Law takes momentum early
Jonathan Law baseball coach Greg Simler and Foran High mentor Garrett Walker both agreed that how the first inning played out was a difference maker, despite the 11-0 disparity on the scoreboard in Law’s favor by game’s end, when the city rivals met in Devon on April 12.
Foran High’s Sam Olsson took the first pitch he saw from Kevin Johnson and drove it to deep right field for a triple.
After a strikeout, Law third baseman Jake Rouse fielded RJ Jackson’s grounder and caught Olsson in a four-throw rundown for the second out.
Dillon Brown was hit by a pitch, but Mack Taylor fielded Tyler Chacho’s roller to first base for the third out.
“That (first inning) changed the momentum,” Walker said. “They came right in (and scored two runs) and the hot team in a rivalry typically gets on a roll.”
“I felt good about how we capitalized and took control of our half-inning at the plate.
“Kevin Johnson held them in check in that first inning and that set the tone for us. I told him (before the game) that the game was on his shoulders.”
Taylor started the Law first by reaching on an error. Rouse inside-outed a pitch from Andrew Nolan into left field for a single. Jim Palmer and Johnson walked to force home a run.
Nolan fielded Kurt Holden’s hard comebacker and threw to Nick Tuozzola at the plate for the force out.
Rich Dow’s sacrifice fly to center made it 2-0 before Foran got a lift when Tyler Kasuba fielded Dillon Rocha’s single to center, hit Chacho with the cutoff, and Tuozzola made the tag on a sliding Johnson to end the inning.
Johnson went on to allow only two more hits, and the left-hander struck out seven in the process, before Dow came on to pitch a perfect seventh inning.
Tuozzolla, who played a great defensive game behind the plate, singled with one out in the Lions’ second at bat, but Johnson had two strikeouts and Rob Griswold at second made a fine play on Kasuba’s grounder to end the inning.
Seven Lawmen had hits and six players accounted for RBIs.
“When you play a Garrett Walker coached team you have to be ready to play to the last out,” Simler said. “We had to bring our ‘A’ game every inning.”
In the home second, Griswold and Tim Maher drew walks, moved up on wild pitches, and Griswold scored on another errant pitch.
After Taylor’s sacrifice fly was misplayed as the third run of the game crossed the plate, Rouse was intentionally walked to load the bases for Jim Palmer, who reached on an infield single to the hole at shortstop as a run scored.
Foran left the bases loaded, as Olsson caught a foul pop off third and Kasuba caught Holden’s frozen rope and doubled off the runner.
Joe Radecki was hit by a pitch with one out in the Foran third and Jackson doubled to left field. Johnson registered his fifth strikeout and Rouse stayed with Chacho’s hot shot to third, that knocked off his sunglasses, and threw to first to retire the side.
Nolan left the bases loaded with Lawmen in the third and retired the first two batters in the fourth, but Holden walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Dow’s RBI single to make it a 5-0 game. Olsson reached on Law’s only error in the game in the fifth, but was stranded at third.
Law scored six runs in the fifth, with Maher doubling home the first tally and Taylor singling home another. After a double by Rouse and a run-scoring wild pitch, Palmer drove a pitch into the trees behind the left field fence for a two-run home run.
Johnson had a single and courtesy runner Kevin Connors scored on Rocha’s infield hit.
“We walked too many batters and we left too many runners on base,” Walker said. “When we can put a game together we’ll be a good team.”
Evan Carollo pitched into the sixth inning and combined with Rich Dow on a three-hit shutout of Branford when the Law defeated the host Hornets, 5-0, on Monday.
Carollo picked up the win, allowing no runs and two hits through five innings. Jake Rouse had two hits, including a double. Dow was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Law won an 11-10 slugfest with host East Haven in its season opener.
Mack Taylor and Kevin Johnson drove in two runs each. Kurt Holden and Tim Maher each had a double and drove in a run.
Rob Lynch doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Foran to a 9-8 victory over Daniel Hand from Madison on Monday.
Foran led 5-1 after five innings, but Hand scored three in the sixth and four more in the seventh to tie the game at 8.
Foran scored three runs in the top of the seventh to pin a 4-2 loss on Career High in New Haven on Wednesday.
T.J. Stuart got the win. Joe Radecki knocked in two runs and Mike Caruso had a double.