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Fitch baseball completes a 3-0 week with win over Woodstock

Groton — The end of the week encapsulated the week in its entirety for the Fitch High School baseball team: A high-flying start, followed by a bout of indigestion as Fitch coach and wordsmith Jeff Joyce referred to it Friday, then a strong finish.

The Falcons held off Woodstock Academy 12-6 Friday in an Eastern Connecticut Large Division game, ending a week in which the Falcons went 3-0 with a victory over seventh-ranked Montville on Tuesday night and a chaotic, come-from-behind 17-14 win over Griswold on Wednesday afternoon.

"This week has been a tale of two teams. Being an English teacher, I've got to quote Dickens there," said Joyce, whose team is 6-2 overall, 2-1 in the Large Division.

"Tuesday night was a game of high interest. Going into Wednesday's game against Griswold, I was thinking about a letdown game. We got out to a good start, then we sort of had this massive indigestion is probably the best way I could describe it."

Friday was just a continuation: The Falcons led 8-0, let Woodstock come back within 8-6, then knocked in four insurance runs in the sixth to close the door.

It's given Joyce's team, which was 9-12 last season yet returns nine seniors and a wealth of pitching, a taste of how good it can be ... and what it still has to work on.

The Falcons held an 8-0 lead after four errorless innings, with pitcher Dan Mewha allowing just two hits and striking out six, before Woodstock scored six unearned runs off Mewha in the fifth on one hit, three walks, three errors, a passed ball, a sacrifice fly and a balk.

"We've been thinking about how our bats are going to warm up. It's always nice to get a quick lead," Fitch senior Pieter Khoury said. "... We're trying to make progress every day. Things are going to happen, they happen to all of us. We just try to bring the same amount of enthusiasm every day."

Khoury, who earned the victory over Montville, pitching a four-hitter, had three hits, two RBI and was awarded the team's "life preserver" for being the game's MVP against Woodstock.

Khoury singled home Cooper Robinson in the first after Robinson smacked a leadoff double into the left-field corner, and Khoury doubled in Jon Barstow in the sixth to spark the four-run rally. Khoury then scored from second base on a wild pitch, a hustle play that led Joyce to honor him with the MVP.

Kendrick Boss had two hits, two runs scored and also doubled in a run in the sixth and Justin Marceau added a single and a double. Mewha earned the win, allowing three hits over five innings, and Ian Cekala pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the save.

Joyce said he told his team during the middle of the Griswold game that "good teams are able to right the ship."

He said despite last year's record, he could tell this was a good team immediately after taking over this season.

"We're hitting the ball really well right now. Defensively, we're close to putting together a complete game," Joyce said. "It's like the Mona Lisa. Is it pretty or isn't it? Right from pitchers and catchers, it's been intense and highly competitive.

"I've seen enough teams. I can pretty much spot a good team when I see them."



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