Waterford, East Lyme advance to ECC baseball final

Groton — Jared Burrows hadn't pitched in about two weeks, making it somewhat inauspicious for Waterford High School coach Art Peluso to summon him Thursday amid the pressure of the league tournament semifinals.

Or maybe not inauspicious at all.

"He's unfazed," Peluso said of his customary starting shortstop, whose 2.2 innings of near perfect relief sent the second-seeded Lancers to the Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament championship game, after a 10-3 win over Griswold.

Waterford will play No. 5 East Lyme, a 3-2 winner of No. 8 Ledyard, for the title on Friday night at 7 at Fitch High School. The game will be livestreamed on theday.com

Burrows, who entered in the fourth inning after starter Walker Sutman reached a pitch count, struck out six and allowed one baserunner.

"No moment is too big for him," Peluso said. "An easy going kid. But he has an intensity about him. When I went to take him out (in the sixth), he's looking around and sees a hawk flying. He goes out of the blue, 'I've never seen a hawk fly that low to the ground before.' He's just matter of fact."

Burrows said, "My teammates call me a robot. I think staying calm helps you throw strikes."

Burrows entered the game with the Lancers leading 3-1. Sutman allowed an unearned run and struck out five in three innings.

"It's not easy for (Burrows) not having pitched in a while," Sutman said. "But we have all the confidence in the world in him when he's out there."

Nick Porazzi doubled three times and scored three runs for the Lancers, while Matt Driscoll had three hits and three RBI. Sutman had two hits, was on base four times and has only failed to reach base once in the ECC tournament thus far.

"My approach doesn't really change," Sutman said. "Just try to see the ball and crush it."

Burrows' emergence gives the Lancers (17-4) another arm heading to next week's state tournament. They have Mike Burrows, who nearly threw his third no-hitter of the season in Wednesday's quarterfinals and Sutman, who is Fairfield-bound next year.

Now there's a strike-thrower who may be used to start a tournament game, provided the Lancers hang around long enough.

"I'll be ready," Jared Burrows said. "As long as I'm hitting my spots, I know I'll be OK."

• Chris Malcom's double to rightfield in the bottom on the seventh inning scored Luke Leonard from first base and broke a 2-2 tie as East Lyme advanced to the final. Leonard led off the inning by drawing a walk. Blake Bragaw and Malcom had two hits each and Eric Patterson homered for East Lyme (13-10). Trystan Levesque was the winning pitcher, throwing a three-hitter with eight strikeouts and one walk.

Bradley Kent and Ken Turner scored runs for Ledyard (13-10).

m.dimauro@theday.com  

2018 ECC AWARD WINNERS / BASEBALL

Following are the 2018 Eastern Connecticut Conference baseball all-stars, sportsmanship and scholar-athlete award winners:

Division I

First team — Pitchers: Ken Turner (Ledyard), Ian Small (NFA); Catcher: Matt Malcom (East Lyme); Infielders: Elijah Martinez (New London), Chris Malcom (East Lyme), Giovanni Valentine (Fitch), Zane Mikula (New London); Outfielders: Vinny Gualtieri (NFA), James Laconico (Ledyard), Luke Leonard (East Lyme); Utility: Tyler Nelli (Fitch); Designated hitter: Tom Mason (East Lyme).

Honorable mention — Ramiro Zavala (Fitch), Tyler Briggs (NFA), Bradley Kent (Ledyard), Weston Bruce (Ledyard), Cade Walters (Ledyard), Aiden Brennan (New London), Jon Synott (NFA), Shaun Cambisaca (New London), Dan Allard (East Lyme), Calvin Jacey (Fitch), Jordan Lake (NFA).

Sportsmanship — Drew Menghi (East Lyme), Chris Beatty (Fitch), Ethan Jarry (Ledyard), Ethan Barnes (New London), Derek Cholewa (NFA).

Scholar-athlete — Blake Bragaw (East Lyme), Calvin Jacey (Fitch), Pat Bora (Ledyard), Noah Smith (New London), Jon Synott (NFA).

Division II

First team — Pitchers: Griffin Pontbriant (Montville), Mike Burrows (Waterford); Catcher: Ryan Champagne (Montville); Infielders: Walker Sutman (Waterford), Kevin Rakowski (Bacon Academy), Luke Mathewson (Woodstock), Rob Delacruz (Montville); Outfielders: Sonny Pezzello (Waterford), Doug Delacruz (Montville), Kevin Ferrer (Stonington); Utility: Will Anderson (Bacon Academy); Designated hitter: Hunter Yaworski (Killingly).

Honorable mention — Adam Gibbs (Stonington), R.J. Parrilla (Stonington), Jared Burrows (Waterford), Nick Porazzi (Waterford), Alex Quidgeon (Montville), Justin Avery (Bacon Academy), Dylan George (Killingly), Nick Tiziani (Bacon Academy), Ethan Murphy (Stonington), Eric Preston (Woodstock), Matt Driscoll (Waterford).

Sportsmanship — Jamie Violette (Bacon Academy), Evan Zanauskas (Killingly), Jacob Plikus (Montville), Josh Georgetti (Stonington), Joey Scotti (Waterford), Cam Lotter (Woodstock).

Scholar-athlete — Will Anderson (Bacon Academy), Brett Dexter (Killingly), Dan Kobyluck (Montville), Adam Gibbs (Stonington), Matt Driscoll (Waterford), Nick Niemiec (Woodstock).

Division III

First team — Pitchers: Ryan Skaff (Lyman Memorial), Matt Derosier (Plainfield); Catcher: Chris Peasley (Plainfield); Infielders: Max Gregory (Griswold), Bryce Mileski (Griswold), Izaiah Thompson (Plainfield), Micah Person (Lyman Memorial); Outfielders: Spencer Merritt (Lyman Memorial), Zach Longeill (Griswold), Bowen Baker (Wheeler); Utility: Zach Knowlton (Plainfield); Designated hitter: Logan McGowan (Griswold).

Honorable mention — Nick Gileau (Griswold), Simon Silvia (Tourtellotte), Jovan Almodovar (Windham), Chris Caisse (Wheeler), Josh Perry (Lyman Memorial), Tyler Ahearn (Plainfield), Brendan Ogden (Plainfield), Connor Svab (St. Bernard), Colin Lacasse (Tourtellotte), Evan Sylvestre (Plainfield), Aidan Cameron (Wheeler).

Sportsmanship — Derek Taylor (Griswold), Jason Valliere (Lyman Memorial), Alex DeAngelis (Plainfield), Brian Bergeron (St. Bernard), Anthony Ferraro (Tourtellotte), Anthony Cibarach (Wheeler), Felix Martinez (Windham).

Scholar-athlete — Max Gregory (Griswold), Zachary Dunnack (Lyman Memorial), Cooper Wade (Plainfield), Sam Davis (St. Bernard), Jack Merrill (Tourtellotte), Calvin Vrabel (Wheeler), Raymond Cruz (Windham).

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