HAMDEN – With the second through sixth spots in Zone II up for grabs, every game takes on more meaning in the final two weeks of the season.
For Hamden Post 88 and East Haven Post 89, two games separated the two teams between second and fifth place heading into Wednesday evening’s contest. Hamden’s Mike Ferrett made sure Hamden kept its distance.
Needing just 69 pitches, Ferrett tossed a complete-game four-hitter as Hamden defeated East Haven 2-1 at Rochford Field.
“Mike Ferrett has not pitched in a couple of weeks,” Hamden coach Ray Guarino said after his team improved to 14-6. “We are trying to give some guys some rest. Mike stepped up big time.”
Trailing 1-0 in the fifth inning, Hamden prevailed by scoring twice in the inning, keyed by a long double by Eli Camner.
“Eli Camner came up with a big hit for us,” Guarino said. “He has been swinging the bat well. He is a veteran player. He got the bat through the zone like he is supposed to.”
With one out, Brian Hawes and Ron Grant singled. Camner then laced a long two-run double to the gap in left center, scoring Hawes and Grant for a 2-1 advantage.
“I was just looking for a pitch to drive,” Camner said. “We were hitting the ball hard all game. We were waiting for one to fall. This is a big win for us.”
The rest was up to Ferrett as he stranded a two-out single by Dom Delbasso in the sixth and Tristian Punzo’s two-out single in the seventh by getting Gabe Longely on a grounder back to the mound after Punzo stole second in the last inning.
“I had command of my fastball,” Ferrett said. “When I have that, I can work my secondary pitches in. My catcher (Hawes) did a great job moving the ball in and out. He called a great game.”
East Haven’s Mike Mancuso also pitched well, tossing a complete-game six-hitter, walking two and striking out two.
Mancuso worked out of trouble in the second inning when Hamden loaded the bases with one out after Austin Defilippo singled and Ferret and Will Rhone walked.
Mancuso was at his best as he got Brian Hawes on a comebacker to the mound for the force at home, then got Ron Grant on a pop out to the mound to end the inning.
“I thought Mancuso was solid,” East Haven coach John Longely said after his team fell to 11-9. “He has been solid all year. They just got the one big hit they needed. We battled all game.”
Hamden also had a pair of runners on in the sixth inning with one out, but Mancuso again escaped without any damage as he retired Rhone and Hawes to end the threat.
“Every game is a big game,” Longely said. “Every victory we get helps. We are right there. We are battling for the fifth spot. We got another well-pitched game which gave us a chance to win.”
Delbasso led East Haven with two hits in the loss.