NEW MADISON – A two-out rally in the fifth inning led to nine Tri-Village runs and a 12-6 Patriot win on Thursday in a Cross County Conference baseball game against Ansonia.
Tri-Village coach Jim Maples was happy to leave with the win but thought his team could have played a lot better.
“Obviously I’m happy with the comeback,” he said. “I’m happy with the big inning. I’d like to see us play better baseball through seven innings than what we did today. Sometimes things happen though. I think Ansonia came out ready to play, and they got some stuff done out there and some things went their way.”
While Ansonia played well for most of the game, one breakdown doomed the Tigers, coach Dustin Hecht said.
“We played really good for the majority of the game, and one error and we kind of fell apart for one inning,” he said. “That’s the story of the game right there.”
While Ansonia played well early, it was Tri-Village who scored first in the opening inning.
After Jordan Buckley walked and Trey Frech was hit by a pitch, Tanner Maples hit a RBI single into center field to make it 1-0 for the Patriots. Frech went on to score on an Ansonia error, and Tanner Maples scored on a sacrifice fly by Mason Sullenbarger to give Tri-Village a 3-0 lead.
“After we scored three in the first inning, I thought today would be a short day,” Coach Maples said. “That’s what I really expected would happen at that point. Then we didn’t make things happen after that, and they got a few breaks and stuff happened.”
Ansonia started to make things happen in the second inning. Rygh Fortkamp singled, Kane Kimmel was hit by a pitch and Jarvis Thwaits walked to load the bases.
Tyler Neal then walked to bring in Ansonia’s first run, and Taylor Brewer walked to bring in a second. Ansonia got its third run when Dane Wentworth was hit by a pitch, tying the game at 3-3.
Ansonia took its first lead in the fourth inning with three consecutive singles by Logan Miller, Wentworth and Lane Clark to drive in a run.
“Really good to see us start to do things,” Hecht said. “We’re moving in the right direction. It’s just that Achilles’ heel of the season right there, that one error and it come back and get us. If we can cut that out we can play some really good ball.”
The game’s big shift came in the fifth inning.
After a leadoff walk to Luke Wheeler, Ansonia got back-to-back outs. Jordan Buckley then drew a two-out walk, and Frech doubled to tie the game at 4-4. Then an error on a Jonny Wilson shot into the outfield busted the game open and gave the Patriots two more runs.
After Tanner Maples doubled to bring in Wilson and make it 7-4, Sullenbarger was hit by a pitch and Christian Ricker singled. Then Wheeler singled to bring in a run, and Jared Buckley reached on a dropped third strike that made it 9-4. Ricker then scored on a wild pitch, Jordan Buckley singled in a run, and Jared Buckley scored on a wild pitch for a 12-4 Tri-Village lead.
“We scored, what, eight runs after that one missed play,” Coach Maples said. “That’s one of the things we pointed out talking to them after the ballgame that we’re that close to it be a super-tight ballgame again.”
After Tri-Village’s big inning, Ansonia scored the game’s final runs in the sixth inning. Miller walked, Wentworth singled, Clark singled and Miller scored on a wild pitch. Then after Fortkamp walked, Wentworth scored on a wild pitch and made it 12-6, which ended up being the game’s final score.
“We’re 7-4 in the league with a team of two seniors,” Coach Maples said. “We’re playing mostly freshmen and sophomores out there honestly, and to be 7-4 in the league right now and 12-9 overall I think is pretty good, but I don’t want us to be satisfied with that. I want to continue to get better, and I think we’re capable of doing something at tournament.”