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The Guilford Senior American Legion baseball team took two out of three from Meriden in a weekend set on June 29-30 to complete a run of six victories in 10 contests. Guilford split a double dip on June 29, winning 5-4 before falling 9-3, but then blew by Meriden in the rubber match 9-2 on June 30. Guilford owns a record of 7-10.
In the first Meriden win, Post 45 got on the board quickly by putting up a four-spot in the first inning, yet Guilford answered with four the following frame to even the score. In the sixth, Ben Monte walked to lead off the inning, stole second, and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt prior to a sacrifice fly to drive home the winning run. Ryan Fraser went the distance to pick up the triumph on the bump for Post 48.
For the second game, Ford Linell surrendered five tallies in the first pair of innings as Post 48 committed three errors in the defeat. Guilford tried to respond to the early adversity with two runs in the second and another one for the fifth, yet Meriden tacked on a trio in the sixth to seal the deal.
"The first game against Meriden was a complete team effort I thought," said Head Coach Fred Parcasepe. "Yet in the next game, we didn't play well. It was a sloppy game."
For the series clincher, Post 48 took a steady offensive pace, scoring a run in the third before two in the fourth and a trio each for the fifth and sixth frames. Winning hurler Mike Donlan threw a complete game with nine strikeouts.
"We put together another nice team effort to win this game," said Parcasepe. "Donlan pitched a strong game and finished up the sixth and seventh innings strong. This was a good series to take as Meriden is one of the teams we are fighting with for the No. 3 and 4 spots in the zone."
Prior to the triumph in the Meriden set, Post 48 collected three wins in four matchups. After splitting a doubleheader with Berlin on June 22, Guilford took down Middletown 15-6 on June 23 prior to blanking Madison 13-0 on June 24.
Fraser picked up the victory in the Berlin triumph while Alex Potocsny earned the save.
Against Middletown, Post 48 earned an insurmountable edge by nailing down a whopping 10 runs in the first as Donlan used plenty of run support to grab the decision on the hill. Ryder Miconi also cleared the fences with a homer.
Versus Madison, the story was similar for Guilford with Post 48 notching seven runs in the opening frame. Miconi tossed a one-hit gem and fanned eight.
At the dish for Guilford thus far, it has several standouts in JP Peters, who holds a .367 batting average with six RBI, along with Miconi (.353 average) and Monte (.323, 4 stolen bases).
Post 48 is currently seventh in the Zone 3 standings, in which the top five squads qualify for the state tournament. After series against East Haddam and Wallingford, Guilford will travel to Berlin on Saturday, July 13 before closing the regular season against Westbrook in a double dip on Monday, July 15 and then another matchup on Wednesday, July 17.
"The Meriden series made me feel really good going into the rest of the season," said Parcasepe. "Pitching wise, we look very good and we need to finish up strong by taking these games versus teams below us. All we can do is win series and play consistently."