MERIDEN — A 5-4 semifinal win over Platt Tech on Tuesday afternoon has propelled the Wilcox Tech baseball team back to the CTC Tournament finals.
Playing on their home field, the Indians staked staked themselves to an early 3-0 lead, coughed it up in the third inning as Platt Tech scored all four of its runs, then rallied in the fifth, plating the tying and go-ahead runs on a Mike Furgalack double.
“We had the one bad inning, but we played pretty well today,” Wilcox Tech coach Dave Cronin said. “Defensively, we played well. Offensively, we did just enough. Sean (DuPuis) didn’t have his great stuff today. He left his fastball up a bit, but they seemed to hit it right at us, so we’ll take it and move on.”
The next stop on the ride is Thursday at Palmer Field in Middletown. Wilcox, now 16-6 overall, will face Cheney Tech (14-8) at noon. The two teams have yet to meet this season.
Against Platt Tech (17-5), the Indians were taking on the only team to beat them during the CTC regular season. Wilcox beat the Panthers 5-3 on the last day of April. The Milford team returned the favor by the same score on the first day of May.
In Round 3 on Tuesday, both teams were swinging the bats very well, making plenty of hard contact. Wilcox collected nine hits. Platt Tech had seven.
It didn’t take very long for Wilcox to get on the board. In the bottom of the first, Brian Carabetta slammed a triple into deep left center field. The next batter, DuPuis, lined a single to bring him home for a 1-0 lead.
In the second, with two outs, Dan Taveras kept the inning alive getting hit by a pitch. Nick Priebe singled to the right side and Carabetta smoked a double over the center fielder’s head to score both runners.
Platt Tech erased that 3-0 deficit in the top of the third. Casey Krenicki and Isaiah Reveron delivered back-to-back singles to start the inning and both advanced into scoring position with stolen bases.
Brian Ficaro hit a sacrifice fly to left to plate Krenicki and, following a hit batsman, John Burgos doubled to score Reveron. Joe Calzone followed with a RBI single to tie the game at 3-3.
Platt Tech would get another run on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Dante Scotti to take the lead.
Wilcox fought back in the bottom of the fifth inning. DuPuis reached on an error and James Theriault drew a walk, setting the table for Furgalack, who roped a double down the left field line to score both runs, giving the Indians a 5-4 lead.
“He’s a dangerous hitter who’s been doing it all year,” Cronin said of Furgalack. “Not everyone can do it in a spot like that, but he did. He’s clutch.”
With momentum on their side, the Indians made plays in the field and recorded the outs behind Dupuis to shut the door and advance to yet another CTC final.
“It’s always a great feeling,” said Cronin. “I’m not sure how many times this is now. I think it’s 11. It’s better to win it, though. It’s unpleasant to get there and not win it.”
Cheshire 6, Wilbur Cross 4: The Rams completed their suspended SCC quarterfinal in victorious fashion at Burt Leventhal Field, securing a decision that was launched Monday with a five-run first inning.
The win over the No. 8 Governors (14-7) was Cheshire’s 20th in a row. Cheshire (20-1) will play No. 5 North Haven (12-9) in the semifinals on Wednesday at West Haven at 7 p.m.
Junior Joseph Sabo was the winning pitcher against Cross. Sabo logged 4 1/3 innings on Monday, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks. He fanned four.
Ian Battipaglia collected the save. The senior threw the last 2 2/3 frames on Tuesday.
Rob Roles had a pair of hits for Cheshire. Matt Costello and Paul Villeco collected two RBI apiece. Villeco also swiped two bags.
Southington 14, Conard 1 (5 inn.): The Blue Knights capped their regular season at 17-3 with the CCC West-Colonial Division romp over the Chieftains (12-8) at Fontana Field.
Jake Neuman (5-0) earned the win on the mound. He gave up the one run on three hits, one walk and one hit batter. Neuman fanned five.
Jason Krar pitched a spotless fifth inning with two strikeouts.
Offensively, the Blue Knights scored in bunches, plating six runs in the third inning and six more in the fourth.
Andrew Paradis and Kyle Leifert both homered for Southington. Leifert added a double and finished with five RBI.
Jake Romano doubled twice in going 3-for-3. Jack Meade was 2-for-4 with two RBI.