Hitt, Muratorri propel Panthers past Cambridge
CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- Hoosick Falls Central School starter Kealan Hitt looked a bit out of sorts early on in Thursday's game against Cambridge.
He allowed a leadoff double to start the game, a run that came around to score on a groundout.
But from that point, Hitt was in a zone, only making 88 pitches in a complete-game four-hitter and a 7-2 win over the Indians.
"I just took a deep breath, just said that I can't let up anymore," Hitt said. "One [run] will happen, but I have to let the defense do what they do."
In the top of the third, Hoosick Falls came back with the tying run. No. 8 hitter Peter Muratorri (2-for-4, three RBI), walked and then was sacrified to second. He moved to third on a balk and scored on a Tom Peabody sacrifice fly.
"The bottom of the lineup was productive, with good at-bats and [Alex] Mendez had a good sac bunt that led to a run," Lilac said.
In the bottom half, Hitt had the easiest inning a pitcher can have, getting three outs on three pitches.
Andy Romack grounded out on a ball that shortshop Tyler Rondeau made a slick play on, and Brady Sausville hit a first-pitch rocket that third baseman Wyatt Whitman picked and made a strong throw for the out.
Then on the third pitch, Caleb Rowland popped out to third.
"[Kealan's] a good pitcher, if that first one's there, I want to be really aggressive on it," said Cambridge coach Jason Waite. "I'd rather have them swinging at the first one then go down looking on an 0-2 curve."
Hoosick Falls coach Mike Lilac said he doesn't remember seeing a 3-pitch inning in his years of coaching.
"Kealan was coming back on short rest and he was smart enough to pitch to contact," Lilac said. "I've never seen [a 3-pitch inning] before."
Hoosick Falls took the lead for good in the top of the fourth, with Muratorri doubling home the go-ahead run for a 2-1 lead.
As Hitt continued to shut down the Indians, Hoosick Falls got insurance runs in the fifth.
Peabody and Rondeau reached via error and single to put two runners on. With Alex Labarge at the plate, Peabody came home on a wild pitch and on the next throw, Labarge singled to left to drive in Rondeau.
"Brady left a couple up, when he did, they hit them hard," Waite said. "He kept them off-balance for most of the game."
Hitt gladly took the offensive support and kept mowing down Cambridge.
"You can pitch all you want, but the team has got to be able to score runs," Hitt said.
Muratorri added a two-run single in the seventh to make it 7-1, but Cambridge had one more comeback.
Ethan English singled and David Reedy was plunked to put two on with no out. Hitt struck out Graham Hall and Adam Bearor, but two batters later, Sausville walked with the bases loaded to drive in a run. But Hitt bore down and fanned Rowland to end it.
"We needed him to [be efficient], so he can come back to pitch Monday against Stillwater," Lilac said. "We just need to get wins to get into the tournament."
Hoosick Falls improves to 5-5 in the Wasaren League, a .500 record guarantees a spot in the sectional tournament.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.