ericson pg 1 5-18-23

Centaurs take
ECC title
Unbelievable. That was the word Woodstock Academy coach Brian Murphy used to describe sophomore pitcher Brady Ericson’s performance against Ledyard last week.
The lefthander did not allow a hit and struck out 20 of the 23 batters he faced in a 4-0 win over the Colonels.
Just two days later, the baseball team had another highlight as it downed New London, 8-2, Thursday to capture the ECC Div. II title.
“It was a sight to be seen,” Murphy said of Ericson’s performance against Ledyard. “If you were there, it’s something that you will remember the rest of your life. It was just an absolute dominant performance.”
Ericson has been dominant all season long, nut this was something special.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Ericson said. “I’ve never done that before in my life and I’ve been playing baseball since I was young. It was really special to me. I felt really good afterwards. I felt accomplished and I just hope to keep it up. I don’t expect every game to be like that, but I just want to keep doing what I have been and keep on winning games.”
Ericson said every time he returned to the dugout following an inning, his teammates reminded him how many strikeouts he had and how he had to get 21, the maximum number in a high school game.
“I wasn’t really thinking about that. I’m superstitious in that way and I didn’t want to jinx it for myself. I wasn’t thinking about it too much. I just went out there and continued to do what I had been doing, don’t overcomplicate it,” Ericson said.
Murphy, who calls the pitches, was not about to get in the way.
“The key to pitching is to get on top, get on top early and then you control. He controlled the whole game. It was his tempo, his pace. We got to a point where we didn’t want to go soft and, possibly, speed up their bats. (Ledyard) had a difficult day,” Murphy said.
He threw all of 64 pitches in the first five-plus innings and had a perfect game going until the bottom of the fifth when he walked Eamonn Pelletier.
He still struck out the side. He struck out the side again in the sixth and struck out the first batter in the seventh to give him 19 on the day.
Twenty-one strikeouts was becoming more and more realistic.
Ethan Petrowski did draw a one-out walk and the dream of 21 strikeouts went by the wayside when William Clapper put the only ball in play for Ledyard, a fielder’s choice.
“I didn’t hate it. It was still an out. Twenty strikeouts is good, I will take it, but getting 21, striking out everyone in the game, would have been really good,” Ericson said with a smile.
Ericson, easy to say, was in the zone, both literally and figuratively.
 “People were talking to me and I didn’t even realize they were talking to me. Hitting-wise, I was not thinking about anything. I wasn’t thinking about where I was pitching, it was just going where I wanted it,” he said.
Oh, and while he may not have been thinking about hitting, he did a pretty good job of it.
After Maxx Corradi had drawn a bases-loaded walk to put the Centaurs up 1-0 in the second inning, Ericson lofted a fly ball to center for a sacrifice fly and gave himself a little cushion.
Woodstock went up 3-0 in the third on a Riley O’Brien RBI single and then Ericson delivered again. He took a 2-1 pitch to centerfield for a solo homer in the fourth inning.
“What can you say? He’s been an integral part for us not only on the mound but hitting, too. He’s worked hard at it. The thing with him is that we’re getting him now to go with the outside pitch and – he’s a big kid – he can drive it the other way,” Murphy said. “What I like is that he’s a very coachable kid. We, as coaches, try to get kids mentally tough, get them out of that young mindset and he’s absorbed everything and we’ve been as tough on him as everyone else. He has all the tools. Now, we’re just polishing them up.”
Ericson improved to 5-0 and still has not allowed an earned run in 33 innings of pitching. He has allowed only 10 hits all year and has struck out 64 opposing hitters.
Ericson said his success has been predicated on his ability to locate his pitches.
He realizes that as a tall (6-foot-6) lefty, it’s hard for batters to adjust to pitches coming down from the angle he is throwing them.
He just hopes it remains that way because the Centaurs have high aspirations.
“The season has been pretty good. I was excited for it, even playing basketball, I was looking forward to this. I’m so happy with how it’s been going and I hope it keeps going. It would be nice to win an ECC championship, a state championship, because this is a great team with some great seniors and juniors and even some young talent, some JV guys, who are going to come up and be crucial to this team,” Ericson said.
The ECC title was the second in three years for Woodstock Academy.
However, just two years ago, it was a COVID-altered title as the ECC was split into just two divisions.
Thus, it was the first title, in a more normal ECC alignment for the Centaurs since they shared the Div. I title with Norwich Free Academy in 2009.
 “We’ll take it,” Brian Murphy said. “I’m happy for them, there are some bumps in the road at times, but I’m proud of them. Division II champs. We will take it baby. The (COVID year) was great but this a special group. They play hard. We have some great young players, good leaders, like (Carter) Morissette, (Kaden)Murph(y) and Marcus (McGregor) that bring these guys along.”
Winning pitcher Kaden Murphy agreed.
“It feels great. We haven’t played our best baseball yet but we’ve gutted it out, have had a pretty good year so far, and it feels good to be on top,” Kaden Murphy said.
Woodstock (14-2, 7-0 ECC Div. II) did not have its best offensive game.
“Enough offense,” Brian Murphy said. “Contact with two strikes won us the ballgame and that’s what we preach. The guys are listening.”
The Centaurs mustered only three hits against New London pitching.
Morissette had an RBI single in the first inning, O’Brien added a two-run double in the third and Corradi knocked in a run with a single in the seventh. Keon Lamarche also knocked in a run with a fielder’s choice.
The other three runs scored on a pair of wild pitches and an error.
Kaden Murphy did the rest as he scattered eight hits, allowed the two runs, in the first three innings, and struck out seven.
“I wasn’t my best, didn’t have my best stuff, but we got runs, guys got hits and they got on and we found a way. Props to my teammates because they put runs on the board,” Kaden Murphy said..

The baseball team clinched an ECC Div. II title Thursday. The softball team clinched at least a share of the same on Friday with a 16-0, five-inning win over Bacon Academy on Senior Day.
“We will take it,” said coach Jason Gerum.
The Centaurs were hoping to wrap up the title on Monday with a win over Killingly (the game ended too late for this edition).
The Centaurs last won the Div. II title two years ago.
“It was fun. It was exciting for the program and a good boost of confidence for them when they were a young group but it was still kind of that COVID (altered season) with large schools and small schools. We were a little bigger than the schools we played but we had a battle with Griswold which made it fun. This is a real division championship and, regardless of what happens, we may have to share it but, at least, we have a championship,” Gerum said.
The Centaurs are 6-1 in ECC Div. II and 12-6 overall after a busy week.
They played four games, coming out on top in three of them.

Woodstock finished the week with an 11-2 non-league win over Somers on Saturday. It opened the week with a 6-3 loss to Ledyard, its first and only loss in Div. II thus far this season.
The Centaurs rebounded with a 26-2, five inning victory over New London before the win over Bacon Academy.
The Centaurs wasted little time against the Bobcats on Friday. Despite the 16 runs scored, the game lasted just a little over an hour.
Woodstock pounded out 15 hits and sophomore pitcher Grace Delsanto did the rest.
She allowed just one hit and struck out six in the circle.
“It feels really nice,” Delsanto said of the offensive support behind her. “We did a nice job of hitting and it was a good game for us. One of our best offensively.”
Delsanto, who will succeed senior Lexi Thompson as the top pitcher for the Centaurs next season, improved her record to 4-1 and saw her earned run average fall to 0.84.
“I’ve been working on my speed, improving it. I’ve just been trying to hit all my spots. I’m pretty excited about next season and get the chance to play in most of the games,” the sophomore said.
Gerum said the nice thing about Delsanto is that she is a pitcher.
She changes speeds, keeps hitters off balance and doesn’t look to overpower them but still has good velocity.
“She knows how to pitch,” Gerum said. “And when she is in the circle, we can move some defense around, and put Lexi in the middle, put some more seniors on the field, and we have a pretty darn good defense when she pitches.”
The Centaurs scored three runs in the first inning, added four more in the second and put the game out of reach and into mercy-rule land with a nine-run fourth.
Delaney Anderson paced the team offensively with three hits, including a pair of doubles, three runs scored and three runs driven in.
Elizabeth Morgis added a double and a triple and a couple of RBI while both Aubrey Rumrill and Avery Collin had run-scoring doubles in the fourth.
“I always tell them against teams that I feel we should do well against to ‘take care of business.’ Sometimes, they try to, sometimes they don’t, sometimes they torture me until the end and keep it close. The only thing I said to them (postgame) was that this was the first time where we, literally, just took care of business,” Gerum said.
Prior to the game, the Centaurs honored the tradition of Senior Day with seven athletes being recognized for their years of contribution to the program.
Emily Goodell, Collin, Morgis, Maddie Martinez, Thompson, Rumrill and Ainsley Morse were all honored.
“Seven good ones,” Gerum said. “I keep thinking back to 10 years ago when I was an assistant to Adam Bottone and we were barely winning games and I think we have the program to a point where there is a lot of excitement surrounding it. We’re very competitive now. It’s tough losing seven seniors but we have a good group of young kids that we have involved a lot. We’re going to miss these seniors though.”
The Centaurs, after a tough loss to the Colonels, did have some great offensive production for the remainder of the week.
Sarah McArthur, Ellary Sampson and Collin all drove in three runs in the win over the Whalers on Wednesday.
Sampson and Morgis both had two hits, including a double each, and Collin added a pair of singles to a 14-hit attack. Woodstock also benefitted from 24 walks.
Morse had the big stick on Saturday as she drove in four runs on a pair of singles. Goodell had two hits, including a double, and drove in two runs.
Thompson did the rest in the circle as she allowed just five hits and struck out 10.

The Woodstock  girls’ track team was missing one of its top all-around performers on Saturday.
It didn’t stop them from finishing in the top-five at the Greater Hartford Open boys’ and girls’ track Invitational.
Senior Bella Sorrentino was committed to the annual school play which took place this past weekend and was unavailable.
The Centaurs still finished fifth among the 25 schools at the competition.
“We bested everyone in our state class which shows we will be a force to be reckoned with at States and the Eastern Connecticut Conference championship,” girls’ track head coach Josh Welch said.
Senior Magdalena Myslenski reeled in some points. She finished first in the discus with a personal-best throw of 116-feet, 8-inches and was second in the javelin with a 107-11 effort.
Those performances were good enough to qualify Myslenski for the Nationals in both events.
“Magda just had a great day. She is showing more confidence in both events and coach (Gerry) L(amontagne) is helping her dial everything in for the postseason,” Welch said.
Sophomore Juliet Allard also had a special day as she broke a record set in 2014 by Sarah Swenson with a third-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles in a school record 47.77 seconds.
The good news is Welch thinks the young athlete can get even better.
“She continues to show signs that her postseason is going to be excellent. She was much more aggressive in her start and it paid off but she clearly has more to give as she learns to hesitate less on her approach to the hurdles,” Welch said.
Emma Weitknecht was right behind her as she finished fifth in 49.69, good enough to qualify her for state competition. That was also a personal best for Weitknecht as was her effort in the 200-meter where she finished in 28.25 and also qualified for States in that event.
Freshman Isabel D’Alleva-Bochain also qualified for States in the 800-meter and is also qualified in the high jump and 1600-meter events.
Sophia Quinn was fifth in the discus and the 4x800-meter team of Lauren Brule, Sydney Lord, Julia Coyle and Olivia Tracy placed sixth and also qualified for state competition.
On the boys’ side, senior Jared Eaton placed second in the shotput and extended his school record with a throw of 53-feet, 9 ¾ inches.

Boys’ Lacrosse
The boys’ lacrosse team came into last week knowing it had to win two out of its last four matches to make the state tournament.
That number shrank to two out of its last three when Waterford handed the Centaurs a 14-5 loss early in the week and put a lot of emphasis on the final home match of the season against Montville.
The Centaurs got the job done as they downed Montville, 8-5, to raise their record to 6-8.
“We really needed to get this one and we had to capitalize when we got the chances,” said coach Jason Tata. “Hopefully, this is going to spark a little bit of something. Taking this one takes some of the pressure off. When we go to Fitch (the Centaurs were scheduled to do so on Tuesday), we can play loose, relaxed, we can play our game.”
The Centaurs never took a big lead on Montville, but never trailed either.
Woodstock took the early 1-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter on a Jared Nielsen goal.
Lucas Theriaque, Dylan Phillips and Nielsen connected in the second quarter as the Centaurs built a 4-2 lead.
Will Basiliere did much of the rest as he got a second half hat trick.
“I’ve had a slow season so it felt pretty good to provide a little spark,” Basiliere said. “It’s late (in the season), but it’s never too late. We put a lot of importance on this game and the next two. We need them to get anywhere. The past two games, our intensity has been there through all four quarters.”
Basiliere came into the contest with three goals.
“He’s that kind of player,” Tata said., “When I first came here and he was a sophomore, he showed this kind of spark. Had a tough year last year, but we played the hot hand.”
Basiliere’s biggest tally came with 1 minute, 55 seconds left in regulation when he scored to give the Centaurs the three-goal advantage.
“That was the dagger right there. We either needed to kill the rest of the game or we had to put one in. Those were our two options. We couldn’t give them the ball back, because they would have picked up some momentum and could have turned it into a real tight game with not a lot of time left,” Tata said.
Zach Gessner scored the other goal for the Centaurs.
Henry Wotton and Theriaque both had a goal and an assist for the boys’ lacrosse team but the Centaurs fell short under the lights at Waterford.
Phillips, Nielsen and Gessner also scored for the Centaurs.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

Sophomore Brady Ericson put together a gem last week as he pitched a no-hitter.

 for Woodstock Academy  and struck 20 of the 23 hitters he faced in a 4-0 win over Ledyard.


Sophomore Juliet Allard broke the school record in the 300-meter hurdles
s on Saturday at the Greater Hartford Open boys and girls track Invitational.

The Centaurs girls’ track team is all smiles and wearing plenty of medals
Saturday as Woodstock Academy finished fifth in the Greater Hartford Open boys and girls track Invitational at East Hartford High School.


Senior Day, from left: Ainsley Morse, Elizabeth Morgis, Lexi Thompson, Avery Collin, Emily Goodell, Maddie Martinez and Aubrey Rumrill
 were all honored on Senior Day prior to the Centaurs softball game with Bacon Academy. Photos by Marc Allard.


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