Baseball: Law's Connor Creane shuts out North Haven

Connor Creane pitched a one-hit shutout when the Jonathan Law baseball team opened its season with a 2-0 victory over visiting North Haven on Saturday.

“Connor was out number one starter last season and had number one stuff today,” Law coach Greg Simler said of his right-handed senior. “The biggest thing was getting strike one on the first pitch. He hit his spots and got ground-ball outs.”

Creane struck out five and walked two batters.

Law scored runs in the third and sixth inning to defeat the Indians, Class L state runners-up a year ago.

Evan Fratello, who had two of Law’s four hits, stroked a rising liner to right field that went for a triple. The extra-base hit scored Creane, who had reached first on an error to lead off the inning.

Carl Maxwell doubled to lead off the sixth inning. Vin Schulte followed with a two-bagger to give Law an insurance run.

Law stranded two runners in the first two frames, as North Haven starter Chris Ciarleglio pitched out of trouble.

Fratello singled and Bryan Reed walked with two out in the first, but were left stranded on Jack Lawless’ ground out to shortstop.

Schulte walked with one out in the second and went to third when Garrett Tutlis reached on an infield throwing error. Ciarleglio retired Dillon LaRouche on a deep fly ball to right to end the inning.

While North Haven gave Law a few extra base runners, the locals played errorless ball.

“We wanted to tighten up our defense this season,” Simler said. “Carl (Maxwell) set the tone with two great scoops of balls in the first on the first two batters. Our infield settled down and made the plays.

“A huge moment for us came in the third when Vin threw a runner out stealing.”

Creane had retired six straight batters, before he allowed a walk on a 3-2 pitch to open the third.

Creane notched a strikeout, before Schulte made an outstanding throw to Tutlis covering to get the runner looking to steal.

That was the only base runner for North Haven until the fifth inning, when Dave Christoforo doubled to right-center field.

LaRouche chased down Kevin Lucey’s drive in the gap for the second out and Tutlis made the play from short to leave the tying run in scoring position.

North Haven threatened again in the sixth.

After an inning-opening walk and a sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch put Dan Cannavaciolo on third.

Simler bought the infield in and David Flynn at third base made a fine play on a tough hopper. He looked the runner back and threw across the diamond for the second out.

Creane got the third out on a comebacker to the mound.

With the bullpen ready if needed, Creane retired the Indians in order in the top of the seventh.

“There are not too many games in the SCC where you are going to see a lot of runs,” Simler said. “Mostly, you are going to get 2-1, 1-0. They (North Haven) rolled out a good team today and so did we. Today was a good hard-nosed baseball game.”