Owen Peterson on the mound / Jack Dolan at the plate
Starting pitcher Owen Peterson started the game at the mound and then finished at the plate, drilling a sacrifice fly, allowing Jayden Sgro to sprint home as Glastonbury Legion 19U defeated Tri-County 4-3 last Wednesday night.
“I trust Owen,” said head coach Michael Habzda, “He had a walk-off last year and a walk-off this year. He’s been good in those situation, we trust him with the bat.”
With the game tied in the bottom of the seventh, Sgro single and then advanced to third on a throwing error. Peterson then connected on a deep shot to left field, allowing Sgro to tag up and score the game-winning run well before the throw reach home base.
Peterson had a solid outing from the hill, pitching a complete game, allowing five hits and three runs.
Habzda has witnessed Peterson’s growth this summer, “I had him in the fall last year and he pitched in some spots, but he’s really improved. Even if he has a couple of rough spot, he finds it and is been able to get through it.”
Peterson is part of a young group that experienced growing pains early this summer but are starting to shine late in the season. The team, who finished the regular season 7-14, lost six of eight to start the season before winning two of the last four prior to postseason play.
“We’re a much younger team. More of 50% of team is Class of 2023, so sophomores going into juniors. The at-bats the first couple of weeks you could see they were a little slower with their hands. They have been progressing through the season, being competitive and not putting their heads down when we were losing,” said Habzda, “It’s the little things we’ve improved on. If they made an error or mental mistake early in the season, they are not doing it any more. The progression in the last month and a half has been awesome.”
Sgro, who is part of the class of 2023, has led the team in hit this season.
“He’s a five-tool player, he can do it all. It’s great that he’s getting time up here at this level,” Habzda said Sgro.
Fellow class of 2023 players C.J. Butera, John Petrone, and Drew Curto have also been reliable from the plate.
Veteran do-it-all player Jack Dolan, along with fellow 2020 GHS graduates/twins Cam and Shaw Pedemonti have helped stabilize the young group.
“It’s me and Tom Daley, our assistant coach, so we don’t always see or hear things because we are focused on the guy at the plate. So what they have been doing has been unreal, just mentoring and teaching them.” Habzda said of the older players.
Habzda credited Dolan for his adaptability, “He’s a true gamer. He was always telling me that he could pitch, so we got him some innings this year and he’s done really well. He’s an awesome guy.”
This season has been a transition year for the team and the playing time the young players have received sets up the Legion team for success over the next couple of summers.
Habzda added, “All these guys can play multiple positions, so that really helps. They’re all flexible.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin