TORRINGTON >> Wolcott’s baseball team beat Torrington 6-0 Friday afternoon in a benchmark game in a roller coaster season for both teams.
The Eagles and Raiders came into the game with matching 12-5 records, but Torrington’s loss is the fourth in the last five games after beating the Eagles 7-3 at Wolcott May 1.
Wolcott’s win is its fifth in its last six.
“Everything that was working in the beginning of the season is not working now,” said Red Raider coach Pat Richardson.
“These guys are ready to play now,” said Wolcott coach Tary Scott.
Part of it is contrasting styles. The Eagles play small ball. They like to bunt; they like to run. The style tends to prevent slumps.
The Raiders are big, long-ball hitters. They’re fearsome when they get hold of the right pitches. When they don’t, or when their shots go right at fielders, as they did Friday, here comes a slump.
Wolcott combined the styles for its first run, in the first inning. Torrington’s Jason Vinisko (7 innings, 3 earned runs, 9 hits, 2 hit batters) started with his only walk of the day. Wolcott’s Steven Urbanski went to second on Matt Warren’s sacrifice bunt, then all the way home on a double by Todd Manzolli.
They scratched out another run in the second on a one-out single by Raymond Bartoli, a hit batter, a wild pitch and a Torrington error.
Wolcott pitcher Isaiah Negretti (7 innings 7 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 hit batter) allowed just three Torrington hits because his fielders collected almost everything the Raiders could throw at them.
“I’m just relying on my defense,” said the junior right hander. “They came together and our hitting is coming together.”
The Raiders are practicing line drives, but the deep fly balls jinxed them Friday.
Manny Rijo hit a two-out double in the bottom of the first. A long fly out left him on third after a Wolcott error.
Kobe Covington found the key with a two-out grounder through the hole in the fourth. A pop-up ended his chance after another Wolcott error.
P.J. Kilmartin had the third Torrington hit in the fifth, ending with one more inning-ending deep fly ball and a nice catch by Wolcott center fielder Jacob Ramos.
Torrington’s defense did a masterful job of preventing a run in the fourth inning. Jason Pelletier led off with a bunt single, reaching third on a hit batter and a steal. Eagle Phil Olmstead, on first, drew the throw from freshman Raider catcher Cam Cerruto on an intentionally-lazy steal, sending Pelletier barreling home from third.
In a set play, the ball whipped back home from second, catching Pelletier half-way down the base path.
Torrington third baseman Covington caught up with him for the out.
Torrington’s hitters finished the last two innings as frustrated as they were with the rest – fly-outs, pop-ups and strikeouts.
Wolcott went to its short game for four more runs.
Singles by Vincent Gambino, Pelletier (2-for-3), Bartoli (2-for-3) and Urbanski pushed two runs across in the sixth.
A single by Robert Perazzella, three-base Torrington error and sac fly by Pelletier got two more in the seventh.
Torrington tries to turn around against Naugatuck at Dodd Stadium in Norwich Monday.
Wolcott travels to Woodland.