East Lyme can't solve Masuk, falls in Class L baseball quarters
Monroe — This was the way Jack Biggs would have drawn it up: state quarterfinal and Trystan Levesque, who scattered but a few runs all season, pitching.
“Exactly what you want,” Biggs said Saturday.
Except that the plans didn’t quite produce the desired effect for East Lyme High School.
The No. 14 Vikings never really solved Masuk starter Mike Marella, whose four-hitter led the sixth-seeded Panthers to a 5-1 win and a date with Waterford in the state Class L baseball semifinals Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.
“We gave Trystan no offense,” Biggs said. “There’s only so many times you can turn around momentum with pitching and defense.”
Levesque, who struck out six, uncharacteristically walked No. 9 hitter Jared Smith three times. Smith scored twice on the first two walks and kept a two-run inning alive in the sixth.
“I don’t know how to explain that,” Biggs said. “But it’s baseball. You walk that No. 9 guy he always seems to come back around to score.”
Smith drew a one-out walk in the third and later scored on Tyler Kipp’s RBI single. Riley McGuire followed with an RBI groundout, giving Masuk a 2-0 lead.
East Lyme (18-9) failed to capitalize on a pair of infield errors in the fourth and fifth. The Vikings scored their lone run in the seventh when Nolan Connolly doubled home Tommy Mason. Mason finished 2-for-3.
Smith’s second walk in the fifth led to his stolen base, preceding Kipp’s second RBI single that made it 3-0. In the sixth, Levesque thought he caught Smith looking on a 2-2 curveball that wasn’t called a strike. The walk loaded the bases before Gianno Merlonghi’s two-run single that all but ended it.
The Vikings, who lost five straight at one point, rallied to win their second straight Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament title last week.
“This one loss doesn’t define our season. We had just been on a tear,” Biggs said. “We had the losing streak. Didn’t have a home field half the time. We faced a lot of adversity but hung tough. The more we progressed through May, the more we acted like a team. This is one of the more special teams we’ve had here.”