WINDSOR>> The CCC North baseball division just got a little more interesting.
Windsor has been mathematically eliminated from winning the division crown this year, but the Warriors proved they can still play spoiler.
Windsor handed Manchester its second division loss and completed the season sweep on Wednesday, beating the Indians 5-3 at Windsor High School.
The loss by Manchester makes Friday’s game with Glastonbury (8-3 CCC North) mean even more. The Tomahawks sit one game behind Manchester in the loss column (awaiting Wednesday result vs. South Windsor). If Glastonbury can beat Manchester on Friday, the teams will be tied with one division game remaining for each.
“They’re right behind us,” DiDominzio said. “So it sets up Friday night at our place. That’s going to be another dogfight.”
John Nolan went the distance, struck out seven and allowed four hits as Windsor improved to 11-6 (7-5 CCC North) on the year, dropping Manchester to 13-5 (10-2 CCC North), ending the Indians win streak at eight.
“I felt real good,” Nolan said. “I was struggling a little bit in the beginning, but I settled down and my team gave me the support today.”
He struck out the side in the top of the first and then let his offense go to work.
Steve Romero worked a lead off walk and stole second. Connor Johnson drove him in with a single up the middle and then scored in similar fashion on a single by Matt MacGregor.
“It’s always nice to score first,” said Windsor coach Joe Serfass. “It kind of takes the pressure off.”
With the Warriors leading 4-2, Manchester’s Mike Bonino led off the fifth with a home run to left. The call was disputed by Serfass who made the argument that the ball bounced over the white temporary fence, but the call stood. Manchester cut the lead to 4-3.
Manchester got runs in the second and third innings on sacrifice flies. Frattaroli flew out to right to score the Indians starting pitcher David Stiehl in the second, who reached on an error and stole second.
In the third, Adam Hahn flew out to center scoring Jason Marsh, set up by thefts of second and third.
With one out and Stiehl on second in the top of the sixth, Nolan performed a hidden ball trick and caught his counterpart between second and third.
“We try to save it for must situations,” Serfass said. “It was a big out. We do what we can to win baseball games.”
Stiehl was pulled after five innings, four runs and three strike outs.
“He didn’t have his best stuff today,” Manchester coach Marc DiDominzio said. “But he battled. He kept us in the ballgame. Kept us one or two runs down all game.”
Bonino came on to pitch the sixth for Manchester and surrendered a lead off walk to Connor Morgan who came around to score on a single by Johnson.
Windsor has two divisional games remaining, South Windsor on Friday and Weaver on May 27, before it closes out the season with Conard at Eastern Connecticut State University on May 28.
Manchester: 011 010 0 — 3 4 2
Windsor: 201 101 x — 5 7 1
WP: John Nolan; LP: David Stiehl
2B: M-Lynch; W-Morgan.
RBI: M-Frattaroli, Hahn, Bonino; W-Romero, Johnson (2), MacGregor
Records: Manchester 13-5 (10-2 CCC North); Windsor 11-6 (7-5 CCC North)