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RIVALRY BASEBALL: Aces deal in LH-Sheehan rematch at Pat Wall

RIVALRY BASEBALL: Aces deal in LH-Sheehan rematch at Pat Wall

WALLINGFORD — The Lyman Hall baseball team got a Senior Night victory Friday at Pat Wall Field. The Trojans also got payback on their crosstown rival in the process.

In their second matchup of the spring and the regular-season finale for both state tournament-bound teams, Lyman Hall defeated Sheehan 4-0 behind Colin Blake’s complete-game shutout.

The senior right-hander was fantastic. He scattered six hits and didn’t allow a walk, darting the strike zone all game. Blake struck out six.

“He pitched one of the best games that I’ve seen him pitch,” said Lyman Hall head coach Bill Rich. “I didn’t look at the stats as far as strikeouts, walks or hits, but I know that he pitched a really good game.

“We put up some runs against them and our defense was great,” Rich added. “We were really running on all cylinders tonight.”

For Sheehan, starting pitcher Kevin Vining had a rough first inning, but recovered gracefully. Vining also threw a complete game and allowed six hits. The senior southpaw struck out four and walked two.

The bottom of the first inning is when all the scoring happened and it all occured with two outs.

Matt Battiste started the LH rally with a single to right field. Jake Ranney followed with a single up the middle that put Battiste in scoring position for Zach Kizer, who singled him home.

Vining momentarily struggled with his control, issuing two straight walks, the latter of which forced in the second Lyman Hall run.

With the bases still loaded, Anthony Cretella smacked a single to score two runs, giving the Trojans a 4-0 lead.

From then on out, it was all about pitching and defense for both teams. Vining got back on track in a big way. He allowed only two more hits and didn’t issue another walk.

Blake was excellent, though, to the Titans dismay. He also got a lot of help from his defense, notably an excellent diving catch in right field from Brennan Toussaint to end the top of the sixth inning.

“There’s a lot of hype to this game, but I try to tell them it’s like any other game,” said Rich. “We come out and try to win any game that we can. As I told my team in the huddle, I’m really proud of them. Our second half of the season was much better than the first half.”

Lyman Hall, 3-7 at the midway point of the regular season and mired in a six-game slide, went 6-4 in the second half and will take a 9-11 record into the Class L state tournament.

Sheehan, which opened the season rallying to beat LH 7-6 at West Side Field on April 1, heads to the Class M tourney at 8-12 in veteran head coach Matt Altieri’s final season.

“You never win a game when you score zero runs,” Altieri said of Friday’s rematch. “I thought our approaches at the plate were actually pretty good against a good pitcher. We put some balls in play and a couple strikeouts here and there, but it’s the end of the first season and on to the second season.”