Valley Regional pieced together five runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by senior Sam Helsel’s three-run triple, to rally past Haddam-Killingworth 5-2 Monday and move into second place overall in the Shoreline Conference baseball standings.
Sophomore Braeden Sparaco went the distance in his first varsity start, setting down the side in the seventh with two strikeouts, as Valley (10-3) won for the eighth time in its last nine games.
“He gave up two in the first and held a good hitting team there for the rest of the game,” Valley coach Brian Drinkard said. “I was really impressed with his composure. His team really wanted to get him some run support the whole game and finally grinded out an inning.”
H-K (10-4) lost its second straight following a four-game winning streak. Alden Halfinger and Alec Erskine had two hits each for the Cougars.
H-K scored two runs in the top of the first on an RBI hit by Halfinger and a sacrifice fly. Halfinger, a hard-throwing senior right-hander, then set to it on the mound, holding Valley to two hits over the first five innings.
In the sixth, Andrew Salbinski reached on an error with one out. Colin Carver followed with a single and senior captain Kyle Metz doubled home Salbinski to cut the Cougars’ lead to 2-1.
A walk to Jason Malli loaded the bases for senior captain Helsel, who cleared them with a shot to right field. James Marsden’s sacrifice fly plated Helsel for a three-run Warriors advantage.
“In the sixth we just put some timely hits together and rode the momentum,” Drinkard said. “That’s just baseball. We were putting the ball in play all game, we just found some holes in the sixth after we got (Salbinski) on.”
Valley’s losses have come against three of the Shoreline’s best teams: 4-2 to North Branford in the season opener, 8-0 to H-K in their first meeting and 9-1 to Shoreline leader Coginchaug (11-2).
The Warriors’ week continues with a home game against East Hampton on Wednesday and a trip to Cromwell (9-4) on Thursday.
“As far as the rest of the season, we are just concerned with our next game and trying to play a good game,” Drinkard said. “If we play clean defense and put the ball in play, we will have a chance to win.”
HK 200 000 0–2 9 2
VR 000 005 x–5 5 0
Batteries: HK–Alden Halfinger (L) and Nick Glynn; VR–Braeden Sparaco (W) and Mason Erwin.
In other baseball games Monday:
East Hampton 7, North Branford 3
NB 002 100 0–3 5 2
EH 401 020 x–7 12 2
Pitchers: NB–Caleb Allen, Jeremy Bunnell (4), Mike Virginelli (5); EH–Carter Scovill, James Quinn (6). WP: Scovill; LP: Allen; S: Quinn.
Highlights: Dan Cascio was 3 for 3 with a double, RBI and 2 runs to spark the Bellringers. Colby Camp and Darren Way had 2 hits for East Hampton. Jadon Canelli was 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs for the Thunderbirds.
Records: East Hampton 7-6, North Branford 9-5.
Wednesday: North Branford hosts Cromwell (4pm); East Hampton visits Valley Regional (3:45).
Hale-Ray 5, Old Saybrook 0
OS 000 000 0–0 2 1
HR 310 001 x–5 7 0
Batteries: HR–Matt Lauria and Oliver Ross; OS–Noah Grace and Connor Lane. WP: Lauria; LP: Grace.
Highlights: Lauria struck out 11 in the complete-game two-hit shutout. Charlie Gable had 2 doubles and two RBIs for the Noises.
Records: Hale-Ray 9-5, Old Saybrook 4-10.
Wednesday: Old Saybrook hosts Portland (4:30); Hale-Ray hosts Coginchaug (4).
Xavier 6, Jonathan Law 2
X 310 020 0–6 8 0
JL 101 000 0–2 5 4
Highlights: Starter Tyler Hartley and Tiernan Powers combined on a 5-hitter and Drew Errera was 2 for 3 with 2 runs and an RBI for the Falcons. Hartley allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits in 4 innings and Powers pitched one-hit ball over the final 3. JP Hosney, Dillon Luke and Colin Loria drove in a run each for Xavier. James Marino drove in 2 runs for Law.
Records: Xavier 10-3, Jonathan Law 3-8.
Wednesday: Xavier vs. Wilbur Cross at Palmer Field, 7pm.
Haddam-Killingworth 4, Valley Regional 3 (8)
Highlights: Madison LaTouche and Audrey Snyder pushed across the tying and winning runs with RBI singles in the bottom of the eighth. Valley took a 3-2 lead in the top half of the inning on an RBI single by Cede Peno. H-K left-hander Kaleigh Bodak picked up the win, improving to 6-1. Kenzie Mule had 2 doubles for Valley. Chey LaTouche hit an RBI triple for the Cougars.
Records: H-K 11-1, Valley 3-9.
Up Next: Morgan hosts Westbrook on Tuesday; H-K visits Morgan on Wednesday.
Cromwell 16, Morgan 1 (5)
C 080 17x x–16 16 0
M 000 10x x–1 2 1
WP: Lily Kenney; LP: Kacey Edwards.
Highlights: Kenney pitched 4 innings in picking up her 11th straight win — also the 11th in a row for the Panthers in Clinton. Malena Signorello pitched the fifth. Cromwell’s offense was powered by Madison Tessmer and Grace McFarlin with 3 hits apiece. Kenney also added a triple and a grand slam. Jamie Anderson, Victoria Witrak, and Erica Dewey added 2 hits apiece. Kacey Edwards tripled and scored for the Huskies.
Records: Cromwell 11-1, Morgan 4-9.
Tuesday: Cromwell at North Branford, 4pm; Morgan at East Hampton/Portland, 3:45.
Mercy 21, Hillhouse 2 (4 1/2)
H 020 00–2 1 3
M (11)28 0x–21 16 1
Highlights: Alexa Boone struck out 10 and homered, Nicole Saraceno was 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored and 3 RBIs and Ashley DeLuca slugged 2 doubles to lead the Tigers to their eighth straight win. Boone was 3 for 4 with 6 RBIs, Katelyn Bailey had 2 hits and Amelia Andruskiewicz scored 3 runs. Jocelyn Maldonado had the only hit for Hillhouse.
Records: Mercy 10-3, Hillhouse 0-13.
Up Next: Mercy at North Haven, Wednesday, 7pm.
North Branford 12, East Hampton/Portland 0 (5)
EH 000 00–0 2 1
NB 720 21–12 13 0
WP: Bella Hills; LP: Chelsea Woods.
Highlights: Hills pitched 4 innings of 2-hit ball and went 3 for 3 at the plate with 3 RBIs to lead the Thunderbirds. Jada Miconi and Sophia Ouellet contributed 2 hits apiece, while Hanna Senerchia and Natalia Lucibello drove in 2 runs each. Julia Borelli and Leah May had the Bellringers’ hits.
Records: North Branford 7-1, East Hampton/Portland 3-10.
Xavier 173, Hamden 201
At Portland Golf Club
Medalist: Finn Russell (X) and John Carrozzella (X) 42.
Xavier: Russell 42, Carrozzella 42, Chris Drisdelle 44, Madison Whitney 45 (Gavin Coletti 45).
Hamden: Ryan Shane 47, John Ganuchaue 50, Kellen Sargalini 52, Daniel Maslowski 52.
Records: Xavier 2-6; Hamden 0-9.
Old Lyme 7, Cromwell 0
Abigail Sicuranza def. Kelly McTeague 6-2, 6-1
Callie Bass def. Denise Samarawickrama 6-0, 6-0
Sam Tan def. Dani Buccheri 6-0, 6-0
Livie Bass def. Caroline Rogosinski 6-0, 6-0
Lauren Wallace/Alexis Fenton def. Gabby Voccio/Amira Abdelghany 6-1, 6-2
Fiona Hufford/Izzy Reynolds def. Jess Camileri/Emily Green 6-0, 6-1
Sophia Ortoleva/Elaina Morosky def. Julia Baymuradova/Amina Beskovic 6-2, 6-0
Westbrook 7, Portland 0
Jesse Mcgannon (W) def. Cody Daggett (P) 6-0, 6-1
Joey Caslin (W) def. Noah Charpentier (P) 6-0, 6-3
Cooper Whitehouse (W) def. Eamon Pineda (P) 6-0, 6-2
Elliot Koplas (W) wins by default
Daniel Ruppenicker (W) wins by default
Mason Malchiadi / Gareth Whitehouse (W) def. Ben Mcgrew / Justin Fox (P) 6-0, 6-1
Ryan Engels / Eric Desousa (W) wins by default