Cromwell is on the verge of coming all the way back from an 0-5 start to the baseball season. The Panthers have senior Connor Slifer to thank for their latest step toward .500.

The right-hander pitched a complete-game gem Wednesday, allowing just 3 hits and striking out 12 Old Saybrook batters to lead Cromwell to a 1-0 victory over the host Rams.

“It was as good as I’ve seen him in his entire career,” Cromwell coach Christian Budzik said. “He worked both sides of the plate well and got ahead of hitters.”

Slifer struck out Kyle Walton with the bases loaded to secure the Panthers’ fourth straight win.

“I gave him the freedom to call the last pitch of the game himself and he got the kid on a slider,” Budzik said.

Cromwell gave Slifer a 1-0 lead before he took the mound and it stuck. Tyler Cipolla singled, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on Jess Elfreich’s single.

The Panthers had two additional scoring opportunities but failed to add onto the lead. They left 7 on base.

Elfreich was 3 for 3 with 2 doubles and Cipolla had 2 hits to pace the Panthers’ 9-hit attack. Colby DiMenna, Evan UCol, Ethan Went and Owen Stafstrom also had hits.

Cromwell will attempt to extend its winning streak in a home game Friday against Portland.

“They’re having fun and have loosened up a bit,” Budzik said. “It’s good to have some momentum.”

Vincent Bibisi had 2 hits for Old Saybrook (2-7). The junior started and pitched 6 1/3 innings. He gave up 8 hits, walked 1 and struck out 4.

Elsewhere Wednesday:

Maloney 7, Middletown 1: Maloney touched Luke Weisenberg for 6 runs after the Blue Dragons right-hander took a comebacker off his right forearm. Middletown had just 2 hits — back-to-back doubles by Weisenberg and Corey Turcotte in the fourth, with Turcotte getting the RBI.

East Hampton 8, Old Lyme 3: Baden Plante had 3 of the Bellringers’ 11 hits and Jonathan Crowley homered in their Shoreline Conference win over Old Lyme. Crowley and Jason Johnson had 2 hits for East Hampton, while Aiden Palen and Austin Bigelow drove in 2 runs apiece. Alexander Zimmerman (5 1/3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 9 K, 3 BB) got the win for East Hampton. Rowen Meisner, Giovanni Winters and Aidan Carpentino had 2 hits each for the Wildcats.

Suffield 8, Haddam-Killingworth 1: Suffield (5-2) jumped on the Cougars (8-2) with 7 runs in the first 2 innings. Will Winiarski, JP Chaloux and Schermerhorn each had two hits for the Wildcats. Logan Bonzanelli scattered 9 hits while striking out 4 to go the distance. Luke Mauri had 2 hits to lead H-K. Ryan Erskine took the loss for the Cougars, who visit Hale-Ray on Thursday.

SOFTBALL

Mercy 6, North Haven 2: The Tigers improved to 9-3 behind Pip Karch, who got the mound win and drove in 5 runs with a home run and double. Karch allowed 2 earned runs, walked 1 and struck out 6. Maggie Mathews singled for Mercy. Emelia Brandi was 2 for 3 for North Haven and Alexandra Anquillare had a double. Mercy hosts Foran on Thursday.

Old Lyme 13, East Hampton 1: Emma Bayor struck out 14 and allowed just 2 hits in 6 innings. The Wildcats improved to 7-1. Sybil Neary hit a 3-run home run, drove in 4 runs total and scored twice to lead Old Lyme’s offense. Magdalena Tooker was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs, and Ava Roth had 2 hits, 2 RBI and 2 runs.

BOYS GOLF

Xavier 152, Amity 158

Medalists: CJ Giuliano (X) and Ryan Palmer (A), 36, at Racebrook CC
Xavier scorers: Brady Pill 38, Gavin Coletti 38, Ryan Glen 40.
Amity scorers: Dante Hardt 40, Nicholas McGonagle 41, Colby Crane 41.
Records: Xavier 7-0, Amity 3-2.

Haddam-Killingworth 187, East Hampton 190

Co-medalists: Declan Kessler (H-K) and Chelsea Woods (EH), 43, at Lyman Orchards-Player Course
H-K scorers: Cam Moore 46, -Owen Staskelunas 49, Andrew Crayton 49.
East Hampton scorers: Jacob Woods 46, Andrew Fenton 47, Colin Neary 54.

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