Senior right-hander Zach Zajac overcame a rocky top of the first inning to finish with a three-hitter and 10 strikeouts as Cromwell defeated East Hampton 6-2 on Monday at Fran Monnes Field.
The Shoreline Conference game was moved to Cromwell because East Hampton’s new playing surface isn’t ready to host a game. Sod and a drainage system were installed late last year, but the Bellringers haven’t gotten the go-ahead to even practice on the field.
Zajac allowed one earned run and walked two over seven innings. The Panthers gave him a 3-2 lead after one and scored single runs in the second, third and fifth innings.
“He settled in after a rough first inning and did a great job leading us on the mound,” Cromwell coach Christian Budzik said.
Avery Hall hit a two-run double in the first for the Bellringers (1-1), who opened the season Saturday with an 8-7 come-from-behind win at Morgan.
Zajac helped himself at the plate with two hits and an RBI. Designated hitter Nick Soignoli was 2 for 2 with a run scored and RBI, and Ian McMillan and Ethan Ucol (double) also drove in a run for the Panthers. Cromwell stole five bases in the game.
Dan Cascio had a double and RJ Stanford a single for East Hampton. Starter Baden Plante allowed four runs (two earned) on one hit and walked five in 1 1/3 innings. Alex Zimmerman struck out seven in three innings of relief and James Quinn got the final five outs, allowing just one hit.
In other baseball games Monday:
Old Saybrook 9, Old Lyme 3: Starter Jake Butler allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 9 hits in 5 innings, walking 1 and striking out 3, as the Rams won at home to start the season with a second straight win. Connor Lane struck out 6 in 2 innings of relief. For Old Saybrook, Nick Rothman was 2 for 4 with a home run, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored as the Rams pounded out 11 hits. Noah Hester was 3 for 4 with 2 runs and an RBI, Nick Scalzo drove in 2 runs, Carson Brown had a hit and 2 runs scored and Butler had 2 hits. Old Lyme starter Grady Lacourciere took the loss. Jaden Reyes led the Wildcats with 3 hits, Casey Hurtgen had 2 hits, James Creagan drove in 2 runs and Riley Warecke scored 2.
Haddam-Killingworth 10, North Branford 1: The Cougars (1-1) broke open a 1-1 game with 5 runs in the third before adding a run in the fourth and 3 more in the fifth to beat the host T-Birds (0-2). Liam Gordon allowed just 4 hits and struck out 7 in 5 innings and Alex Sheehan finished up with 2 scoreless innings. Blake Kamoen and Callen Powers had 3 hits each to power H-K’s 10-hit offense. Cam Garrett had a hit and RBI for North Branford.
Valley Regional 7, Morgan 5: Colin Carver had 2 hits and drove in 3 runs and starter Andrew Salbinski pitched well in 4 innings. The Warriors are 2-0. Bailey Goss pitched well for the Huskies (0-2) and Garret Garbinski had a 4-for-4 day with a two-run homer and 4 RBIs. “We are happy to come away with a win against a quality Morgan team,” Valley coach Brian Drinkard said.
Coginchaug 8, Westbrook 1: Henry Bugai pitched 4 innings for the win and Jeremy Mangiameli drove in 3 runs, leading the defending Class S champion Blue Devils to their second win. Jack Franceschet and Connor Willett had 3 hits apiece, Ethan Kupec had 2 hits and an RBI and Anthony Morro drove in 2 runs. William McCarthy pitched 4 innings for the Knights (0-2).
Hale-Ray 6, Portland 4 (10 innings): The Noises scored twice in the top of the 10th to defeat the host Highlanders. Oliver Ross was the winning pitcher as Hale-Ray evened its record at 1-1. Spencer Rosado took the loss after Portland (0-2) rallied with two runs in the seventh to force extras. Josh Hanna had 2 hits and 2 RBIs for Portland.
Old Lyme 6, Valley Regional 1
Abigail Sicuranza (OL) def. Olivia Baldwin 6-1, 6-2
Sam Tan (OL) def. Joanna Petrone 6-1, 6-1
Natalie Novak (VR) def. Callie Bass 6-4, 7-6 (4)
Elaina Morowsky (OL) def. Hannah Schwartzman 6-0, 6-0
Livie Bass/Alexis Fenton (OL) def. Ashley Cap/Clara Shea 6-1, 6-0
Aggie Hunt/Beatrice Hunt (OL) def. Regan Grow/Alessia Pisanzio 6-2, 6-1
Fiona Hufford/Izzy Reynolds (OL) def. Fallyn Belisle/Sophia Bonanno 6-0, 6-0
Morgan 5, East Hampton 2
Joseph Morse (M) def. Pat Gavrylchuk 6-2, 6-1
Steven Kinser (M) def. Konrad Piech 6-2, 6-4
Matt Lopez (M) def. Ben Fields 6-4, 6-1
Reilly Howard (EH) def. Nicholas Bausch 6-2, 6-1
Tarik Hasic and Damian Sevieri (M) def. Matt Piela and Romain Le Floc’h 6-0, 6-4
Anthony Miro and Chris Anderson (EH) def. Nate Kinser and Ryder Watson 6-1, 6-0
Page Guptil and Ryan Mansfield (M) def. Ethan Fields and Ben Maynard 6-2, 1-6, 6-4