Pictured: Cromwell’s Ethan Went takes third base on a wild pitch in the third inning. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by Connor Slifer.

By Paul Augeri

CROMWELL — A short display of offense could go a long way toward Cromwell moving forward with its baseball season in the Shoreline Conference.

After losing five straight games to open the season, the Panthers are riding a mini-wave of momentum following an 8-3 win over Old Lyme at Fran Monnes Field.

Cromwell produced five runs on seven consecutive hits in the bottom of the sixth — after its first two hitters were retired — for a second win in a row.

“We obviously didn’t start the way we wanted to and I thought we were a little bit better than we were,” Panthers coach Christian Budzik said. “We’re starting to find out who we are as a team.”

Old Lyme took a 3-1 lead in the third on Grady Lacourciere’s two-run home run. Cromwell got a run back in its half of the inning when Evan UCol scored on Connor Slifer’s sacrifice fly.

The Panthers tied it in the fourth on James Vinchetti’s RBI single.

Cromwell flipped the game on its head in the bottom of the sixth against Old Lyme starter Owen Snurkowski.

Ethan Went’s two-out RBI double to the left-center gap scored Jess Elfreich from first to put the Panthers in the lead. Slifer, Alex Abdelghny and Tyler Cipolla followed with run-scoring hits, and Tyler Bonelli tucked this one away for Cromwell with a two-run knock.

Elfreich notched the win with two innings of one-hit relief. Starter Colby DiMenna went five innings and gave up three hits, two earned runs, with two walks and strikeouts.

“Jess made me look really good there,” said Budzik, “He comes in after Colby and mows guys down in the sixth, we break it open and shut the door.”

Abdelghany, Cipolla and Bonelli, the 1-2-3 hitters in Cromwell’s lineup, had two hits each and Went also had a two-hit day.

“I’m really happy for Ethan Went,” Budzik said. “He didn’t get off to the best start at the plate. He stayed late after practice hitting in the cage and coming in early. It’s good to see him finally break through and get a big hit.”

Snurkowski allowed eight runs on nine hits for the Wildcats (4-3).

Around the county Tuesday:

Morgan 8, Hale-Ray 4: The Huskies extended their winning streak to 6 as Ryan Donadio pitched 6 strong innings and Wyatt Luke had 2 hits, drove in a run and scored 3 times.

Trevor Powell had a hit and drove in 2 runs and Jack Palazzo contributed a hit, RBI and 2 runs for Morgan (6-2). Donadio allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, walked 2 and struck out 5.

Colby Bryant was 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI for the Noises (1-5).


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