RCP baseball pitcher Spencer Rosado on the mound at Riverfront Park in Glastonbury as shortstop Tyler Carlstrom looks on. Entering the week, the local American Legion team is 13-0.
For the second time this season, Rocky Hill-Cromwell-Portland (RCP) 19U American Legion baseball defeated Glastonbury by a single run in extra innings, prompting another perfect week for the multi-school team.
A sacrifice fly by Elias Deleon (Cromwell) drove home Jaiden Reyes (Rocky Hill) in extra innings as RCP handed their rivals from across the river a 4-3 eight-inning loss at Riverfront Park in Glastonbury on June 20.
It was the team’s third one-run win of the season.
“I’d like to think it’s the mental make-up, but we are also starting some games lackadaisically,” RCP head coach Pat Sirois said. “We’re tough when it’s late. I’d like to jump on teams a little earlier, but when it comes down late we are focused and we tend to have a good chance to pull out these games.”
Spencer Rosado (Portland) got the start on the hill, pitching six strong innings and striking out six.
Rosado had a rough start to the game, allowing an RBI single to Jack Petrone in the first inning. He then hit a pair of batters with pitches in the second inning, before getting out of a bases loaded jam when Justin Valentin scooped a ground ball and flipped it to second base for the third out.
In the third, Rosado again responded with the bases juiced when he struck out his pitching counterpart, Dan Cantafi, to end the inning.
Sirois said he watched Rosado pitch a handful of times for Portland High School this spring and knew he could handle tough situations.
“I trust that he would find it and we cut down on the walks as the games go on. His stuff gets better as the game goes on,” added Sirois. “We like to get him deep into the game.”
Valentin tied things up in the top of the 2nd inning, slapping a single to center to score Tyler Carlstrom (Rocky Hill).
Kyle Hyde (Berlin) then crushed a solo home run to deep left in the third, giving RCP their first lead of the game.
Glastonbury again evened the score in the 5th inning when Elliot Hamilton hammered a triple to deep center, driving home Drew Jean.
Each team scored in the 6th as Reyes blasted a screamer down the left field line to score Nicholas Soignoli (Cromwell) and Glastonbury countered when Owen Peterson singled to drive home Drew Curto.
Garrett Fallon (Berlin) relieved Rosado prior to the 7th inning and pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win.
Sirois said he felt confident once Reyes reached base on a walk, adding the team worked the counts and got the job done.
Tino Gagliardi (Cromwell) then advanced Reyes to second when he was awarded first on a pass ball before Deleon popped up a shot to left field, allowing Reyes to score the game-winner.
Fittingly, Reyes ended the game when he snared a pop fly to center field to close the door on the extra-innings-battle.
RCP’s defense struggled at time, but rose to the occasion when needed.
Glastonbury stranded 14 runners and the team’s head coach, Brian Suriner, said not capitalizing on scoring opportunities are hard to overcome against “good teams”, adding that RCP is “disciplined.”
Monday’s extra innings win started a busy and big week for RCP, who won four more games by a combined score of 41-7.
On June 21, they beat East Hartford/Manchester (EMH) 11-0 behind three RBIs from Carlstrom and two runs each from Reyes and Malcolm Mention (Cromwell). Ben Centurelli (Rocky Hill) earned the win, allowing only two hits and striking out three in five innings.
On June 25, they blanked Enfield 5-0. Austin Vess (Portland) earned the win on the mound and Rosado drove in a pair of runs while Gagliardi connected on two hits and scored a run.
The following day, RCP beat Glastonbury for the third time this season, winning 15-7. Mention and Deleon each had three hits and scored twice. Mention, Vess, Soignoli, Zach Zajac (Cromwell) each drove in multiple runs.
They capped the undefeated five-game week with a 10-0 win over Enfield on June 26. Zajac earned the win, pitching five scoreless innings and striking out eight.
Entering the week, RCP is 13-0.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin