TORRINGTON — A brutal day for pitchers turned glorious for hitters Thursday afternoon at Torrington’s Fuessenich Park as St. Paul Catholic (5-1) turned Wednesday’s tornado warnings into baseball reality when the Falcons served up a 28-9 five-inning crash landing for Torrington’s 4-0 season start.
“We had a 10-2 lead in the top of the third inning. Then they punched us,” said Falcons coach Vic Rinaldi. “We did a good job of counterpunching.”
The Torrington punch came with six runs in the bottom of the inning capped by a grand slam home run by Cooper Suminski (2-for-3).
St. Paul’s Ryan Daniels (3-for-5, walk, 7 RBI), a junior already committed to UConn, led the massive Falcons’ counterpunching in the top of the fourth with back-to-back three-run homers over the right field fence on the way to 15 St. Paul runs and the five-inning mercy-rule decision.
With a blustery frigid wind blowing to the outfield, it was that kind of day for pitchers, but Torrington, running through five of them, ran out of experienced arms long before St. Paul did.
Falcon freshman Ty Davis relieved winning pitcher Owen Davis after Suminski’s grand slam, posting the final Raider out, then sailing through two more innings with just one more Torrington run on the sails of a 25-9 lead.
“We have five games in six days,” said Torrington coach Pat Richardson. “With the pitch-count rules, we just sent guys out there asking them to give us their best effort.”
St. Paul knocked out 16 hits, led by three-hit performances from Jamie Leggett (3-for-4, 6 RBI), Daniels and Steve Morelli (3-for-4, 3 RBI), but 16 walks from Torrington pitchers put the stamp on inexperience and miserable conditions for the Raiders.
Torrington starter Tyler Semonich held St. Paul to two runs apiece in the first two innings. Then the parade began.
For Falcon hitters, Daniels’ comment about his second homer summed up the day.
“I was looking for a high inside fastball and I got it,” he said.