EAST HAVEN — It might not even be the halfway point of the high school baseball season, but Guilford badly needed a win Friday afternoon.
Scoring seven runs in the first four innings, the Indians knocked off North Haven, 7-4, at East Haven High School.
Guilford improved to 3-6 with two games to make up due to inclement weather. It needs to go 5-6 the rest of the way to qualify for the CIAC Class L state tournament.
“We’re trying to take it one game at a time,” Guilford coach Brian Hayden said. “We preach win the week, but if we keep doing what we did today, we’ll find ourselves in and we’ll worry about it then.”
Guilford took advantage of a handful of North Haven mistakes early in the game to take a 6-0 lead.
“We’ve been the ones making mistakes recently,” Hayden said. “It’s nice to capitalize on someone else’s mistakes.”
Guilford went on top quickly in the first inning when Mike Afeltra (three hits) doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Potocsny.
After Guilford’s Chris Treiber laced Mike Card’s first pitch of the second inning over the left field fence for a home run, the Indians took advantage of shoddy fielding.
“We didn’t help him (Card) out on the field and at the plate,” North Haven coach Mocchie Dagliere said.
T.J. Williams tripled in a pair of runs and Chris Rogers drove in another, while North Haven made two errors that helped extend the inning.
“Offensively, we got away from our approach in the last few games,” Hayden said. “We spent the last three days in the gym working on it and they applied it in the first few innings.”
A two-run home run by Rich DePalma in the top of the fourth pulled North Haven within 6-2 before Williams added his third RBI of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning to make it 7-2.
Guilford had to hold on from there when North Haven’s Josh Lopez and Chris Brockett each singled in runs off Guilford starter Ford Linell in the fifth to make it 7-4. North Haven had the tying run in the on-deck circle and Hayden elected to take Linell out of the game at that point.
“Ford was up to 90 pitches, but he was starting to lose it,” Hayden said. “We’ve been using him out of the bullpen, but due to injuries, he moved into the starting rotation.”
C.J. Anthony came on and threw just two pitches before getting Nick Proto ground out to end the inning. Anthony allowed just an infield hit in 2 1/3 innings to pick up the save.
“Ford had thrown a great game and I knew I owed it to him to get out of it,” Anthony said. “Then I needed to finish up the game for us to get the win.”
North Haven dropped to 4-8 with the loss.
“They hit the ball and we didn’t,” Dagliere said. “Errors hurt any team at any level. You make mistakes and give them extra outs and it’s hard to come back.”