MIDDLETOWN >> Revenge is sweet. Especially if you do it against a front-line pitcher.
Earlier this season Hamden shut out Xavier. Monday afternoon was the rematch at Palmer Field and Xavier coach Rich Magner was worried. “Their kid is going to the University of Hartford,” he said. “I wasn’t sure we’d get anything off him.”
Xavier got a lot off Hamden starter Tyler Mitchell.
The Falcons hammered out 10 hits and cruised to a 9-2 win in a Quinnipiac Division game of the Southern Connecticut Conference, avenging an early-season 4-0 loss.
Xavier lefty Sean Carroll breezed through the Hamden lineup, allowing just two hits and no runs in five innings of work. He struck out three and walked two. After one of the walks the Falcons turned a double play. The second came after an error, but Carroll struck out two to strand both runners.
“I’m not sure if Mitchell had a bad day, but I know we had a good one,” said Magner. “We’ve been hitting the ball really well. We had 20 hits the other day and today we get 10, including a couple of doubles.”
This one was effectively over in the first inning when Xavier put up a five-spot.
Lawrence Hill (2-for-3) opened with a base hit, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Alex Parkos’ (3-for-4) double to right center. Four batters later, after a run scored on a wild pitch, Pat Downey picked up a run batted in when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to build the lead to 3-0.
Nick Roy (2-for-4) then slammed a two-run single for runs four and five.
“Parkos and Roy are hitting a ton,” said Magner. “Overall, we’re hitting better.”
Xavier got two more runs in the second inning. Back-to-back singles by Parkos and Alex Pia (2-for-4) put runners on first and second. A throwing error by shortstop Jim Magson on a ground ball by Downing allowed a run to score and C.J. Caprio’s ground ball produced another.
The Falcons wrapped up their scoring in the third on a two-run single by Parkos. Jason Rodriguez went the final three innings for Hamden (4-7), allowing just one hit.
Hamden got a run in the sixth and a second in the seventh and both were unearned. Reliever Dan Lawlor hit two batters and booted a ball hit back to him for the sixth inning run. An error by shortstop Hill led to the so-what run in the seventh.
The errors bothered Magner.
“We kicked a couple of balls we should make,” said Magner. “We shouldn’t have three errors in a game. We don’t have strikeout pitchers, so we have to make plays. If we make the plays, we’re OK.
“I thought Carroll did a good job. He made them put the ball in play and that’s good, We hit the pretty well early, too.”
Xavier (7-4) has a busy week ahead. The Falcons play Fairfield Prep on the road Wednesday and are home with Guilford Friday. Xavier plays Guilford again Saturday, this time at North Branford High School in a make-up game.