HAMDEN >> The wins just kept piling up for the Hamden baseball team this season.
Three games in, it was the best start since 2009. After a few more and it was the best season since 2006.
Once the Green Dragons got to 14 wins it was the most since 1995 and tied for second-most in program history.
After four more wins, including an 8-0 victory of Hand on Thursday at Rochford Field, the No. 5 ranked Hamden baseball program has tied new school record for wins in a season: 18.
The last time was the school’s 1977 state championship team, which went 18-0 in the regular season.
“I knew we had a good ball club coming into the season,” Hamden coach Chris Borelli said. “But to win 18, that’s special. It’s something that I’m not sure we’ve ever done in this program’s history. Winning 18 means a lot to these guys and it means a lot to us.”
Not only are the wins a record, but for the first time in program history the Green Dragons have qualified for the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament. Hamden will be the No. 2 seed in next week’s tournament (Amity is No. 1) and host a quarterfinal game.
“It lines us up nicely,” Borelli said. “Tournament games you want to play as many home games as you can, it just gives you an advantage. So that’s been our goal to lock those up and get as many home games as we can.”
Hamden also secured the No. 2 seed in the Class LL state tournament where, if the wins keep coming, the Green Dragons could host as many as three more games where they went 9-0 during the regular season.
On Thursday, the Green Dragons set another 2016 team record with six runs in the second inning. It is the most runs Hamden has scored in a single inning this season.
In the bottom of the second, 11 batters went to the plate, four got hits, three walked and one reached on an error to turn a 1-0 Hamden lead to 7-0 and put the game out of reach.
“We’ve been opportunistic offensively,” Borelli said. “We haven’t hit the ball the way I think we’re capable of, but that second inning we took advantage of what they gave us. We were fast and we have a lot of guys who can run and we try to take advantage of our strengths.”
The first three batters of the inning reached base safely loading them up for the No. 9 hitter Mark Durwin who promptly roped a 2-run double to the left-centerfield gap. Kwadir Delgado-McIntyre followed with a bunt single that scored another Hamden run.
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After starting pitcher Mike Ferrett walked, Andrew Kirschenbaum grounded out, but Durwin scored through the back door. Two more runs came in when Ron Grant hit a fly ball to centerfield, but it bounced out of the fielder’s glove.
“They played a flawless game today,” said Hand coach Travis LaPointe, whose team fell to 6-12 and must now win its final two games vs. Sheehan and Xavier to reach the Class L playoffs. Ironically, the Tigers have clinched a spot in the SCC tournament as the Hammonasset Division champions.
“Pitching, defense, offense, base-running. They played a great baseball game and we did not. We did not play our best game.”
Ferrett trotted back out to the mound in the third and began a string of 11 consecutive batters retired — five by strikeout. In the complete game shutout, the sophomore allowed three hits and walked three while striking out six to pick up his fifth win of the season without a loss.
“Today I just felt like everything was working for me,” Ferrett said. “Off-speed, fastball command. It was just very easy today. Brian Hawes, my catcher called a great game today. My pitching coach really called a great game, it was a lot of help.”
Hamden got single runs in the first and fourth on RBIs by Kirschenbaum, who grounded out, and Grant, who doubled in Trevor Brandi. Brandi, the Green Dragons shortstop, singled to lead off the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. He’s hitting .543 during that stretch with six multi-hit games and three doubles.
“I told my parents at the beginning of this season that I thought this team was going to do something special,” Ferrett said. “We had a lot of new kids on this team and we’re all hungry to win and I couldn’t have ever imagined 18 wins and it feels amazing.”
Hamden 8, Daniel Hand 0
Daniel Hand: 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
Hamden: 160 100 x — 8 8 0
(at Rochford Field)
Batteries: DH — Spencer Oliver (L), Evan Lohn (3) and Will Reiner; H — Mike Ferrett (W) and Brian Hawes.
2B: H — Mark Durwin, Ron Grant.
RBI: H — Andrew Kirschenbaum (2), Mark Durwin (2), Kwadir Delgado-McIntyre, Ron Grant.
SB: H — Kwadir Delgado-McIntyre (2).
Team records: Daniel Hand 6-12; Hamden 18-2.