— Mike Madera (@MikeMadera2) May 23, 2016
MILFORD – Monday was senior day and Law’s baseball team was trying to get back to .500 before the postseason. It was going to be hard for anything to overshadow those factors when the Lawmen faced Hale Ray in the season finale.
Senior Evan Carollo found a way to do so.
Constantly ahead in the count and throwing a relatively easy 75 pitches, Carollo pitched a perfect game. The senior struck out 13 batters, including every spot in the Hale-Ray batting order at least once.
“I did not know,” Carollo said about knowing he was pitching a perfect game heading to the final inning. “Anything can happen. I didn’t have to strike out everyone. I knew my defense was there behind me.”
Carollo’s perfect game was tested just twice. Each time a brilliant play kept the Noises from getting on base.
The first test came in the first inning when Bryan Ziobron hit a hard grounder off the glove of a diving Joe Prizio at third. The ball bounced to senior shortstop Rob Griswold deep in the hole at short and Griswold’s long strike got Ziobron at first.
While the play by Griswold did not seem like much early on, it would stand out later in the game. Carollo then kept his feat alive in the sixth when he made a brilliant play on a ground ball up the middle by Jordan Keel for the final out of the inning.
“You don’t throw a game like that without one or two plays like that,” Law coach Greg Simler said. “I have seen games like this where you see the one or two plays early and you think about those later on after the game. The defense did not have many tough plays, but those two were big. Only a few guys can make that throw that Rob (Griswold) did.”
Carollo, who pumped fastballs by the Noises and kept them off balance with a curve and change, opened the seventh with a strike out, then got a grounder to third, before striking out Ziobron to end the contest in style.
“I was pretty pumped when I found out,” Carollo said. “It is Senior Day and I never pitched a perfect game before. It was important that I got ahead in the counts. I had every pitch working today.”
While Carollo’s performance will be remembered for quite some time, Simler can also be happy about his offense heading into the postseason. Struggling of late with the bats, Law pounded 12 hits and took advantage of three Hale-Ray errors to cruise to the victory.
“He dominated today,” Hale-Ray coach Rich Gable said of Carollo. “He has good stuff. He had command of all his pitches and he could throw any pitch for a strike in any count. His curve was good also. It broke late. He certainly had us off balance all day. We could not catch up to his fastball.”
Griswold finished the day with four hits and a run batted in, Carollo had a single, double, triple, and drove in a pair, and Kyle Frey drove in three runs.
“We have been working real hard on taking the ball the other way in practice,” Simler said after his team improved to 10-10. “We had some very good swings today.”
Law jumped on the Noises with three runs in the first inning. Frank Mucciacciaro was hit by a pitch to lead off the game, Griswold reached on a bunt single and following a double steal, both scored on Carollo’s double to left. Frey followed with a single to center to score Carollo for a 3-0 lead.
The lead increased to 6-0 with three more runs in the second. Griswold singled with one out, stole second and went to third on an error on the play, and scored on an outfield error. Tom Marchitto drove in Carollo with a double to left and scored on Nash Ericson’s single to left.
Griswold singled to score David Carelli in the third, Frey hit a sacrifice fly to score Carollo in the fourth, and Frey’s sacrifice fly in the fifth scored Carelli in the fifth.