Nighthawk Baseball Team Continues To Get Solid Pitching And Wins In Conference Games
Newtown High School's baseball team, after battling in a 2-1 loss to Brookfield on April 27, came away with a 3-1 victory over Bunnell of Stratford, at Fairfield Hills, on May 1, then topped visiting Joel Barlow of Redding 5-2 at NHS on May 2. The Nighthawks improved to 8-5 overall and 5-1 in South-West Conference play.
Against Brookfield, eight players had hits, with Eugene Citrano getting the only extra-base hit, a double. Rob Murray drove in the lone Nighthawk run. Dylan Champagne and Austin Kasbarian both had stolen bases. Orlando Swift went three and one-third innings, allowing two runs on five hits, with one strikeout and no walks. Champagne tossed two and two-thirds innings, allowing one hit and striking out four.
In the Bunnell game, Newtown lefthander Jason Hebner scattered five hits, struck out six, walked none, hit one batter, and picked two runners off first base.
"He pitched a great game. I think he's one of the best pitchers in the SWC, if not the best pitcher in the SWC," Bunnell Coach Sean Mignone said of Hebner.
Newtown seized a 1-0 lead after one inning on a Kasbarian single that drove in Ben Harrison, and added a run in the fourth when a Citrano double, Bunnell error, and Champagne RBI groundout produced a run.
With Newtown protecting a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning, Bunnell catcher Angelo Giannitelli had an infield single up the middle with two outs. Newtown second baseman Will Huegi made a sliding play to stop the ball from going into the outfield and save a run.
Citrano doubled leading off the bottom of the sixth and scored all the way from second when a grounder was misplayed in the infield.
Newtown Coach Ian Thoesen said he liked the way his team manufactured runs against a tough Bunnell thrower. Tyler Vancho allowed six hits and one earned run in six innings on the mound.
"Our game plan is to get pitchers throwing strikes, make the routine plays in the field, and put the ball into play, make the other team field it and put pressure on their defense," Thoesen said.
The Nighthawks executed the game plan as they struck out just four times. Bunnell committed two costly errors.
In the win over Barlow, Swift pitched a gem, scattering eight hits and allowing a pair of unearned runs in the final frame of his complete-game effort. Swift struck out eight batters and walked three.
Huegi doubled and drove in two runs, Robert Lombardo had two hits and a run batted in, and Miller collected a trio of hits, including a triple, and collected an RBI. Kasbarian had two hits and scored twice.