H.S. baseball roundup: East Lyme upsets top-ranked Berlin, 4-3

Berlin East Lyme High School, which has played nine one-run games already this season, believed it would have the advantage if it could just keep Tuesday's game close against Berlin, the top-ranked team in the CIAC Class M tournament and the New Haven Register Top 10 poll.

The Vikings were right.

Jack Livingston and C.J. Leindecker combined on a three-hitter with eight strikeouts, and pinch hitter Sam Gonski scored on a passed ball with two outs in the top of seventh to break a 3-3 tie as the 17th-seeded Vikings stunned the Redcoats 4-3 in the second round.

East Lyme (14-10) will play at No. 8 Cheney Tech in Friday's quarterfinal round in Manchester at a time to be announced). Cheney routed No. 9 New Canaan, the defending champion, 7-1 in the second round.

Berlin (20-2) had won 20 straight games, losing its only other game to Rocky Hill (4-3) in the season opener on April 9.

"We knew going in that it was going to be a tough ball game," Vikings coach Jack Biggs said of Berlin. "They're not 19-1 (in the regular season) for nothing, but on the flip side, we knew that we had been involved in nine one-run games this season, 13 of our games were decided by two runs or less, and on top of that, we played three Top 10 teams in Montville, Waterford and Plainfield.

"We faced very good teams all season long, so if we kept it close, we knew it would be to our advantage because that's something they are not comfortable with. There were a lot of 10 or 11 run games for (Berlin). We knew that if we kept it close, the more it favored us."

The game was tied 3-3 with two outs in the top of the seventh when Gonski walked on what Biggs called "a nine or 10 pitch at bat."

Austin Toback singled Gonski to third and Dean Beebe was batting when Gonski scored on the passed ball.

Toback went 3-for-4, including a solo home run, and scored twice. Leindecker came on in relief in the bottom of the sixth and struck out four of the last six batters he faced. Mike Morgan added two hits.

In other games:

• No. 25 Old Lyme, which split its regular-season series against Shoreline Conference rival Westbrook, won the one that counted most with a 13-0 victory over the No. 9 White Knights in the Class S second round. Matt Przybysz pitched a complete game four hitter for the Wildcats (11-12), striking out six and not walking a batter as Old Lyme advance to Friday's quarterfinals at another Shoreline rival, No. 17 Portland, which stunned top-seeded East Hampton 4-1. Dave Peck led Old Lyme's offense with four hits, including a double, with two runs and two RBI while Ross Golebiewski had three hits and two RBI, Trent Garbati and Cooper St. Germain added two hits apiece and Phil Cohen added a big two-run triple that helped break the game open in the third inning and finished with three RBI.

• Jordan Zeppieri had a double, two home runs, five RBI and three runs as No. 4 Montville beat No. 20 Northwestern Regional 12-1 in the Class M second round. Chad Mooney allowed five hits over five innings for Montville (20-4) and Buddy Dewaine had three runs and an RBI. Also, Jeremy Sagun had two RBI as the Indians advanced to the state quarterfinals for the 12th straight year and will host to defending champion and 12th-seeded St. Joseph on Friday at a time to be announced.

• Nick Williams pitched a four-hitter with 11 strikeouts as St. Joseph beat No. 5 Waterford, 2-0, in a Class M second-round game. Mark Hirshbeck had two hits for St. Joseph (17-7). Adam Goss allowed just one earned run and struck out five for the Lancers (20-5).

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