Pictured: Nick Polizonis doubled for Post 105 in Tuesday’s suspended game at Fran Monnes Field in Cromwell. (Marc Silvestrini Photo)
By Marc Silvestrini
CROMWELL — RCP has some serious work to do.
Post 105 was trailing Zone 3 rival NCL Windsor Locks/Windsor 6-3 in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday when angry storm clouds and flashes of lightning descended on Fran Monnes Field at Cromwell High School, forcing the umpires to suspend the Connecticut regional qualifying tournament second-round contest.
The game will resume Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. with NCL batting with one out and no one on base in the top of the seventh inning.
Since both teams entered the game with 1-0 records in the double-elimination tournament, neither will be eliminated on Wednesday. Both will play their next tournament game on Thursday, according to the American Legion official in attendance Tuesday.
The teams split their two regular season games against each other.
“We’ll just have to take things at-bat by at-bat and see what happens from there,” said RCP coach Paul Francis.
Francis, who was tossed from RCP’s 1-0 win over Wallingford in the tournament’s opening round on Monday because the home plate umpire attributed a derogatory comment to him, received a call from Legion officials about an hour before the game exonerating him in the incident and revoking his mandatory suspension.
Francis also tipped his cap to the players in the opposing dugout.
“Those guys are great hitters,” he said. “That’s the best hitting team I’ve seen in the past couple of years.”
NCL’s big hitters got to Post 105 starter Zach Zajac early, scoring five runs on five hits and a walk in the first inning. Tyler Ruff’s two-run single and Hunter Demarco’s two-run double were the big hits in the inning.
Justin Valentin relieved Zajac with one out and a runner on second and shut the door over his five innings of work, allowing no runs on three hits while fanning three and walking no one. Valentin’s strong effort enabled RCP to climb back into the game at 5-3 after five innings, but he was relieved due to an escalating pitch count with one out and no one on in the top of the sixth.
Jesse Frazer took the mound, surrendering a single and hitting two batters to load the bases with two out. He then appeared to have worked his way out of the jam, but an infield error enabled NCL to plate an insurance run that stretched its lead to 6-3.
A two-run, second-inning double by Ryan Boyle narrowed NCL’s lead to 5-2 and Justin Fraleigh crushed a run-scoring double in the next inning to make it 5-3 through three innings. Both Boyle and Fraleigh had two hits on the day.
RCP had six hits through six innings, with Nick Polizonis and Zach Mascaro collecting the other two.
NCL had nine hits through 6 1/3 innings with Erik Romero, Claudio Santaniello and Ben Tillotson leading the charge with two apiece.
Should the 105ers rally to win Wednesday, they will play the winner of the Greenwich-Meriden game on Thursday. The Greenwich-Meriden tilt was also was suspended Tuesday with the teams tied 6-6.
Should NCL hold its lead, RCP will move into the losers bracket and face Fairfield on Thursday. Fairfield was a 1-0 winner over Waterford on Tuesday.