East Lyme's run comes to an end in baseball
Middletown — Normally, the information that you just one-hit your opponent in the state semifinals is reason to ask when the bus is leaving for the championship game.
But then, who would ever consider — or imagine — an afternoon when five errors would hijack the season?
That's what befell East Lyme, the last baseball team standing from the Eastern Connecticut Conference, Tuesday at Palmer Field. The 17th-seeded Vikings' five errors, all in the infield, handed No. 4 Notre Dame of West Haven a 2-1 victory and a trip to the Class L championship game.
East Lyme pitchers Jack Livingston and C.J. Leindecker allowed a combined one hit and one walk. But their infielders didn't go three consecutive chances the entire game without making an error.
"I don't know what to say. One hit," Livingston said. "But you can't get down on your team. It's obviously frustrating when they're throwing the ball away or not making plays. But they're not doing it on purpose. I love these guys."
Two errors in the second and two more in the fourth gave Notre Dame its runs. Coach Lou Kessler used Northeastern-bound right-hander John Amendola for the final four outs. Amendola extended his scoreless innings streak to 16 1/3.
"If you look at the scoreboard," East Lyme coach Jack Biggs said, "we threw a one-hitter. It came down to making plays and we didn't make as many as we normally do. That's what it comes down to."
The Vikings (15-11) trailed 1-0 in the fourth when Mike Morgan and Bennett Coe hit one-out singles. East Lyme loaded the bases on Austin Toback's walk, giving cleanup hitter Dean Beebe a chance against starter Anthony Rovasio.
Beebe fouled off a 2-2 pitch, during which hit bat made an odd sound, perhaps making contact with catcher Aiden Burton's glove. Beebe said he asked home plate umpire Paul Proto whether it was catcher's interference.
"The catcher even said it hit his glove," Beebe said. "I thought it did. But the umpire said no."
Biggs didn't argue and the base umpires were not consulted.
Beebe, who could have tied the game had the interference been called, struck out swinging instead. Connor Elliott followed with a bases-loaded walk tying the game, but East Lyme's chance at a big inning ended after Matt Spang grounded to third.
One East Lyme runner reached as far as second base the rest of the game.
"We had timely pitching and timely defense," Kessler said. "I know we only got one hit. I guess that's enough to win."
Biggs on the season: "The last two weeks were a fun journey for us. Everybody took us on a nice ride. Hopefully, they remember it for the rest of their lives."
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