CHESHIRE >> The old baseball adage says “rallies are contagious.”
And there isn’t a more accurate way to describe what the Cheshire baseball team did on Wednesday than to use that saying.
The Rams scored eight runs on eight hits, including four doubles, in the bottom of the third inning and went on to beat No. 5-ranked Sheehan 9-0 at Burt Leventhal Field.
“Our offense had been nonexistent to this point,” Cheshire coach Bill Mrowka said. “And we’ve struggled putting some runs up…so to put up eight runs against a pretty good team and we had some guys finally break out and hit the ball hard.”
Sheehan starter Griffin Andrews seemed to be in control in the first two innings, getting the first six batters he faced out in order.
But then came the third inning and the second time through the order.
No. 7 hitting Jeson Bassett led off the inning with a single, but Brandon Clark struck out. Ryan Strollo drove in the first run with a double to left-center, but Altrin Kaboshi grounded out.
The next seven Rams batters reached base with two outs.
Ben Schena and Ben DeLaubell singled and Cheshire starting pitcher Gary Costello walked, before Nick Sansome broke the game open. He took the Andrews offering deep to right-center field clearing the bases and making it a 5-0 Cheshire lead.
“A freshman came up big with a two-out double,” Sansome said. “That got some energy and we got a couple hits. Kids were getting up, we were scoring some runs and then the double just gave us all energy and we just kept going through.”
Zach Barlok singled and Bassett doubled for his second hit of the inning to each drive in another run before the Titans made a pitching change.
Tim Doty took over on the mound, but a change in results wasn’t immediate.
Brandon Clark quickly doubled down the left field line to drive in the eighth run of the inning — all earned — before Doty could get the final out, a ground ball to first base.
The damage was more than done. The Titans were completely out of it.
The tone had been set early, even before the Rams offense exploded. Costello had struck out Sheehan’s all-state shortstop and lead-off hitter Sal Gozzo for the first out of the game and then got him again, this time looking, to end the third.
“Gary pitched great,” Mrowka said. “Costello pitched absolutely awesome. That’s a pretty good lineup there, they’ve got some guys that swing the bat, there’s no easy outs and he battled. He got some of the top of their lineup, he got them to swing and miss.”
The Titans managed six hits, three of which came in the final two innings, and got just three runners to third base.
“We didn’t threaten them at all,” Sheehan coach Matt Altieri said. “We didn’t score any runs, so they could have scored one run and we could have lost.”
Cheshire added its ninth run in the fifth when Barlok came in on an error by the third baseman.
“This is a Housatonic game for us,” Mrowka said. “A division game for us on our field, a team that beat us up pretty good the last time, so we wanted to play a little better than we did the last time.”
Cheshire 9, Sheehan 0
Sheehan: 000 000 0 — 0 6 1
Cheshire: 008 010 x — 9 10 1
(at Burt Leventhal Field)
Batteries: S — Griffin Andrews (L), Tim Doty (3) and Steve Carrano; C — Gary Costello (W), Collin Hajjar (6/S) and Brandon Clark.
2B: S — Paul Gozzo; C — Nick Sansome, Jenson Bassett, Brandon Clark, Ryan Strollo.
RBI: C — Sansome (3), Ben Schena, Zach Barlok, Bassett, Clark, Strollo.
SB: S — James Michaud; C — Barlok, Bassett.
Team Records: Sheehan 7-3; Cheshire 6-4.