MILFORD >> The summer season is always defined by pitching. For Ansonia, that pitching has been a big reason the squad has three wins early in the season.
Sean Bonaparte was next in line for Ansonia as the lefty mixed and matched his pitches, holding Milford to just four hits as Ansonia posted a 7-1 victory Friday night at Ken Walker Field in Milford.
Bonaparte was on his game from the start, striking out seven and holding Milford to just one hit through six innings. Milford rallied with three straight singles by Dillon Brown, Bob Augur and Nick Tuozzola to open the seventh, but a double play helped Bonaparte escape without any damage.
“I just tried to stay balanced,” Bonaparte said. “I did not try to overthrow. I just wanted to see the mitt and throw strikes. My slider was working really good. I had my fastball to start and then I went to my slider and off speed ahead in the count.”
Ansonia (3-4) took control of the game with five runs in the first inning off Milford starter D.J. Kish. With two outs, a pair of singles by Bonaparte and Matt Simon, coupled with walks to Lou Nicoletti and Jeff Glazer, gave Ansonia a 2-0 lead.
Ansonia then broke open the game. With the bases loaded, Lou Cutazeco roped a bases-clearing double to give Ansonia a 5-0 lead.
“The first inning was the game,” Milford coach Cliff Bugyi said after his team fell to 0-4. “The kid who doubled had an 0-2 count, then it goes full and he blasts one. That hurt.”
Milford got one run back in the second inning when Brown, Augur and Tuozzola walked with two outs and Brown scored on a wild pitch. Bonaparte escaped without any further damage as he got Tyler Kasuba on a grounder to first to end the inning.
“I thought he pitched very well,” Ansonia coach Dave Rhodes said of Bonaparte. “He made some big pitches.”
As Bonaparte retired Post 196 through four innings, Ansonia increased its lead to 7-1 in the fifth with two more runs. Nicoletti drove in the first run with a single and Bonaparte scored after being picked off third, but Milford was called for interference during a rundown.
“We took advantage of a couple of big hits in the first inning and a few of their mistakes,” Rhodes said. “We got the three-run double in the first and we added some runs later in the game.”
Bonaparte allowed a leadoff walk to Tuozzola in the fifth, but followed by retiring the next six batters in order.
“Pitching is going to be the key for us,” Rhodes said. “We play 30 games in 32 days. It will be that way for everyone.”
Bonaparte struck out seven and walked four in the win for Ansonia. Bonaparte and Cutazeco led Ansonia with two hits apiece.
“We are working hard and taking it game by game,” Bonaparte said. “We got swept by Branford last week and we did not want that to happen again this week.”
R.J. Jackson had the other Milford hit in the loss.