Avery Point baseball stays on top with old-fashioned teamwork
Groton - UConn-Avery Point has embraced a Three Musketeers mentality this season.
All for one, one for all.
Not satisfied with just winning the first game of a doubleheader on a cool, windy Sunday afternoon, the Pointers battled back from a 4-0 deficit to score a 5-4 victory in game two at Washington Park.
The Pointers relied on their depth to pull off the sweep of the Franklin Pierce junior varsity team.
In the first game, Zach Albin (6-1) went the distance, allowing three hits while striking out nine and walking just one in an 8-2 victory. Matt Martinez sparked a comeback in the second game, delivering a two-out, two-run double in the sixth, followed by Nick DeLotto's game-winning single.
"We had to come back and fight until the end," said Martinez, who's been the program's most productive player in the last two seasons. "We came together as a team and came back and won the game."
St. Bernard graduate Tyler Turgeon earned the save, wiggling out of a jam in the seventh.
"It wasn't our best baseball," coach Roger Bidwell said. "But we hung in there. That's our resiliency. We've done it a number of times this year."
The Pointers, who improved to 27-6 overall, have displayed a champion's heart since the beginning of the season. During their Florida trip in March, they rallied from an 11-0 deficit to beat Iowa Lakes Community College, 14-13.
Franklin Pierce appeared on the verge of closing out game two, as reliever Zach Daley recorded the first two outs in the sixth inning and held a 4-2 lead.
But Daley committed a throwing error of Kevin Hall's bunt and then hit Bryan Rivera with a pitch. Martinez, who entered Sunday's action with a team-high 35 RBI, drilled a double to deep right field, scoring both runners.
"Coach told me to stay back as long as I could," Martinez said. "I usually pull the ball."
DeLotto drove a line drive just over the shortstop's glove to knock in the go-ahead run. Waterford's Pat Rogers started the comeback with an RBI single in a two-run fifth.
Bidwell called on Turgeon, who had pitched just over seven innings this season, in the seventh. After leadoff batter Anthony Dedona reached on a two-base error, Turgeon fielded a comebacker and started a rundown that ended with Dedona being tagged out. He struck out the next batter and then issued a walk.
But Turgeon recovered by getting Ronnie Emanuelson to ground out to end the game, giving the Pointers another team victory.
"These guys have good chemistry and they all feel part of this thing, "Bidwell said. "And when they get their opportunities, they take the most of it. … They all feel part of it. They're all contributing, like Turgeon today. He hasn't pitched a lot and he came in and saved the game.
Martinez finished with five hits in the doubleheader. In the first game, Rivera, Hall and Chris Mayhew each had two hits and Matt Harrison had a two-run double.
Avery Point is battling Community College of Rhode Island to host the New England Region 21 championship series. The two teams play a pivotal doubleheader Saturday at Washington Park.
The Pointers just need to win one game to earn the right to host.
Martinez has faith in his teammates.
"We're a good team," Martinez said. "We really focus on what we have to do and the details and play as one."
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