Baseball rivals see momentum switch

The Foran High baseball team was swinging the bats well on April 11, when the Lions took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning of their game with Jonathan Law.

The Lawmen answered in a big way, as they sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring seven runs in the process, and went on to post a 14-5 victory.

“One thing that we say to the team is that we refuse to coach your effort and today we verbally challenged them,” Law head coach Greg Simler said.

“We didn’t come out with a sense of urgency. Foran did. I’m proud of the way we came back and played those last four innings.”

Foran put the pressure in the top of the first, as Joshua Mixie, who played an outstanding center field, hustled out a double to left field.

Tommy Spear at second base made a fine play on Kyle Firmender’s roller ticketed for right field, and Evan Carollo covered the bag quickly from the mound to get the first out.

R.J. Jackson then ripped a liner up the middle that Carollo gloved, and then threw to Frank Mucciacciaro at third base to double off Mixie on a close play.

Law went in front 1-0 in the home first when Carollo’s sacrifice fly scored Mucciacciaro, who had led off the inning by reaching on an error.

The Lions took a 3-1 lead in the second. After Dylan Bartel reached on an error, Mike Bevino singled and Mike Howell was hit by a pitch.

Rob Griswold at shortstop made a good play to get the first out, as a run scored, and Carollo’s breaking ball garnered a strike out, before Rob Lynch singled to right field to give Foran a 3-1 lead.

Firmender took the first pitch in the Lion third into the left field corner for a double. He looked to score on Bevino’s two-out single to center, but Mike DeLorio came up throwing and Nick Marchitto made the tag at the plate for an inning-ending double play.

The Lions tacked on two runs in the fourth.

After a Law error to open the inning, Nick Tuozzola singled with one out and Mixie rolled a double to the fence in left to bring two runs in.

Foran starter Matt Alicki retired eight straight batters before Law’s uprising in the bottom of the fourth.

“We put ourselves in a bind,” Foran head coach Garrett Walker said. “We kicked the ball around and had (too many) walks.
“Offensively, we were swinging the bats and trying to put pressure on the defense. Law did the same. They are a well coached and disciplined team. You want to put a complete game together and today we didn’t do that.”

In the decisive frame, Griswold reached on an infield error, Carollo singled, and one out later Law worked a double steal.

Mitchell Smith walked to load the bases for Marchitto, who singled through the hole into left field to score a run.

It was 5-3 after a wild pitch. Then Joe Prizio and Nick Catandella walked to force home another tally.

Tuozzolla blocked one pitch in the dirt, but another went to the backstop to tie the game.

T.J. Stuart came on in relief for Foran and Mucciacciaro singled to give Law a 6-5 lead.

Walks to Kyle Frey and Griswold (RBI) were followed by Carollo’s run-scoring single.

Charles Knights’ hit to right field was turned into a fielder’s choice, but not before a run scored for a 9-5 lead.

Law added five runs in the home sixth, with Carollo singling in one run and Mucciacciaro knocking home a pair.

“It’s Foran-Law,” Mucciacciaro said. “We take pride in who we are. Yes, we have a bunch of juniors playing, but we can hang with anyone.”

Carollo said, “We started to play to win the game instead of not to lose. That begins with energy. When you give up a couple runs, you’ve got to get them back.

“I try to hit my spots and let them put the bat on the ball. That let’s the fielders do their job. I know they have my back.”

Law will host North Haven on Friday (3:45) and St. Joseph-Trumbull on Monday (4:15)
Foran visits Rice Field in New Haven to play Wilbur Cross Friday at 11 a.m. The Lions travel to Guilford Monday at 3:45.