THOMASTON >> With runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the seventh of a tie game, Thomaston’s No. 3 hitter Jake Tehan laid down a bunt that hugged the first base line, staying fair, scoring Mike Milius and lifting the Golden Bears past Housatonic, 3-2.
“Not (expecting it) with their number three hitter up with one out,” Housatonic head coach Daryl Morhardt said.
“Coach called for it on the spot,” said Tehan a senior. “It was spinning up the line I was like oh my god, stay fair.”
The game-winning run gave Blaise Russo, who went the whole game striking out nine, the win.
“It was really refreshing to know that every guy on the team can do that,” Russo said.
In his previous at bat, Tehan ripped a double that reached the hill in left field at Thomaston high school, still head coach Bob McMahon went for the squeeze.
“Absolutely have confidence in Jake to do what he is told to do,” McMahon said. “He is one of the best hitters and players in the league; I knew he’d get it down to go home with the ‘W’.”
Morhart brought in Willy Yahn to pitch the seventh, after tying the game in the top of the inning, and they thought about walking Tehan to load the bases and set up forces at every base.
“I told him (Willy) he had a base,” Morhardt said. “I was going to put him on if he got behind.”
Yahn who caught the first six innings of the game, admitted to being a little tired but it didn’t have any effect on how he pitched.
“I just have to go out there and do what I have to do to get us wins,” Yahn said.
Up until the sixth inning the Golden Bears led the Mountaineers 2-0.
Anthony Moura scored after he stole third on a double steal and the throw kicked away in the first and then Tyler Donofrio knocked in Milius on a bases loaded fielder’s choice in the third inning.
Golden Bears pitcher Blaise Russo kept them in the game keeping the Housatonic bats quiet for the first five innings, scattering two hits.
The Mountaineers got to Russo in the sixth when Yahn ripped a triple over the head of Thomaston centerfielder Justin Taylor and then scored on a Trevor Dakers base hit.
They got to him again in the seventh, Tim Haan led off the inning with a base hit and then stole second base and moved to third when the threw went into centerfield.
Russo rallied striking out the next two batters looking and with two strikes on freshman Scott Dignacoo, Russo bounced a curve ball in the dirt that got away from Donofrio, Haan scored tying the game.
“That passed ball killed me,” Russo said.
Morhardt was happy with his freshman’s at bat, after using a designated hitter for him the first two times through the lineup.
“He forced the passed ball, because he didn’t strikeout, he made him throw the hard curve,” he said.
Dignacco then got a base hit, his first hit in his first varsity at bat, before Russo retired the side.
With Yahn in, the final batter in the Thomaston lineup, Frank Romanelli lined a base hit up the middle, and then stole second, and Milius followed with a single of his own sending Romanelli to third.
“Frankie gave us the lift, this is why he is there, he is a good roll over guy,” McMahon said.
Milius would swipe second base and with no outs, Moura grounded to first and Housatonic’s Colin O’Reilly fired home to get Romanelli.
Moura took second, when nobody was there, setting up Tehan for the game-winning squeeze.
“We have to be able to get more support for the pitcher; it almost got away from us,” McMahon said. “We’re 2-0 and the goal is to win the next one.”
Both teams return to field on Monday with Thomaston hosting Nonnewaug at 3:45 p.m. and Housatonic plays host to Mt. Everett (MA) at 4 p.m.
Thomaston 3, Housatonic 2
Housatonic 000 001 1 — 2 6 0
Thomaston 101 000 1 — 3 6 1
Housatonic: Chris Vernali P, Willy Yahn C, Yahn (9) P, Chris Vernali C (9); Thomaston: Blaise Russo P, Tyler Donofrio C.
WP: Blaise Russo (1-0). LP: Willy Yahn (0-2). 2B: (THOM) Jake Tehan. 3B: (HOU) Willy Yahn. RBI: Trevor Dakers (HOU); Jake Tehan, Tyler Donofrio (THOM).
Team records: Housatonic 0-2; Thomaston 2-0.