CROMWELL >> RCP clinched its third consecutive Zone 7 championship with an 8-1 victory over West Hartford Friday night at Monnes Field.
RCP (17-1 league, 19-2 overall) took two of three from second place West Hartford (13-4 league) en route to winning its sixth zone title in nine years. Post 105 has three games left against Newington before playing in the state’s regional tournament on Wednesday, July 23.
“We want to fine tune a few things so we’ll be doing that next week,” said RCP coach Jay Hickey.
Cory Baldwin powered Post 105’s 13-hit attack by going 4-for-4, including a huge bases loaded single that fueled a five-run fifth inning. Chris Bouchard had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and Logan Lessard (2-for-4) added a clutch bases loaded two-run single.
RCP’s impressive offensive performance also featured long doubles to the outfield fence by Brendan Sullivan and Alex Ramirez.
“Finally, we got some hits,” said Hickey. “Our pitchers have done a great job this year but sometimes it’s nice to get a little pressure off of them. I’m sure it took a lot of pressure off Cole.”
RCP starter Cole Ogorzalek scattered just five hits in a sensational complete game effort. Ogorzalek walked none and struck out six.
“Cole pitched unbelievable,” added Hickey. “After the first two games we knew (West Hartford) really hit the fastball pretty well. Jake (Regula) has a great curve ball and did a really nice job against them (on Thursday). Cole’s curve is a little slower but he throws it for strikes. We had someone else in mind to pitch but we went with Cole instead and he pitched super.”
After Bouchard’s RBI double off West Hartford starter Pat McHale (4.1 innings, five runs, eight hits) gave RCP a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, West Hartford notched its only run on a double steal.
Alex White led off the second by getting hit with a pitch. After a strikeout, John Greenfield slashed a hit-and-run single past second base to put runners on the corners. Greenfield, however, was thrown out stealing by RCP catcher Kevin Radziewicz while White scored on the play to make it 1-1. (Radziewicz also threw out a baserunner in the fourth inning.)
Tied at 1, RCP sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth inning.
Radziewicz and Bouchard got things going with base hits. After Tom Seaver was intentionally walked to load the bases, Lessard delivered a two-run single over short to make it 3-1.
Christian Budzik kept the inning going with an infield hit and Baldwin made it 5-1 with a bases loaded single to right. Budzik later scored on a wild pitch.
“They’re not only the best team in Zone 7 but they’re one of the better teams in the state,” said West Hartford coach Elliot Lane. “They’re loaded with talent and that’s how you get better. You play good competition and play a team like RCP and it gets you ready for the playoffs.”