HAMDEN — It took every ounce of effort Hopkins senior captain Chris Borter had left to record the final out in Friday’s dramatic FAA baseball championship.
Borter, who struck out the final batter on three pitches, pitched a complete game and was 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored to lead Hopkins to a a 7-6 victory over rival Hamden Hall.
“Obviously, we had Chris on the mound today,” Hopkins coach Rocco DeMaio said. “He’s the best and he wanted it. If you’ve got the best on the mound on the last day, you couldn’t be in a better position.”
With one out in the seventh inning, Hamden Hall’s Billy Gioulos singled. After a pop out to second base, Cam Maldonado doubled Gioulos home to pull the Hornets within 7-4. Then with two outs, Dennis Gamester turned on a fastball and put it over the left field fence to set up the dramatic final out.
— Will Aldam (@AldamWill) May 18, 2019
Borter had a quick first inning, surrendering only a single to Gioulos before stranding him.
Danny Carbone took the mound in the bottom half. A leadoff walk to Kyle Meury followed by a Borter RBI double plated the first run of the game.
Carbone walked two more batters in the inning before stranding the bases loaded, striking out the batter looking.
Borter worked around two walks to start off the second inducing a pop up to the catcher and striking out two.
Hopkins continued to get baserunners in the second inning on a Brandon Smith single. Carbone was able to get the next two hitters out before the Hopkins explosion.
With two outs in the inning, the next four Hopkins hitters reached base safely.
Jack Dove began the rally with a single, driving in Smith. Borter folowed with a single and Brennan Gollaher walked to load the bases for Robert Jaques. Jaques owned the moment and smoked a ball into the right center gap for a bases-clearing double, pushing the score to 5-0.
Maldonado came in to record the final out of the inning, stranding the runner at second.
Hopkins scored another run in the bottom of the fourth after Borter hit his second double of the game and was driven in by a Gollaher single.
Hamden Hall showed some life in the fifth, pushing three runs across on four hits, including Gamester’s two-run double to make it 6-3.
Carbone cruised through the fifth but gave up a single run on a two-out double off the bat of Jaques for a 7-3 Hopkins lead.
“A couple times early it looked like we were going to break it open.” DeMaio said. “You’ve got to give them credit. They switched pitchers, they were battling.”