Northwest Catholic defeated local rival Hall in baseball, earning the Lions’ first win of the season.
By Marlon Pitter
The Northwest Catholic baseball team scored eight runs in the fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie and earn their first victory of the season in a 10-4 road win over Hall High School on Saturday afternoon in West Hartford.
“We needed a win,” Northwest Catholic head coach Cory Carlson said. “The way we’ve been playing so far this year, we’ve kinda been scuffling out of the gate, especially defensively. It was nice to come out and get a two-nothing lead, but unfortunately, we gave it back. But credit to the kids. They didn’t quit. They battled for the next four innings to keep it 2-2 into the fifth, and then we exploded for eight runs there.”
Daniel Fitzsimmons singled and stole second base in the top of the fifth to start the big inning for the Lions. At the plate, Northwest Catholic starting pitcher Luke Fox drew a walk, which meant the end of the day for Hall starter Griffin Van Rye.
From there, the Lions earned runs in numerous ways including base hits, sacrifice flies, defensive errors by Hall, and a balk.
“I think what it came down to is [that] we made more mistakes than they did,” said Hall head coach Nick Marsh. “The pitching change itself didn’t really have anything to do with what happened there. … We give up that run and instead of somebody picking us up and making the next play, I think we put our head somewhere it shouldn’t have been.”
Down 9-2, the Warriors made a second pitching change to Augustus Murchie, whose only run allowed came on a defensive error as he closed out the fifth inning. Murchie finished strong for Hall, allowing just one hit and striking out three Lions in 2.1 innings of relief.
Northwest Catholic jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a two-run double by Colby Lytle in the top of the first inning. Hall quickly erased the deficit with a two-run double from Van Rye in the bottom half, tying the game at two after one inning.
Both starters began to take control over the next three innings, not allowing a single run until the fifth.
The Warriors scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but the eight-run deficit proved insurmountable in the final stanza.
Fox struck out eight Hall batters and allowed just three hits, one walk, and two earned runs over six innings of work. Van Rye posted six strikeouts and allowed six hits, two walks, and four earned runs over four-plus innings.
The Warriors fall to 1-2 and will continue their 2018 campaign at E.O. Smith (1-2) on Monday afternoon.
The Lions improve to 1-3, meanwhile, and look to continue their success on Tuesday against Conard (2-1), another West Hartford rival.
“We pitched well enough to win [our] first two games, but errors didn’t allow us to do that,” said Carlson. “Today, we kind of put everything together and the result was obviously in our favor.”
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