MIDDLETOWN >> RCP’s baseball summer just got a little more interesting.
After losing to Cheshire in the state championship game, Rocky Hill-Cromwell-Portland has regrouped and is making the most of its second-chance in the American Legion Northeast Regional tournament.
Logan Lessard had three hits, including a three-run homer, and Cole Ogorzalek tossed a sparkling five-hit shutout as RCP advanced with a 13-0 mercy-rule victory over host Middletown on Friday night at William J. Pomfret Stadium.
RCP (26-7) will meet Milford (Mass.) tonight at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to the championship round.
“Now we have to turn the page and come back against Massachusetts,” said RCP coach Jay Hickey. “We’ll enjoy this and come back ready to play tomorrow.”
RCP’s big night started with a two-out rally in the second inning against Post 75 starter Mike McShane.
Christian Budzik drilled a double into the left corner, stole second and scored on an error. Brendan Sullivan reached on a bunt single and after Tommy Seaver and Kevin Radziewicz hit consecutive singles, Chris Bouchard hit a towering fly to center that was dropped and RCP led, 4-0.
“It’s disappointing,” said Middletown coach Tim D’Aquila. “We came out and played sloppily and got beat pretty good. It didn’t look like we were excited to be here to play Cromwell and that worries me a little bit. ”
After Bouchard doubled and Cory Baldwin singled in the fifth, Lessard blasted a three-run homer into the right field bleachers to make it 7-0.
“I just put a good swing on it and it went,” said Lessard, who added an RBI single in the eighth. “We’re going out there and just playing and having fun pretty much every day and going out and giving our all. It’s nice to have that second opportunity after losing to Cheshire in the championship game.”
Baldwin’s RBI single in the sixth gave a RCP a 9-0 lead. The Zone 7 champions, who finished with 15 hits, then tacked on four more ruins in the eighth.
“It wasn’t too hard to get up for Middletown and we came ready to play,” said Hickey. “It’s nice getting a few runs in the second inning.”
Alex Ramirez, Bouchard, Baldwin and Budzik each had two hits.
Meanwhile, Ogorzalek was making amends for a loss against Cheshire in the opening game of the state championship series.
“He wanted to make up for his last outing in Stamford,” said Hickey. “That wasn’t him that Friday night. He’s a gamer and he did a great job.”
Ogorzalek struck out seven and walked none in eight innings.
“It’s crazy throwing a shutout in the Northeast Regionals,” said Ogorzalek. “My team played great defense behind me and they picked me up when I let up a few shots. I love having the ball in a big game and they got me some runs and that took the pressure off.”
McShane (9-1), who suffered his first loss of the season, allowed five earned runs and eight hits in five innings.
“Mike really didn’t have his A game,” added D’Aquila. “I think that second inning frustrated him. He couldn’t really hit his spots and Mike has to hit his spots in order to pitch well.”
Will Woods and Jared Pflaumer each had triples for Post 75.
Middletown (31-16) plays Cheshire today around 12:30 p.m. in an elimination game.
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