caption, page 2:
Tommy Li (10) and catcher Eric Preston celebrate after Li threw a no-hitter for Woodstock Academy versus Windham last week.

Li pitches
no hitter
in win
The Woodstock Academy baseball team was, literally, inches away from a victory over St. Bernard April 13.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning and two runners on, Luke Mathewson drilled a ball down the left field line.
Tommy Li would have easily scored from second, but home plate umpire Brian King raised his arms and called the ball foul.
“That’s the way the game goes,” said Centaurs coach Brian Murphy. “I thought the ball was close. Brian King is the best umpire we have in the area. He doesn’t miss it. It is what it is.”
The Centaurs went down without scoring and the Saints scrambled for three runs in the top of the ninth for a 6-3 victory at the Bentley Athletic Complex.
It completed a pair of close games for the Centaurs who also lost to Montville, 4-2, on the road April 12.
The highlight of the week came at the beginning when sophomore Tommy Li hurled a six-inning, no-hitter in an 11-0 win over Windham April 10.
Centaurs fall to Saints
“They made a few more plays. We got a lot of positives,” Murphy said of the loss to St. Bernard.
The biggest of those positives was Ben Holden.
In his first varsity start, Holden allowed three runs in the first two innings, but held the Saints (3-1) down for the next five innings and allowed his teammates to catch up.
“He battled all the way, struggled a little bit, but gave us seven strong innings,” Murphy said.
Holden gave up three hits and a run in the first inning and one hit and two runs in the second, but settled down to retire 15 of the next 17 hitters and not allow a run.
Down 3-0, the Centaurs began fighting their way back in the fourth when Eric Preston and Mathewson singled.
After a fielder’s choice took Preston off the base paths, Mathewson scored on an error.
The Centaurs pulled within one in the fifth when Jake Racicot walked and later scored on an RBI single by Li.
The Academy tied the game in the sixth when Preston (3-for-3) doubled and Mathewson singled him home.
Pete Spada replaced Holden and got out of a little trouble in the top of the inning.
After a ground out, Li reached on an error in the bottom of the eighth, going to second on the play. Preston was intentionally walked which brought up Mathewson. The shortstop’s near walk-off was followed by a fly out and winning pitcher Connor Svab, who went all nine innings, got another fly ball to end the inning.
Sam Davis broke the tie in the bottom of the ninth for St. Bernard when he scored on a suicide squeeze by Hunter Baillargeon who reached safely on the play. Baillargeon later scored the insurance run for the Saints (3-1) on a fielder’s choice by Will Kane who later scored on an infield error.
“That’s the kind of ball that we’re going to have to play,” Murphy said of the Saints’ small-ball generated rally. “We have a lot of new characters. We lost 10 kids last year and everyone is feeling their way a little bit. We will get it. They are good athletes and they’re working at it hard.”
Montville prevails
The Centaurs scored one run in the second inning and another in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough as the host Montville Indians dropped the Centaurs April 12.
The Academy (0-1 Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Nathan John reached on an error and scored on an RBI single from Cam Lotter.
The Indians (3-0, 1-0) rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the inning and then took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the third.
The Centaurs got one back in the fourth when Mathewson walked and later scored.
Mathewson, Doug Newton and Zach Ellsworth had the only hits for the Centaurs, all singles.
Mathewson took the loss on the mound.
He gave up seven hits and struck out eight.
Li pitches gem
It wasn’t what anyone would consider ideal conditions for a baseball game. The snow had barely stopped falling and the ground was pretty soggy.
But in an early spring where when even marginal conditions are acceptable, both the Centaurs and Windham High baseball teams were just happy to get a game in.
Li was happiest of all.
He held the Whippets hitless through sixth innings as the Centaurs captured the victory by mercy rule April 10.
“(Li) struggled a little with his curve ball because of the cold and it was very wet, but he located his fast ball very well. He just mixed in an occasional curve and he showed it enough to keep (the Whippets) off balance,” Murphy said.
The Centaurs gave him plenty of support.
Tyler Mathieu reached on an error and Preston walked in the first inning to set the table for Mathewson. The junior delivered a double to score both runners.
The Centaurs added three more in the third, two in the fifth and ended the game early with five in the sixth inning.
Mathewson finished with four RBIs, Ellsworth drove in three and John knocked in two.
Li, Mathewson and Lotter all had two hits for the Centaurs.
“I’m happy,” Murphy said. “The kids started getting in some good swings (Tuesday). We didn’t really get good swings (in a win over Wheeler). I don’t know if it was nerves or what. I told them to start swinging in the third inning and we had seven or eight hits after that.”
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director

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