BERLIN>> Morgan took control of the momentum in the bottom of the fifth inning at Sgt. Zipadelli Field and rode it to the its first state finals appearance since 1968.
Jared Spanier, the winning pitcher, blasted a double to left center to lead off the fifth then Maddon Ward hit a fly ball to right field that would have been the third out, but it bounced off Dan Lawrence’s glove, allowing Spanier to score.
The fourth-seeded Huskies got one more run in the fifth and three in the sixth to beat eighth-seeded Coventry 5-1.
Morgan will play 27th-seeded Northwest Catholic in the Class S final on Saturday at Palmer Field in Middletown at 3:30 p.m. The Indians beat Career Magnet 2-0 in the other semi-final.
“We’ve been in games where we don’t do anything and then boom, we score runs,” Morgan coach John Litevich said. “We bunch our hits together.”
And that’s exactly what Morgan did.
The Huskies didn’t get a hit off Coventry starter Jake Jeroszko until the top of the fourth, but it was the fifth when the damage started with the two unearned runs.
“That’s what it comes down to, those momentum-changing plays,” Coventry coach Ryan Giberson said. “We didn’t make some routine ones and they made a couple big ones in big spots.”
Coventry had a couple hard hit balls in the top of the sixth, but Jake Ward ran both down in center field to stifle the rally.
“That was huge,” Spanier said. “Especially with two guys on and we don’t really want to get the other team on a roll, so he really stopped that right there.”
Morgan came back with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by a two-run double from Spanier, who later scored on a Greg Lee single.
Malachai Emond pitched one-third of the sixth and was charged with all three runs before Jerosko came back on the mound.
“At that point it was kind of like a momentum changer thing,” Giberson said. “Bring him in because they had a little bit of the momentum and thought maybe he’d shut it down, but he didn’t really have his greatest stuff and they hit the ball hard off of him.”
Spanier, who threw 125 pitches, told Litevich before the seventh inning that he wanted to finish the game and then ran out on the mound. He got the Patriots in order for the complete game win.
“He’s been unbelievable all year long,” Litevich said. “His ERA’s under one and that’s his seventh win of the season. His pitch count was high, but he wanted the game so we kept him in there and he got the three outs.”
Coventry’s lone run came in the top of the fourth when Jake Jeroszko walked to lead off the inning and Ben Norstrom drove him in with a single through the left side.
Coventry: 000 100 0 — 1 4 1
Morgan: 000 023 X — 5 7 1
(at Sage Park)
WP: Jared Spanier; LP: Jake Jeroszko
Batteries: (C) — Jake Jeroszko, Malachai Emond (5), Jake Jeroszko (5) and Mike Levesque; (M) — Jared Spanier and Dylan Ketch
2B: (M) — Jared Spanier (2)
RBI: (C) — Ben Norstrom; (M) — Jared Spanier (2), Greg Lee
SB: (C) — Jake Jeroszko
Records: Coventry 17-7; Morgan 20-4