Just days after the sudden passing of Foran High baseball coach Ken Walker, the Milford Post 196 baseball team, comprised of many current and former Foran players held a moment of silence in honor of their fallen coach before taking the field to play Stratford Post 42 at Foran High on Sunday.
Nick Pinto pitched a brilliant five-hit, one-run complete game in his first pitching performance in Legion ball to pace the 10-1 victory.
Foran ballplayers Ed Michaud, Joe Zanghi and Taylor Biagoni combined for eight RBIs and seven hits in the game.
Fellow Lions Kyle Winters, Cory Hadden and Shawn Cariglio added hits for Milford.
“Unbelievable, Nick had never pitched since sophomore year [at Jonathan Law],” Post 196 coach Cliff Bugyi said of the former Lawman.
“It was funny because Nick would always tease me, ‘I could pitch! I could pitch!’
“We’re in the bullpen and I’m watching him throw a curveball. I said ‘Listen, your elbow goes this way and the wrist goes this way,’ so whatever curveball he was showing me [had to be] fifteen minutes old.”
Zanghi got things started for Post 196 in the first inning. After Michaud walked, Zanghi drove him in with an RBI double to the gap in left-center to take a 1-0 lead.
In the second, Christian Baglini stroked a one-out single before stealing second and third. Biagoni then smacked a RBI double to right-center to make it 2-0.
Milford broke open the game in the third inning, scoring eight runs.
Winters started the rally with a double and Michaud followed with another double to put runners on second and third.
Zanghi then drove in a pair with an RBI double to right. Cariglio followed with an RBI double. After Jake Saley flew out to center, Baglini walked and Hadden singled to load the bases, sending Stratford pitcher Jamie DiStefano to the bench.
Steve Petrahia relieved DiStefano and allowed a two-run double to Biagoni.
Sean Cameron then reached on a hit-by-pitch and Winters had a sacrifice fly in his second at-bat of the inning, scoring Hadden from third.
Michaud then clobbered a two-run triple to bring in Cameron and Biagoni to make it 9-1.
With Zanghi at-bat, Michaud scored on a wild pitch to make it 10-1 in favor of Post 196.
DiStefano finished the afternoon charged with eight runs, while Petrahia allowed two in relief.
Stratford got its run in the bottom of the fifth.
Alex Tyler led off with a double and Petrahia was hit by a pitch. Mike Cody then drove in Tyler with an RBI single before Pinto enticed a double-play grounder.
“Pitching was a factor for us today,” Stratford coach Mo Scioletti said. “We just got out pitched and our inexperience showed at the plate.
“They [Post 196] came out here with a desire and a devotion to win.”