No. 3 Wolcott ends Ledyard's run with 9-4 in in Class M baseball semis
Middletown — Scott Chiasson managed a grin, even in of moment of disappointment Wednesday afternoon, at the thought of next season when his Colonels return most of their team.
It was of at least some solace, following a 9-4 loss to No. 3 Wolcott in the Class M semifinals at Palmer Field, the end of Ledyard High School's successful baseball season.
"The junior pitchers we have coming back went 15-2 this year," Chiasson said. "We have a lot to look forward to."
Which is more palatable than reliving Wednesday, when 18th-seeded Ledyard watched its opponent score six in the second and three in the third, taking a 9-1 lead.
Chiasson entered the game with a plan: Extend starter Cade Walters as far as he could, later using ace Ken Turner to close the game. Walters was out in the second inning, however.
"No way I could go to Kenny that early," Chiasson said.
Three relievers later, Napoleon Dreyfus shut down Wolcott's offense the last three innings, at least giving the Colonels (16-11) a chance.
"Cade didn't have his best stuff," Chiasson said. "A couple of bloops and one big hit and that was it."
Nick Trager's two-run triple that barely eluded the dive of right-fielder Drew Riffle, broke it open in the second.
Ledyard took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Max Ebdon's two-out RBI double to right.
Weston Bruce's RBI single and Walters' two-run double in the fifth got Ledyard within 9-4 and chased Wolcott starter Brett Adams. Reliever Dane Hassan pitched two scoreless innings, delivering the Eagles to their second championship game in the last three years.
James Laconico went 3-for-4 for Ledyard and ran down several long fly balls in deep center. He'll return in the middle of the order next season for a team that should contend in the Eastern Connecticut Conference and in Class M.
"We expected to be good in the tournament," Chiasson said. "I didn't think we were built for the compressed (regular) season. We didn't hit that much. But in the tournament when you have days off and you can pitch your 1-2 guys, things are different."
And at least this loss wasn't of the one-run variety the Colonels felt so often this season.
"We lost a lot of close ones this year," Chiasson said. "I don't know how the kids are feeling. But as a coach, it helps to know the other team just played better than you did."
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