TORRINGTON — On a day when Torrington’s baseball team could do no wrong, pitchers Ben Smith and Joe DiPippo and hitter Cooper Suminski were great examples of all they did right in a 9-1 win over Watertown at Fuessenich Park Friday afternoon.
Smith and DiPippo combined for a one-hitter on the mound. Suminski fired a three-run triple for the opening blast in a 7-run Raider second inning on his way to 3-for-3 and a home run short of the cycle.
“You’re not going to win with just one hit,” said Watertown coach Jerry Valentino, whose Indians are 6-5 overall, 5-4 in the NVL.
“I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Watertown,” said Torrington coach Pat Richardson after Friday’s pasting.
Nevertheless, in an error-free game on both sides, a good smattering of Torrington fans may have seen the best of the Raiders, now 7-3.
Peyton DeFeo scored Watertown’s lone run in the first inning as a hit batter who stole second, tagged up on a fly-out to right and scored on a ground-out.
That was Torrington’s last gift to the Indians. Starter Smith (4 innings, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts, 4 walks) had runners on first and second with two outs in the second inning on a hit batter and a walk, then got the third out on a fielder’s choice to Suminski at third.
Breezing through the third inning, he got the first out on a nice play by shortstop Corey Pray, then loaded the bases with Watertown’s only hit — a double by Jake Gambee – and two walks. Two strikeouts ended the threat.
“Coach told me, ‘Don’t stress out; you’ve got (DiPippo) ready to come in behind you,” Smith said.
Like a pitching freight train, in fact.
DiPippo (3 innings, 0 hits, 7 strikeouts), a sophomore who “used to be a closer” came in after an opening walk by Smith in the fifth, throwing strikeout flames at seven of the next nine Watertown batters.
Long before that, Torrington batters were a train of their own in the second inning.
With one out, Indian starter Ian Glover lost the strike zone for two walks and a hit batter. He got the second out on a fielder’s choice at home, but Suminski, No. 9 in the batting order, stepped up for a three-run blast to the right centerfield fence.
Jake Groebl and Dean Basso followed with an RBI double and RBI triple. Basso scored on a wild pitch. After another walk, Pray finished the splurge with an RBI single.
“It’s good we had those seven runs,” said Richardson, when Watertown reliever Pat Mazzamaro blanked the Raiders for the next three innings, despite a double from Suminski.
But on a day like Friday for Torrington, no pitcher was likely to go untouched. Tyler Semonich started the bottom of the sixth with a bunt single, followed by Suminski’s third hit and a walk. Brian Duman singled both runners home.
“I’m starting to get better,” smiled Suminski after his career day. “I like batting ninth. Sometimes you get better pitches.”
“It’s been a good week for us,” said Richardson, despite close losses to Naugatuck and Woodland. “We were up for all our games.”
And by Friday, the Raiders were way, way up.