Eli's Tavern Braves defeat Stratford Red, 8-6

Eli’s Tavern Braves continued to play in entertaining games in Junior Major League’s Minor Division, as they defeated the Stratford Reds, 8-6, behind the Milford Library on Sept. 30.

Stratford took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Braves bounced back in the bottom of the frame when Ben Kraft hit a solid two-out single and Cal Wrigley singled him home to tie the game.

Stratford scored two runs in the second inning before Austin Jennings induced a bases-loaded pop up to Ryan Samson at shortstop for the second out. He then got his second strikeout of the inning to strand the three runners.

Trailing 3-1, Samson led off the home second with a 10-pitch at bat before reaching first on an infield hit. Ryan French reached first on a dropped third strike and both runners stole their way into scoring position.

Jack Sellman put down a bunt to score Samson from third and reached first safely.Ethan Toledo took a two strike pitch hard to right field for a single, knocking in French to tie the game at 2.

Jennings followed it up with a RBI single of his own to knock in Toledo and give the Braves their first lead of the game.

With no outs, Devin Calvin smashed a hard grounder down the first base line, which was snagged by the Stratford first baseman saving a certain double but scoring Toledo from third to complete a five-run inning by the Braves.

Stratford was held scoreless in the third inning on the combined pitching of Jennings and Wrigley, including a key play at second base by Johann Chen securing the third out.

The Braves extended the 6-3 lead in the bottom of the third after consecutive singles by Kraft and Wrigley.

Kian McEnerny then drove a pitch to deep right center field for a stand-up two-run triple to extend the lead to 8-3.

Stratford fought back in the fourth inning with two singles and a walk to load the bases. With one out, Ryan Bull worked a walk to bring in a run. Mike Cosmas then put a ball in play and reached safely on a Braves error scoring two runs.

Wrigley induced a grounder to second base, where Lenny Ialeggio made a solid play to first to hold the score at 8-6.

Anthony Brassel closed out the game for the Braves on the pitching mound. Brassel pitched brilliantly, striking out the first two batters on seven pitches. After walking Stratford’s number four hitter,  Brassel struck out the next batter for the final out.