Indians go back-to-back in baseball

Montville High School's Jordan Zeppieri dives past Waterford catcher Sam Strout into home plate for a run in the first inning of Thursday's Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division baseball game at Montville. Montville, ranked second in the New Haven Register Top 10 Poll, beat No. 4 Waterford 13-7, scoring four times in the first.
Montville High School's Jordan Zeppieri dives past Waterford catcher Sam Strout into home plate for a run in the first inning of Thursday's Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division baseball game at Montville. Montville, ranked second in the New Haven Register Top 10 Poll, beat No. 4 Waterford 13-7, scoring four times in the first. Tim Cook/The Day Buy Photo

Montville - The Montville High School baseball team wears camouflage warmup jerseys before and after games with fine camouflage colors: orange and black, the school colors.

When Montville's early six-run lead against old friend Waterford shrank to one headed into the bottom of the sixth inning Thursday, it was then time for the Indians to "hunt."

"'Hunt,' as everyone knows, is our motto this year," Montville catcher Jordan Zeppieri said after he and his team used a six-run sixth to pull away from the Lancers for a 13-7 victory.

"You have to hunt the ball. You have to attack the ball. Montville baseball is known to be pretty successful. We can't coast by at all. We always have to have the gas on the pedal."

It was the second time in as many days that the Indians beat their Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division rivals. Montville is ranked second in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll. The Lancers are fourth.

Isaiah Mack had two hits, two runs and two RBI for the Indians (14-1, 7-1). Chad Mooney added a single, two RBI and a run and Zeppieri had an RBI double and two runs.

Jeremy Sagun pitched the final three innings in relief and allowed just two earned runs for his first win. He, Stan Kesilewski and TT Bowens (RBI double) all scored twice.

Offense has been an issue for Waterford this season and caused coach Art Peluso to alter the lineup.

The Lancers had 10 hits Wednesday. They also had five errors.

"We kicked the ball around," Peluso said. "Pretty much plays that we make 100 percent of the time didn't work out for us today."

Sam Strout had two hits, two runs and an RBI for the Lancers (12-4, 6-3). Jacob Mangual went 3-for-4 and scored twice.

The Indians scored four in the first inning and led 7-1 after two.

"We put our pitchers in a very tough predicament today," Peluso said, "but to (the team's) credit, they kept moving forward, kept battling."

Griffen Archambault's two-run single highlighted a three-run fourth inning as Waterford closed its deficit to 7-4.

The Lancers scored two more in the sixth. Seth Hoagland's sacrifice fly cut Montville's lead to 7-6.

"When that adversity rears its head, and we always tell the kids it's going to happen - it's just a matter of when - you just have to deal with it," Indians coach Phil Orbe said. "You look (adversity) in the eye and say, 'OK, what's the worst thing that can happen?'

"Montville is a pretty tough town, so when things go wrong, we're not going to put our heads down. We're not going to make excuses. We're just going to take whatever the baseball gods give us."

The Indians wasted no time coming back. They scored six runs on four hits, a forced balk and four errors.

"We've been coached so well that we know not to worry," Zeppieri said. "If we're playing our game, we'll come back like we did."

n.griffen@theday.com

Montville's Chad Mooney rejoices after landing safely at second base on a close play during the first inning of Thursday's high school baseball game against Waterford. Montville won 13-7.
Montville's Chad Mooney rejoices after landing safely at second base on a close play during the first inning of Thursday's high school baseball game against Waterford. Montville won 13-7. Tim Cook/The Day Buy Photo
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