MIDDLETOWN >> After getting knocked around by Rocky Hill-Cromwell-Portland two nights ago, Middletown has responded with a vengeance.
Post 75 blasted its way into the Northeast Regional tournament semifinals with a 16-6 seven inning mercy-rule win over Milford (Mass.) Sunday night at William J. Pomfret Stadium.
Middletown (33-16) and RCP will meet again today at 1 p.m. with the winner advancing to the championship game against Milford (Mass.) at 7 p.m.
“We know RCP is going to come out and they’re going to try and do exactly what they did the other night,” said Middletown coach Tim D’Aquila. “They’re going to put pressure on us and try to make us make errors. As long as we play good defense and pitch a little bit we’re going to be in every game. I’m hoping this team comes out like they did tonight.”
John Mormile powered Middletown’s attack with three hits and three RBI, Griffin Bremer had four RBI, Jordan Swilling drove in three runs, and Laurence Hill and Will Woods had two hits apiece.
“I feel like we’re starting to get to where we were earlier in the season and are starting to play better,” said D’Aquila. “It was great to put pressure on a team in this tournament.”
Scott Marks earned the pitching win in relief of lefthander Luke Sorenson. Marks allowed seven hits and struck out three in four innings.
“We have the utmost confidence in Luke,” added D’Aquila. “We prepared for this. We’re going to go with everybody on the mound and you have to with 18 innings in front of you.”
Middletown set the tone with a three-run first inning against Milford starter Kevin Lynch (three innings, five hits, five runs).
Post 75 then broke things open with nine runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Highlights included an RBI single by Mormile and consecutive two-run doubles by Bremer and Swilling.
“When you go one through nine and not really know who is going to make an out that’s always a good thing,” said D’Aquila.
Blake Hill went 3-for-4, while Matt Decina, Dan Mantoni, and Scott DeCapua had two hits apiece for Milford (29-10), which earned a bye into the championship game with a winners’ bracket victory over RCP on Saturday.
“The biggest thing is to turn the page and move to tomorrow,” said Milford coach Steve DiVitto. “That’s a great team that we just played tonight and RCP’s another great team. They’re going to duke it out tomorrow. We earned the right to be in the championship game and for us it’s a matter of coming out tomorrow and playing a great nine innings and see how we stack up.”