Bradford baseball battles past Ansonia for conference win


By Drew Terhall

BRADFORD — The Bradford baseball team held off a seventh inning rally from Ansonia to win 6-4 at home on May 6.

Bradford coach Derrick Skinner said the team came out and made great contact with the ball. With the tournament coming up, he wants the team to see some good pitching this week.

“We hit the ball pretty well. We made good, hard contact which was good to see. That’s the purpose of this week, to see some good pitching,” Skinner said.

Ansonia started off slow but made it a game after Bradford struck. Ansonia head coach Dustin Hecht said he wants to see his team come out faster and dictate the game from the start.

“We started out a little slower than I would like to see. Have been talking to the boys about coming out, we’ve been where we’re trying to get through the lineup and then we start to really click and start to put it together,” Hecht said. “We want to see them start doing that right off the bat. Tagging teams right off the bat.”

The Railroaders led 1-0 after the first inning off a RBI single from senior Trey Schmelzer.

Bradford then extended their lead with a four-run third inning to go up 5-0. Senior Landon Wills and junior Owen Canan each had a RBI single. Senior Hudson Hill drove in two more runs on a triple.

Ansonia responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. Junior Asher Shives and senior Trevor Hemmerich each drove in a run.

Hecht said the team was making good contact throughout the game, it was just right at Bradford defenders. As the game went on, Ansonia was able to put more balls in play.

Bradford got one run back in the bottom of the fourth off a walk with bases loaded by Canan.

Ansonia did get some runners in scoring position in the top of the seventh inning. Senior Keegen Weiss hit a two-run double.

That’s all Ansonia could muster as Bradford comes away with the win. Skinner said with this week being dedicated to prepping for the tournament, they used their top two rotation guys. He wanted his guys to be prepared for a situation where one has to come in after the other.

“I like the way we put the ball in play today. I would like to see us seal it quicker than putting guys on base late in the game. That’s why we went with our number one and number two back to back because we might need that in an upcoming tournament game,” Skinner said.

Senior Tucker Miller started the game and pitched 5.1 innings and had seven strikeouts. Wills pitched 1.2 innings and had five strikeouts.

Ansonia took a different approach to their tournament prep. Hecht gave his top guys some rest and let his younger guys take the mound. Sophomores Noah Heck and Cainan Robinson pitched for Ansonia.

Heck had two strikeouts in four innings of work. Hecht said it was an opportunity to let the younger guys know it’s time to step up and get ready for not only the postseason, but for the future.

“We got to get those guys experience. They’re going to need it for next year to be able to lead the team. We’ve thrown our top two guys a lot. Giving them some rest today with the tournament right around the corner,” Hecht said.

Ansonia is 8-11 with a 6-4 WOAC record. They will host Troy Christian on May 8 at 5 p.m.

Bradford is 15-7 with a 6-3 WOAC record. They will host Versailles on May 7 at 5 p.m.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected].

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