LITCHFIELD >> In what began as a pitchers’ duel through the first five innings, ended in a high-scoring affair as 12 runs were scored in the last two innings, as Wamogo held off Litchfield to win the crosstown rivalry game, 7-5.
“That’s just baseball,” Wamogo head coach Gregg Hunt said after his team’s second win of the season.
Both starters, Tristan Pepin for the Warriors and Mike Minucci for the Cowboys dominated batters early with both taking no-hitters into the fifth innings.
In the top of the inning Minucci gave up a leadoff double to Wamogo’s Rob Whipple, who would come around to score, the first run of the game, after a passed ball and a throwing error by Litchfield third baseman, Ryan O’Bernier.
With a 1-0 lead, Pepin gave up a leadoff single to Litchfield’s Evan Shortsleeve, but that was it as Pepin was able to work around the single to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead with two innings to play.
“Pepin pitched a great game today and Mike was effective, he worked ahead all game,” Hunt said. “It really was good between the first two guys.”
It was in the sixth where the pace of the game did a complete 180.
Wamogo senior Steven Kopcho led off with a single and then Minucci walked sophomore Matt Rollins.
That was it for the junior, Minucci as Litchfield head coach Kyle Weaver brought in Matt McCarthy.
“Mike totally impressed us today, it was his first start of the season,” Weaver said. “We said if he let the first two batters on we would go get him.”
McCarthy’s first pitch went to backstop and then Weaver called for him to intentionally walk Pepin to load the bases for Jeff Aeschlimann.
Weaver brought the infield in and Aeschlimann ripped a hard groundball to Josh Guilmart who played it off his chest, allowing the Kopcho to score, but recovered to throw out Aeschlimann at first.
With runners on second and third and one out, Weaver choose to keep the infield in and pitch to Jordan Bergs.
“We didn’t want to give up anything more,” Weaver said. “We knew we could get to him (Pepin) or whoever they brought in.”
Bergs got jammed, but it floated just over the glove of the outstretched Guilmart who was on the grass and into centerfield scoring another Warrior runner, 3-0.
The Warriors tacked on four more before the inning ended and took a commanding 7-0 lead.
Pepin would continue his dominance getting the first two outs of the sixth with ease, before the Cowboys bats woke up.
Guilmart walked then stole second and scored on a McCarthy RBI base hit.
That was it for Pepin, who finished allowing only two hits over 5.2 innings, striking out seven.
Bergs was brought in and the Cowboys continued to hit, pushing across three more, 7-4 they trailed, before he was able to record the final out of the inning.
“Six to seven runs is not a safe lead, we had to play for every run and every out,” Weaver said.
After the Warriors went down in order the Cowboys bats again came alive pushing across one more run before loading the bases with two outs.
Rollins, who came in for the seventh, though was to get a groundball to end the game.
“If we came out and won 7-1 I would say we’re in the right direction, but now we still have stuff to work on,” Hunt said.
Wamogo 7, Litchfield 5
Wamogo 000 016 0 — 7 5 4
Litchfield 000 004 1 — 5 4 2
Tristan Pepin, Jordan Bergs (6), Matt Rollins (7), Steven Kopcho (C); Mike Minucci, Matt McCarthy (6).
WP: Tristan Pepin (). LP: Mike Minucci (). 2B: (WAM) Rob Whipple 2. RBI: Aeschliman, Bergs, Whipple, Bellmay (2) (WAM); Matt McCarthy, Evan Shortsleeve (2) (LITCH);
Team records: Wamogo 2-3; Litchfield 1-4.