ROCKY HILL>> It was the Spencer Bunting show.
The Rocky Hill senior captain did it on the mound and with the bat on Monday leading the Terriers past E.O. Smith, 7-2, at Rocky Hill High School.
Bunting, the Rocky Hill starting pitcher, went all seven innings, allowed two runs and struck out eight. But where he made the most noise was in the batter’s box.
In the bottom of the fourth, he drove a Hunter Hamlin offering deep over the left field wall for a 2-run home run to give the Terriers a 3-2 lead.
“[I was looking to] hit the ball hard, just get it in play,” Bunting said. “Make something happen [and] put the pressure on the fielders.”
Rocky Hill, meanwhile, chased Hamlin from the game in the sixth.
Chris Bouchard and Brandon Grover got it started with singles and then Bunting came up with another big hit. He lined a double to right center scoring two, giving him four RBIs.
“The kid’s a captain for a reason,” Rocky Hill coach Chris Farrell said. “He does what he’s supposed to do everyday. He comes to the park, he busts his tail and that’s all you can ask for.”
Bunting came in to score on a Brian Batalis single. Batalis scored when pinch hitter Trevor Whalen hit a sacrifice fly to right.
“We were hyped up for this game more than any other this season,” Bunting said. “We wanted this one really bad, because we knew that we gave one away over there (9-1 loss on April 25 in Storrs), we wanted to come back and make a statement with a home game here.”
The win brings Rocky Hill into a tie with E.O. Smith in the CCC East standings. Both are now 6-1 in the division.
E.O. Smith took the initial lead in the first when Anthony Stigler drove in Mark Tumosa with a single to right. Tumosa led off the game getting hit by a pitch.
In the second, Marcus Fry led off with a single and later scored on a ground out by Kyle Quenzer. The Panthers led 2-0 after two innings.
“I still think we played pretty good today,” said E.O. Smith coach Mike Susi. “We played a good baseball game.”
The Panthers played solid defense behind Hamlin, they just couldn’t get that big hit.
Hamlin induced three inning-ending double plays, in the first, third and fifth innings. Those were the only innings Rocky Hill didn’t score.
“That’s our big thing is our defense,” Susi said. “The pitchers know if they throw strikes the defense will play behind us.”
The first Rocky Hill run came in the second when Nick Cramer drove in Josh Zawisa with a single to left.
“We just have to keep rolling every single day,” Farrell said. “This is high school baseball. It doesn’t matter who pitches, who plays the field, if one bounce doesn’t go your way, it’s not good. It’s one game at a time.”
Rocky Hill stays in the division Tuesday when they travel to Henry Park in Rockville and E.O. Smith plays RHAM on Wednesday in Hebron.
E.O. Smith: 110 000 0 — 2 7 1
Rocky Hill: 010 204 x — 7 11 1
WP: Spencer Bunting; LP: Hunter Hamlin
2B: EO–Cornell. RH–Bunting, Cramer.
RBI: EO–Stigler, Quenzer. RH–Cramer, Bunting (4), Batalis, Whalen.
Records: E.O. Smith 10-2 (6-1 CCC East), Rocky Hill 10-2 (6-1 CCC East).