Lancers' hits are few and far between

Plainfield — The Waterford High School baseball team led off Tuesday's game with a single.

The Lancers only managed one more hit the rest of the game.

Unbeaten Plainfield gave its reputation a big boost as Waterford struggled at the plate again in a 5-3 loss.

"We need to get better at-bats," Waterford coach Art Peluso said.

The Lancers, ranked first in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, are 9-2, 3-1 in the Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division.

"It's like the first loss (2-1 to St. Bernard on April 28)," senior Seth Hoagland said. "Seventeen strikeouts. This game, 11."

Tom Sutera (2-2) scattered 10 hits with four earned runs for Waterford.

"He's been a bad-luck pitcher," Peluso said. "He beat South Kingstown (on April 19), we scored one run. He had to shut them out to get the win there. He lost a 2-1 game (to St. Bernard), and this game kind of got a little away from him late. It's tough to pitch when you go in (to the dugout), three batters go to the plate (and are retired) and you're back out there on the mound. You're trying to be too perfect, and when you try to be too perfect, bad things can happen."

Mike Esposito was 3-for-3, including a double, with three RBI and two runs for Plainfield (11-0, 4-0). He also struck out four in two innings of relief.

Panthers' starter Kyle Boarman allowed just two hits with seven strikeouts and no earned runs.

Sam Strout singled to start the game and moved all the way to third base on an errant pickoff throw.

Boarman struck out Tom Pezzolesi. Hoagland followed with a sacrifice fly to centerfielder Stephen Jankowski. It was the first of four straight fly outs to Jankowski.

"Ground balls have a chance," Peluso said. "Line drives have a chance. Fly balls are outs, you know? You've got to start squaring the ball up, getting on top of the ball and driving the ball. We're not doing that yet, but we will."

Esposito tied the game with a one-out RBI single in the bottom of the first.

Pezzolesi singled to lead off the fourth inning and stole second with one out. He moved to third when Connor Lewis' grounder ricocheted off Boarman's glove to second baseman Jeff Nicolosi, who threw him out.

Kevin Johnson was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners, but was thrown out by Jason Biesiadecki trying to steal second.

"I thought (Johnson) beat the throw," Peluso said. "Second and third, you get a single, you take the lead. It didn't work out that way.

"Bottom line is we put ourselves in these situations. Two hits, 11 strikeouts, you have to be aggressive. You have to be aggressive because you don't know when you're going to put a string of hits together."

Esposito hit a two-run double with one out in the fifth. Jankowski followed with an RBI single to push the Panthers ahead 5-3.

Strout and Pezzolesi led off the sixth inning with back-to-back walks. Hoagland reached on an error, scoring Strout.

Pezzolesi scored on Lewis' fielder's choice. Unfortunately for Waterford, Lewis grounded into a double play.

• The ECC protest committee voted 13-0 to grant Montville's protest filed during its April 29 game against Waterford as the committee agreed with Montville that the substitution rule was misapplied. The game will resume with two outs and the bases loaded in the Montville sixth inning at Waterford on May 14 (3:45 p.m.) The Lancers lead 5-4.

n.griffen@theday.com

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