HAMDEN – The Hamden baseball team did not finish the season the way it would have liked. Losing its final two regular season games and a Southern Connecticut Conference contest in succession, the Green Dragons managed to score just four runs in those three games.
All was forgotten Tuesday afternoon when 14th-seeded Hamden pounded 14 hits in a 15-4 Class LL opening round victory over No. 19 Conard at Hamden High. Hamden will travel to play No. 3 Ridgefield Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in second round action.
Henry Bielen led Hamden with three hits, including two doubles and three runs batted in. Jake Pisano and Matt Wendland each added a pair of hits, including a double, while Tyler Osborne had a double and drove in three runs.
“It was nice to come out and swing the bats,” Hamden coach Chris Borelli said. “We put the ball in play. We got some big hits when we needed them.”
Osborne also threw five innings to pick up the win, allowing one run on two hits, striking out five and walking three.
Trailing 1-0 in the second, Hamden (14-8) took the lead for good in the bottom half of the inning when Osborrne doubled to knock in Wendland and Michael Aceto.
The Green Dragons then broke the game open with seven runs in the third, knocking out Conard starter Dominic Niman, who entered the game with a 1.13 earned run average.
With the bases loaded on a pair of walks to Ronnie Desroches and Eduardo Pena, and a single by Bielen, Aceto walked to force in the first run of the inning. Wendland added a run-scoring single, Osborne walked to force in a run, and Pisano delivered Wendland and Aceto with a single.
“We executed with runners in scoring position,” Michael Ferrett said as he also doubled in the inning. “It was long overdue. We were swinging and hitting the ball hard, but not scoring. Everything was right at someone. We had a big third inning. It was huge for us.”
Conard (12-9) had a chance to get back in the game in the fourth inning with the bases loaded, but Osborne escaped without any damage. Osborne’s biggest pitch came with two outs as he got Andrew Ferrucci to pop out to end the threat.
“We couldn’t get an out in that (third) inning,” Conard coach Sanjay Rambhia said. “They did a nice job putting the ball in play. They used the strike zone very effectively. Sometimes you have to dig deep and find a way to get out of that inning. We didn’t do that.”
Bielen doubled to score Desroches in the fifth, and Hamden added five more in the sixth. Cullin Florio and Matt Cintron had run-scoring singles, and Bielen delivered two more with a double.
“It was nice to click on offense like that,” Borelli said. “Everybody made a positive contribution today. It was good to get everybody in the game, and to also rest some arms.” Niman led the Chieftains with two hits.
HAMDEN 15, CONARD 4
CONARD 010 000 3 – 4 7 1 (12-9)
HAMDEN 027 015 x – 15 14 2 (14-8)
C: Dominic Niman, Matthew Beazoglou (3), Anthony Carabello (4), Shamus Biggs (6)
H: Tyler Osborne, Henry Bielen (6)