HAMDEN – With season-opening sweeps the name of the game in American Legion Zone II action to start the season, something had to give when North Haven and Hamden Post 88 met at Hamden High Wednesday evening.
That something came in the presence of Tyler Osborne as the Hamden pitcher scattered six hits over six innings, allowing two runs, in a 5-2 Hamden victory over North Haven.
“The key was my fastball,” Osborne said after striking out six and walking one. “With the count 0-2, we were not going to waste pitches. They are aggressive. They are a good hitting team. My catcher Ron Desroches did a really good job calling the game.”
Hamden, now 4-0 and in a first place tie in Zone II with Branford, took control of the game early, scoring three times in the first inning and never looking back.
North Haven pitcher Luca Lawrence walked Osborne and Jake Pisano to open the game, before Mike Ferrett singled to score Osborne. With runners on the corners, Ron Desroches lofted a sacrifice fly to left to score Pisano, and an error later in the inning scored Ferrett for a 3-0 lead after one.
“We are off to a good start,” Hamden coach Ray Guarino said. “This is a good win against a great team. They had a great high school season, and Tim Binkoski is a great coach. He has his team ready to play and they follow his lead. The fact we came out and beat a very good team speaks volumes about this team.”
North Haven got on the board in the top of the third inning when Christian Somma reached on an infield single with two outs to snap a string of eight batters retired in a row by Osborne to start the game. A wild pitch sent Somma to second, before Peyton Farina put North Haven on the board with a run-scoring double to left.
After North Haven stranded Farina in the third and squandered a leadoff single by Brendan Clark in the fourth, Hamden capitalized and took a 5-1 lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Ferrett singled with the bases loaded and one out to score Nick DeBrizzi, and Frank Niro worked a two-out walk off Griffin Bottomley, who relieved Lawrence two batters into the fourth, to score Osborne for a 5-1 advantage.
“We had guys on, but we could not get the big hit,” Binkoski said, “We had a couple of opportunities, but needed some two-out hits and we did not get them.”
North Haven (3-1) had an opportunity to get back in the game in the fifth as a walk to Andrew Laudano and a two –out single by Farina had runners on the corners. After Farina stole second, Laudano scored on a wild pitch, but Osborne retired Hunter Garthwait to end the threat.
North Haven had yet another golden scoring opportunity in the sixth, but Osborne again won the battle. Steve Erbe and Zack Pincince singled with one out, but Osborne struck out Laudano and got Dan Cannavaciolo on a pop out to short to end the threat.
“He (Osborne) was great for us today,” Guarino said. “He was great. He attacked the hitters and we played good defense behind him.”
Pisano and Ferrett (two runs batted in) led the Hamden offense with two hits apiece, while Farina had two hits and a run batted in for North Haven.
Lawrence went three plus innings to start the game for North Haven, allowing three runs on three hits, while walking five and striking out two.
North Haven – 001 010 0- 2 6 1 (3-1)
Hamden – 300 200 x – 5 6 0 (4-0)
N – Luca Lawrence (L), Griffin Bottomley (4) and Kevin Lucey
H – Tyler Osborne (W), Henry Bielen (7) and Ron Desroche