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Following heartbreak in 2021 ECC baseball final, Fitch wins it all in 2022

Groton — It is the most unique day in the local high school sports season, a long day's — and night's — journey of patience and production that leads to a championship.

This was Thursday in the Eastern Connecticut Conference baseball tournament, two semifinals and a championship game all in the span of a few hours. Waterford, Fitch, Lyman Memorial and Woodstock Academy brought the aspirations of a season, or at least an appreciable number of them, to the Fitch baseball field.

Turns out that Fitch brought last season's anguish of losing in the finals, too. And rode it to the 2022 title.

Dylan Meyer pitched a shutout in the championship game as the second-seeded Falcons celebrated a 10-0 win over No. 5 Woodstock, shortened to five innings by the mercy rule. Meyer's two-hitter preceded tournament Most Valuable Player Trace Morales' 6-0, complete-game shutout of No. 3 Lyman Memorial in the semifinals.

Fitch lost 1-0 to Killingly in last season's championship game — memories that run like a current all the way to Thursday.

"Two nights ago, I went back and watched every pitch of that game," Fitch senior Tate Scherer said. "I didn't even pick up my phone. I wanted to remember what that felt like. And now? This is amazing. We have a great group of guys."

Senior Cam McGugan: "After the Lyman game, Tate sends me a photo of Killingly celebrating from last year. It was perfect. It just solidified what we had to do."

The Falcons scored nine runs in the fourth inning, capped by a two-run double from Jordan Cosmopolous. Before that, McGugan, Scherer, Ryan O'Connor and Matt Robinson had run-producing hits off four different Woodstock pitchers.

"Last year, we played another team from northeastern Connecticut and might have taken some things for granted," Fitch coach Brian McGugan said. "This year, we're treating everybody like a team that can beat us at any time. High school baseball is like the NCAA tournament. It's anybody's game."

Scherer had two hits for the Falcons, Lucas McAlister and Isaiah Anderson scored two runs apiece and Donte Valentine singled, walked and executed a perfect sacrifice bunt during the 9-run inning.

Woodstock advanced to the finals with a 2-1 win over No. 8 Waterford. The Centaurs scored a pair of unearned runs and led 2-0 into the seventh, stifling a Waterford rally on a batter's interference call on what became the game's last play.

Winning pitcher Eric Mathewson pitched into the seventh for Woodstock. Colby Arnold pitched a complete game for Waterford.

The state tournament begins Tuesday throughout Connecticut.


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