EAST HAMPTON >> East Hampton’s Big Three pitching rotation of Marvin Gorgas, Zac Harrington and Zak Johnson has been so good this season, they may have masked any concerns Bellringers coach Scott Wosleger may have had with his offense. Those concerns became even bigger when Westbrook jumped ahead 4-0 in the top of the first.
The Bellringers then blasted their way to Dodd Stadium.
Top-seeded East Hampton rolled past Westbrook, 25-8, in the Shoreline Conference semifinals on Thursday. The defending champion Bellringers (20-2) will try to capture their third SLC championship in four years against No. 2 Cromwell (19-3) on Saturday (7 p.m.) at Norwich’s Dodd Stadium.
“I’m really happy for the kids that they are able to get this far in this conference tournament which is very difficult,” Wosleger said. “And happy for them that they get to play at Dodd.”
Trailing 4-0, the Bellringers scored eight runs in the first and 10 runs in the third.
Steve Peltier led the Bellringers 14-hit parade with a pair of doubles and a solo home run. Gorgas had two hits, including a bases-clearing double in the first that made it 8-4.
Jake Vickery (four RBIs), Dylan Riley, Matt Sevigny and Harrington had two hits apiece for East Hampton.
“The kids showed a lot of resiliency and competed at the plate,” said Wosleger. “We’ve been working on some of the situational hitting in practice and they were really focused. They didn’t strand runners and we got hits when men were in scoring position.”
The fifth-seeded Knights committed four errors. Six Westbrook pitchers, including starter Chris Dahl, issued 14 walks and hit four batters.
“I think our youth and our inexperience in tournament games showed a little bit today,” said Westbrook coach Derek Hanssen. “Chris (Dahl) has been great all season and sometimes pitchers come out and they just don’t have it. His location wasn’t as crisp and you have to give all the credit in the world to East Hampton because when our pitchers missed their spots they executed and they hit the ball hard.”
Sam Grigo went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Fletcher Comment had two hits and Chance Brockett (three RBIs) had a two-run homer in the fourth inning for Westbrook (14-8).
“Sometimes you just have to tip your caps and just try and turn the page,” said Hanssen. “Hats off to East Hampton. I wish them all the luck on Saturday.”
Johnson relieved Harrington with one out in the first and earned the pitching win with six strong innings. Johnson scattered five hits and struck out eight.
“He pitched well,” Wosleger added. “Who would have thought he shows up and he’s going to pitch seven innings today? He kept (Westbrook) where we needed to keep them. And fortunately for us we kept hitting throughout the game.”