CROMWELL >> Two-time defending Zone 7 champion RCP extended their winning streak to 12 games with a 4-2 and 4-1 doubleheader sweep over Hartford on Sunday afternoon at Monnes Field.
RCP (12-1 overall, 11-0 Zone) also widened its lead atop the league standings to three games over second-place West Hartford.
RCP starting pitchers Cole Ogorzalek and Tucker Lord were outstanding on Sunday. In fact, both righthanders tossed almost identical complete game victories.
Ogorzalek allowed just four hits, walked two and struck out four in the opener. He also retired 12 straight over the final four innings. In the second game, Lord gave up three hits, walked two, and struck out four. He also finished with a flourish by retiring 13 batters in a row.
“Those guys are good pitchers,” said RCP coach Jay Hickey. “They just haven’t had the opportunity.”
Post 105’s offense was sparked by Josh Zawisa, who went 4-for-5 with two RBIs; Tom Seaver, who was 3-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored; and Chris Bouchard, who had three hits, two runs scored and an RBI.
RCP needed to rally in Game 1 as a fired up Hartford team, which has wins over West Hartford and Tri-County and a pair of wins over Newington, took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning behind pitcher Levi Madera.
Hartford (5-7-1 overall, 4-6 Zone) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on Ed Rosado’s RBI infield hit. After Merlyn Herrera reached on an infield bunt and moved to second on a groundout, Rosado (2-for-3) dropped a single into rightfield to make it 2-0 in the third.
Lord started RCP’s rally in the fifth by drawing a lead-off walk. Kevin Radziewicz reached on a perfect bunt single and Alex Ramirez moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt. Bouchard then lined an RBI single to center and Seaver followed with a two-run hit to center to give RCP a 3-2 lead.
“Cole (Ogorzalek) did a great job because we came out flat and he kept us in the game,” said Hickey. “Hartford was ready to play. So we were lucky to get a few hits there.”
RCP added an insurance run in the sixth when Corey Baldwin doubled, moved to third on Lord’s bunt single and slid home on Radziewicz’s fielder’s choice grounder.
“Based on looking at the scoreboard over the season nobody has really stood with them and I thought we were right there in game one,” said Hartford coach Glynn Baron. “But they’re a good team, when you give them an inch, they take a yard. They’re tough.”
RCP also had a decisive three-run inning in the second game, breaking a 1-1 tie in the third on an RBI single by Seaver and a two-run double from Zawisa.
“We were flat and had no offense in game two,” Baron added. “It was hard to really muster anything. You get down a couple of runs and it feels like a lot more.”
The teams conclude their three-game series tonight at 5:45 p.m. at Cromwell High School.
“We have to be ready,” added Hickey. “Hartford’s playing a lot better this year. It’s always tough playing a doubleheader on a hot day. But good teams have to grind out those Zone 7 wins.”