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Scores updated at the end of each quarter. Winner
Montville - Joseph Brachas, Montville High School's new starting pitcher, pitched a three-hitter with eight strikeouts Wednesday.
Stan Kesilewski, Montville's new starting right fielder, tracked down a base hit in the gap and threw the batter out at second base, preventing Fitch from having a big inning.
Buddy Dewaine, Montville's new starting second baseman, had a two-run triple.
Montville's collection of new starters looked a whole lot like its old starters as the Indians opened their season with a 3-1 win.
"We have a lot of young kids, and we really need them to step up, but we have a pretty good team," Brachas, a junior, said. "We've had a lot of depth over the years and have had a bunch of time for all these kids who've waited behind the seniors last year to show what they could do."
Seniors Brandon Haas (shortstop) and Jordan Volpe (third base/pitcher) are Montville's only returning positional players. Brachas was a reliever.
"We have some experienced players," Indians coach Phil Orbe said. "Brandon Haas, he has two state championship rings. There's a bunch of kids that played two years ago, it's just that we had such a senior-dominated team last year that a lot of them didn't get an opportunity. It's just a matter of getting them their reps."
Fitch is in the same situation as UConn-bound shortstop Aaron Hill is the only veteran positional player for the defending Class L state champions. And, like Montville, the Falcons have a promising crop of players who've been waiting for their turn.
Fitch also gained some talented transfers from St. Bernard - Pete Aldrich, Izzy Davila and Tristan Hurley.
"We don't expect us to be championship-caliber baseball (on) day one, but that's what we strive for, and that's what we keep working for," Falcons coach Marc Peluso said. "We have a lot of seniors who are willing to work and are willing to buy into the program."
Hill singled to lead off the Fitch fourth and went to third base on Hurley's single. Kesilewski threw Hurley out at second when he tried to stretch his single into a double. Hill scored on Jack Porter's two-out single.
Montville came right back in its half of that inning. Haas led off and reached on an error, Volpe singled, and Dewaine tripled both home.
Gregory Benjamin scored on a passed ball in the fifth to give the Indians a 3-1 lead.
"We have some issues that were exploited today that we'll address and get better," Peluso said, "and these guys are more than willing to work to at that to get better."
Orbe said, "We did not play great. I think we need about two more weeks of practice to be honest, just to get more reps. We have talented players this year, it's just a matter of getting them in the right place physically."