GROTON – Coming off a loss, Waterford turned to its ace Mike Burrows to try and get back to into the win column on Saturday.
The senior righthander didn’t let his team down. Burrows went to distance, striking out 14 as No. 2 Waterford beat rival Fitch 9-1.
“We have a lot of confidence in Mike and he’s done everything we have ever asked of him to do,” Waterford coach Art Peluso said. “He has a lot talent which helps and he keeps getting better.”
Burrows, a UConn commit, struggled in the second inning. After that he went right to work mowing down the Falcons with ease.
“(It was a) new mound. I have never pitched off this mound before so I didn’t have a good feel for it in the first, but I obviously got the hang of it,” Burrows said. “I mean I just started picking up my momentum and about the third inning I went right after them. Enough playing around I just went to them.”
At one point Burrows struck out six in a 10-batter stretch.
“When he is (throwing) predominantly fastballs, everything else seems to work off that,” Peluso said. “I thought he did a great job today. It was a bounce-back game for us, so we needed that from him.”
After winning its first two games, the defending Class M champions lost to Plainville on Thursday.
“This was our bounce-back game. We did not play well (Thursday), we played on Wednesday and Thursday and won one and lost one by a run,” Peluso said.. “This was a pretty well-played game.”
The Lancers opened up with three runs in the first inning, highlighted by a two-run hit by Cadin Maynard. Fitch added a run on an infield single in the second.
For the next three innings it was a pitcher’s duel between Burrows and Fitch’s Tyler Nelli.
Nelli, who is the Falcons regular starting catcher, struck out the side in the top of the third. Burrows responded followed up by striking out two.
The Fitch righty struck out up two more in the fourth, as did Burrows.
“My starting pitcher did well,” Fitch head coach Brian McGugan said. “We haven’t had a good start in a while. I think he came out and threw a solid start.”
Nelli was done after five innings and the Lancer bats came alive scoring six runs against the Falcons’ bullpen.
Back-to-back two-run singles by Nick Porazzi and Sonny Pezzello capped the scoring.
Waterford 9, Fitch 1
WATERFORD 3 0 0 0 0 6 0 – 9 10 0
FITCH 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 – 1 6 0
Batteries: W — Mike Burrows and Joe Scotti. F – Tyler Nelli, Giovanni Valentine (6), Christopher Betty (6) and Joe Vignatio.
WP: Mike Burrows. LP: Tyler Nelli.
2B: W – Walker Sutman. F – Nick Helbig.
Records: Waterford 3-1, Fitch 5-1