The Woodstock Academy baseball team ran through the gamut of emotions last week.
The Centaurs downed rival, Killingly, and surprised Waterford but lost a heartbreaker to New London and a one-sided game to East Lyme. It left the Centaurs with a break-even record, 7-7, going into the week.
“I’m so proud of the kids,” Woodstock Academy coach Brian Murphy said after the Waterford win May 4. “We started the week on a bad note down in East Lyme (a 19-2 loss), we didn’t play well. We lost a tough one to New London in a game in which we had the lead and fought back. We played a wonderful game against Killingly. I told the kids, ‘Look, (Waterford) has the ‘W' checked off on their schedule already. Let’s go out and have fun, play the gamer and take it to them. They did.”
The Centaurs fell behind against the Lancers when pitcher Eric Preston allowed two runs in the second inning. But his teammates picked him up in the third. Luke Mathewson drove in his 16th run of the season with a single.
That brought up Zach Ellsworth with the bases full and he knocked in two more with another base hit.
Ellsworth later came around on a wild pitch. Preston did the rest.
The right-hander went the distance and allowed just six hits with four strikeouts.
Preston admitted he was a little nervous in the seventh inning when the Lancers put the tying run on second base with two outs.
He got a fly ball for the third out and the win.The win over Killingly, a 6-5 adventure won in the bottom of the seventh inning, was one that the Centaurs had to have.
The Centaurs fell behind in the fourth inning against Killingly. The Redmen broke a scoreless tie with a five-run inning but the Centaurs quickly responded. Doug Newton knocked in a run with a single and Pete Spada followed with an RBI single. The Centaurs added another run to trail by just two.
Eric Preston relieved Luke Mathewson on the mound and held the Redmen at bay.
His efforts allowed his teammates to tie the game in the sixth.
Newton singled and pinch-hitter Jake Black reached on an error. Nick Niemiec loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch.
Spada brought the Centaurs within a run with a sacrifice fly and, after a walk to Preston loaded the bases ago, Nathan John just beat out a ground ball to prevent a double play and knocked in the tying run in the process.
The Centaurs scored the game winner in the seventh.
Cam Lotter was walked and advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt.
It brought Newton to the plate.
His infield ground ball was misplayed and Lotter, who almost stopped at third, came around when the ball skipped into the outfield with the game-winning run. The Centaurs fell just short against New London, 7-6, May 1.
The Academy rallied from a two-run deficit in the first inning with four runs in their half of the frame.
Mathewson had a two-run single, Zach Ellsworth knocked in another with a sacrifice fly and John came around on an outfield error.
But the Whalers took the lead in the sixth when they scored four times on five hits.
But it was a run in the seventh that did the Centaurs in. The Centaurs did bounce back. Li singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh and scored on a Preston triple. Preston came around on a ground out by John. Mathewson and Ellsworth followed with singles, but a pop up and a ground out ended the Centaurs hopes.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director

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