Sports


Baseball Team Blanks Panthers, Walks Off Against Cougars, And Topples Mustangs

Published: April 24, 2019 at 12:52 pm

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Three completely different types of games, three outcomes that were exactly the same: Wins.

Newtown High School’s baseball team followed up a 10-0 rout of host Pomperaug of Southbury on April 17 with a 4-3 walk-off victory over visiting Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport at High Meadow Field at Fairfield Hills the next day, then jumped out to an 8-0 first-inning lead en route to a 9-1 triumph over visiting Immaculate of Danbury at NHS on April 23.

It doesn’t matter how you do it in baseball. After all, a soft bloop looks like a line drive in the box score.

The Nighthawks were dominant in their win over the Panthers, getting a six-inning, run-rule effort from Connor Haywood. The Newtown pitcher allowed only two hits, struck out eight, and walked a pair in an efficient 79-pitch performance. Newtown chipped away with two runs in the second and third innings each and one in the fourth, before putting the game on ice with a five-spot in the sixth.

Luke Melillo paced the offense, going 3-for-4, including a double, and driving in four runs. Haywood contributed two hits, drove in a run, and also scored once. Harry Lucas had a hit and two RBI; Matt Bradbury had a hit, run batted in, and three runs scored; and Michael Cotton also knocked in a run. Shane Demers walked twice and scored three times. Sammy Smith had a hit, walked, and scored two runs.

Newtown used speed on the bases to keep up the pressure, as Smith had two stolen bases and Bradbury and Melillo each swiped a base.

Against Kolbe, Josh Taylor capped a late-innings comeback with a sacrifice fly to end it in the bottom of the seventh inning.

This was a see-saw game, with Kolbe scoring first, in the top of the fourth, and Newtown answering with a pair of runs in the bottom of the same inning on a two-run double off the bat of Demers.

Kolbe scratched out runs in the fifth and sixth innings for a 3-2 lead.

The Hawks tied the score in the sixth when Melillo singled, was sacrificed to second base by Haywood, and scored on a line drive single to center by Demers.

Newtown’s seventh-inning rally started with a leadoff walk by Smith. Todd Petersen reached on a bunt single, and Smith advanced to third on the throw, setting up Taylor’s game-deciding sac fly to left.

Taylor pitched seven strong innings for the win. He allowed five hits and only one earned run as Newtown committed three errors. Taylor walked two and struck out five.

Newtown jumped all over Immaculate in the opening frame, and Haywood pitched five innings of one-hit ball for the victory. Haywood allowed only one hit, one walk, an unearned run, and struck out six. Joseph Pagett (two strikeouts) and Smith each pitched a scoreless inning.

Smith, at the top of the order, homered, had two hits, drove in three runs, and scored twice. Haywood had two hits, including a triple, two RBI, and a run scored. Petersen had two hits, including a double, an RBI, and run scored. Demers had a hit and drove in a couple of runs. Bradbury singled, walked, knocked in a run, and scored. Eric Casagrande had a hit, three walks, RBI, and run scored. Melillo had a hit, two walks, and run scored.

The Nighthawks have won seven of their first eight games, including a pair of walk-offs.

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