BBA baseball blanks Otters


MANCHESTER -- In one of the dominant performances of the young season, Burr and Burton Academy pitcher Noah Rizio immediately took control and never let go.

Rizio struck out 14 of the 23 batters he faced and allowed just two hits in a complete-game 3-0 win over Otter Valley (3-3) on Monday in a rematch of last year's Division II final.

"That was a dominant high school pitching performance," said BBA coach Tony Cirelli. "Fourteen strikeouts, 76 pitches and his offspeed stuff worked. This was a very good hitting team and he just did everything he needed to do."

Rizio got things going quickly, fanning the first two hitters on six pitches before the Otters' John Winslow lined to short for the final out of the first.

After BBA (3-3) stranded a man in the bottom of the first, Rizio struck out the side in the second.

Rizio came out throwing hard in the first couple of innings before beginning to mix in his offspeed stuff.

"I wanted to see if they could hit the fastball and then mix in some pitches in their second or third time around [to] give them a different look," Rizio said. "I just tried to mix it up and put it over the plate."

BBA was able to get on the board in the second. After singles by Jeremiah Parker and Ryan Smith and a walk from Adam Maitland, the bases were loaded for Seth Wilkins, who worked a five-pitch walk out of Otter Valley starter CJ McCoullough to bring home a run.

Will Claessens got the first hit of the day for the Otters, a double to left, but Rizio minimized the damage with a strikeout and flyout.

"We just couldn't put anything back to back today -- that was our problem," said Otter Valley coach Tim Mitchell. "I think I counted two hits. We're averaging 13 to 15 hits a game. You didn't see that today."

The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the third. Cody Roberts started off the inning with a single and Rizio hit a long single that dropped in just fair along the left field line. With two outs, Cirelli called for a double steal to try to score the run.

"We've been struggling [to get] RBIs and I figured if there was a way we could pull off a double steal and do something in the situation that would score a run, we were going to try take advantage of it," said Cirelli.

BBA added their third run in the sixth, Wilkins was hit by a pitch, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. The next hitter, Griff Stalcup, hit a chopper to second that was mishandled, allowing Wilkins to cross the plate.

BBA will take on Mount Anthony on Thursday at the Dana Thompson Rec Park. The game begins at 4:30 p.m.


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