the other side, Nate Tancreti was dealing for the Highlanders in his first varsity start.
“No (nerves) not really, I knew I had a great infield behind me,” said Tancreti, a junior. “Just tried to throw strikes.”
Tancreti went six innings to pick up the win striking out six batters in the win, but he did find himself in trouble in bottom of the second and third inning.
After striking out the first batter of the second, Tancreit walked Nick Andro and then gave up a single to Ryan O’Bernier, he then balked sending runners to second and third.
Tancreti settled down to strike out Mike Minuci looking, then walked Matt Scappini and with the bases loaded he got Cal McKenna to ground out to first to end the threat.
In the third he got out of first and third jam. That was the last time in the game a Litchfield player got past second base.
“That way key,” Germano said. “It was great, we needed someone to step up and it was good for him and the team.”
Northwestern (1-0) returns to the field on Friday to host Shepaug Valley. Litchfield (0-1) travels to play Shepaug next Monday.
Northwestern 7, Litchfield 0
At Community Park
Northwestern 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 – 7 8 3
Litchfield 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 0 4 2
Pitcher: N – Nate Tancreti Catcher: Zach Risedorf. L – Evan Shortsleeve Catcher Nick Andro.
WP: N – Nate Tancreti (1-0)
LP: L – Evan Shortsleeve (0-1)
2B: N – John Lippincott; Joey Colombie; Tony Pucino
RBI: N – Colombie; Risedorf; Lippincott; Pucino; Nick Pedrolini; Garrett Healey.
Team Records: Northwestern 1-0 Litchfield 0-1