Baseball pg 7 5-6-21


A Swing
Woodstock Academy’s Zach Roethlein takes a swing in a win over Lyman. Roethlein had five hits and three RBIs in a doubleheader sweep of Griswold. Photo by Madison Millar.

Six wins in a row — the Woodstock Academy baseball team has found its groove.
“It’s nice to get a little confidence, get into a rhythm. It’s always tough early in the year and we lost, in my opinion, two tough early games with Waterford, where the score was not indicative of the game, and even against NFA,” said Woodstock Academy coach Brian Murphy. “If we play solid defense, continue to get good pitching, and start hitting like I know we can- we’re a dangerous team.”
Griswold can attest to that.
The Centaurs downed the Wolverines not once, but twice, 8-2 and 5-0 in a doubleheader May 1.
Pitching was the key. Junior Jon Smith tossed a five-hitter and went the distance to win the opener and sophomore Kaden Murphy allowed only two hits and struck out 10 to record the shutout in the nightcap.
“That’s the rotation we wanted to go with once we got into a rhythm. Smitty was pounding the zone and had his two-seamer going in the first game. Kaden had a good fastball and curveball and then started interjecting his changeup the third time around (the batting order),” Brian Murphy said.
The offense was there in both games. Jackson Goetz had three hits and drove in a pair of runs, Zach Roethlein added three hits and Hamilton Barnes had two.
“Our bats are coming alive. Hamilton, Jackson and Zach have been Steady Eddie’s, making good contact and getting big hits,” Brian Murphy said.
Barnes, Roethlein (2 RBIs) and Smith also had two hits in the second game of the twinbill with Kaden Murphy helping his own cause with a two-run single.
The Centaurs raised their record to 7-3 overall and 6-1 in Division 2 of the ECC.
The Centaurs are tied with Plainfield for second in the loss column, both are chasing undefeated Killingly.
The Centaurs have a doubleheader against Killingly May 8 at Owen Bell Park.
“We have a couple of obstacles in the way before Saturday because I know we have circled the date on their calendar with Killingly because they are a good team and we’re excited to be playing them,” Brian Murphy said. “But before that we have a game with a scrappy Plainfield game on Tuesday (the game ended too late for this edition) and then we have Putnam (Thursday) and you can’t take the foot off the pedal. We can’t look too far ahead.”
Earlier in the week, freshman Riley O’Brien found out the day before that he would be making his varsity debut on the mound against Lyman.
“I was a little nervous but I realized that I had to do the job and I got out there and got the nerves out in the first inning,” O’Brien said.
Admittedly the first inning was a little rough, but his teammates had his back and in five innings, it was over.
The Centaurs baseball team scored an 11-1, five-inning, mercy rule win over Lyman Memorial.
O’Brien faced seven batters in the first inning but gave up only one run. Then, he settled down. He allowed only three hits in the five innings and struck out five.
“That’s awesome,” said Brian Murphy. “I’ve coached Riley through Little League, the Mustangs and other things and the kid has poise. He impressed us early in scrimmages. He didn’t wilt. He got in a couple of jams but he was tough as nails, he got us out of it and did a great job.”
The Centaurs quickly took the lead in the bottom of the first when Barnes and Jacob Hernandez singled, one scored on a ground out, the other on an error.
Woodstock Academy added single runs in the second and third innings and then put the game away with three runs in the fourth and four in the fifth.
“I was hoping (O’Brien) wasn’t going to be in a two-run game and we could expand it a little. I’m happy for the boys. We’re working hard,” Murphy said.
It was also a little satisfaction as Lyman Memorial had beaten the Centaurs in Lebanon the week before, 5-3.
Brendan Hill only had one hit but drove in four runs for the Centaurs. Goetz, Kaden Murphy (3 RBIs), Hernandez and Barnes all had two hits each in the win.
The Centaurs made it two in a row that ended in five innings when they blanked Grasso Tech, 10-0, April 28.
Woodstock Academy scored in every inning, getting three runs in the first inning, two in the second, four in the third and one in the fourth.
The Eagles aided the nine-hit attack of the Centaurs by yielding eight walks.
Barnes saw home plate often as he scored three runs on two hits.
Hernandez, batting behind Barnes, added two hits and two runs scored.
Smith and Goetz added two singles apiece while Trey Ayotte tossed in an RBI double.
Eddie Niejadlik did most of the work on the mound as he went four innings, giving up just two hits and striking out four.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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