TORRINGTON >> When Torrington junior lefthander Brian Bassler finished his first career start after three innings at Torrington’s Fuessenich Park Monday afternoon, Holy Cross led a tight game 3-1.
Crusader starter Chris Flynn left two outs into the next inning, tucking away an 11-1 lead on the way to a 19-1 final rout.
Holy Cross sophomore Connor Goggins highlighted the explosion with back-to-back homers in the fourth and fifth innings, driving in seven runs, including a grand slam in the fifth, when the Crusaders added another six runs to the destruction.
“We stopped them in the third and then we had a couple of big innings,” Holy Cross Coach Mike Phelan understated. “That allowed us to use all 23 of our guys in the field or on the mound.”
Torrington’s Bassler (5 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks) got out of a shaky first inning down just 2-0 after opening with a pair of walks to Adam Razza and Fran Phelan and an RBI single by Will Marshall (2 RBI).
Bassler settled in, giving up one more run in the top of the third on a double and single by Tim Zupkus and Mike Keating (2-for-3, 3 RBI).
Then Torrington, suffering two opening losses on the road, threatened to make a game of it. C.J. Root led off with a single, followed by three more singles and a Crusader error from the next four Raiders – Aaron Rainer, Jake Reynolds (2-for-3), Dom Sabia (2-for-4, RBI) and Cam Cerruto.
Sabia’s hit scored Root. Then center fielder Razza took charge of the Crusader defense.
Razza made a perfect relay through first baseman Matt Bonvicini to catch Rainer at the plate, trying for two on Sabia’s hit. With two outs and the bases loaded, he sprinted for the final out on a on a blast by Torrington sophomore Mike Paniati.
Bassler was done. The Crusader offense was just starting. Three walks and five hits, punctuated with an RBI double from Phelan, RBI walk from Marshall, RBI single by Keating and three-run homer by Goggins handed starter Flynn (3.2 innings; 5 hits, 1 earned run, 4 strikeouts, 2 walks) a sure win.
Next inning, Goggins made it a career day with his grand slam following an error, hit batter and three walks.
“I saw the ball well,” said Goggins, who started in left field last year as a freshman. “I worked hard all winter.”
Meanwhile, with what would have been their best pitcher out with an injury for the season and lots of youth, the Red Raiders (0-3) could be in for a long spring.
“We have a lot of young guys trying to step up,” said Coach Pat Richardson. “We’ll take it game by game, building for the rest of the season and the future.”
Holy Cross 19, Torrington 1
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
Holy Cross 201 861 1 – 19 16 1
Torrington 001 000 0 – 1 6 4
WP: Chris Flynn. LP: Brian Bassler. HR: HC – Connor Goggin 2. 2B: HC – Justin Alamo; Tim Zupkus; Corey Fappiano.
Records: Holy Cross 2-0; Torrington 0-3.