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Moynihan, Ledyard open baseball season with 6-1 win over New London

Ledyard — The last time Robert Moynihan put on a Ledyard baseball uniform he was a freshman and one of the top pitchers on the junior varsity team.

Two years later, after the 2020 high school spring season was canceled to the pandemic, Moynihan made his first varsity start memorable.

Moynihan pitched a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts and two walks as the Colonels beat New London on Saturday, 6-1, in an Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I game at Matt Buriak Field.

"Amazing," Moynihan said about being able to play high school baseball again. "I'm very excited to play and see how the rest of this season will go."

The Colonels were one giant navy blue and yellow question mark headed into this season because the entire varsity team is brand new. Their 2019 team featured a predominately senior lineup, and last year's lost season cost Ledyard a chance to develop new starters.

"Even after this game, I really still don’t have a clue other than the guys I put out there today played well," Ledyard head coach Scott Chiasson said. "And that's what you're going to do going forward. You're going to figure out what you have on a daily basis."

Moynihan certainly showed what he's capable of doing. He got in a groove after walking the first two Whalers batters in the top of the third and retired 15 of the next 17 batters, including seven strikeouts.

"(I was) a little nervous," Moynihan said about his first start, "but after the first inning, I got the nerves out. The four-seam was doing well. The two-seam had good movement. And the curveball was working well."

Chiasson said, "Robert Moynihan was completely outstanding today. ... He put a ton of work in (the offseason). I'm glad he did well because it makes guys feel good when you put the work in, and you get a good result."

Ledyard also had a promising start offensively led by junior Cian Sullivan. He doubled to lead off the bottom of the first and added an RBI double and scored.

Senior Julian Munitmuri singled with two runs and an RBI and junior Braydon Wuestner had two hits and an RBI for the Colonels. Also, junior Nate Petriel doubled and scored, classmate Jaiden Margiotta had an RBI single, and sophomore Zion Fraser singled and scored.

The Whalers did themselves no favors as they made three errors (Ledyard had none).

"It's early," said first-year New London coach Matt Greene, who graduated from the school in 2011. "Physical errors are going to happen, especially with a year off, and a lot of these guys haven't played in a long time. So the physical (mistakes) will happen.

"I was encouraged by how we moved past the mental errors there early. We got past it and I was encouraged by that. I think as the season goes on that stuff will get cleaned up."

Senior Kenny Miller hit a home run in the first inning for the Whalers. Senior starter C.J. Hamilton also struck out seven over four innings.

n.griffen@theday.com

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