BRISTOL—Ellington defeated RCP 5-1 Tuesday night at Muzzy Field to force a deciding “if” game in the American Legion baseball super regional Northern Division championship.
The two teams will play Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Muzzy Field for the right to advance to the state championship series against Southington this weekend.
Going into the game, Ellington knew it would have to beat RCP twice as RCP was undefeated the super regional portion of the tournament.
Earning the win on the mound for Ellington was starting pitcher Stefan Lesco, who fired 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball allowing only four hits before Thomas Rush relieved him to record the final two outs and earn the save.
Offensively, the team was led by Kevin Smith who had the biggest hit of the game with a bases loaded triple in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ryan Decker and Brady Coleman each had RBI singles to account for the other two Ellington runs.
“He is definitely an impact player,” Ellington Coach Heath Kidd said. “He is a kid who has a lot of power as you can see the hits. He does for a lot for us to help us out so that was clutch.”
Ellington got out to an early lead in the first inning when leadoff hitter Adam Muzsi walked, stole second and eventually came around to score on Coleman’s two-out single.
Ellington carried its 1-0 lead into the fifth inning as RCP’s David Dewey started the inning off with a single and scored on a suicide squeeze by Zach Lombardo to tie the game at one.
It was not until the bottom of the sixth inning that the tie would be broken as Ellington led off the inning with back-to-back singles by Dakota Aldrich and Lesco. After a strikeout, Chase Kidd was intentionally walked to load the bases for Smith, who delivered with a clutch bases-clearing triple to put his team ahead 4-1.
“I just went into it looking for a fastball,” Smith said. “Thankfully he gave me one and I turned on it, and I gotta thank my teammates for picking me up when I was 0-2. It’s nice, but I want to win the whole thing and go all the way.”
Smith would also end up scoring on the single by Decker to make it 5-1.
Lesco started the final frame, but was removed due to pitch count. Reliever Thomas Rush recorded a fly out to right field and a strikeout to end the game after allowing a lone single.
With the win, Ellington forces a final elimination game that will take place tomorrow at Muzzy Field at 6:30 p.m. where the winner will move on to the State Championship and the loser will see its season come to a close.
“RCP is a great program.” Kidd said. “We know they are going to be ready tomorrow and we will be ready tomorrow and it is going to be another good battle.”