Enfield tops Canton behind strong pitching

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., May. 3, 2012
Senior captain John Cerrato throws a fastball for a strike. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Senior captain John Cerrato throws a fastball for a strike. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The Enfield High School Raiders extended their win streak to three games with a 4-0 victory over the visiting Canton Warriors on April 30. The win puts Enfield at 9-2, good enough for fourth place in the Class M rankings. It was the fourth straight loss for Canton, dropping their record to 4-6 on the season.

Enfield was led by a dominant pitching performance from senior captain John Cerrato. Cerrato pitched a complete game shutout, striking out five batters while scattering five hits, one extra base hit, along the way. He hit two batters but did not surrender a walk and only allowed one base runner to reach third. He would also bolster the Raiders’ offensive attack.

“He pitched a good game for us today and helped us get the win,” said Jay Gaucher, Enfield head coach. “When Johnny doesn’t put people on base, he’s hard to beat.”

In the bottom of the second inning, Cerrato would help himself earn some early run support leading off with a triple to left center field. He was driven in on a sacrifice fly from Salvatore Spadaro. Enfield would threaten later in the inning with a double by Matt Nicewicz and Ian Lempitsky getting hit by a pitch, but Tom Meskell hit a hard liner to the shortstop to end the inning.

Avery Boissy led off the bottom of the third inning with a triple to left center field; Tyler Griffith was then hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with no outs. Senior captain Justin Thomas earned the RBI, hitting a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Cerrato then came up to bat and Griffith stole second base. Cerrato would help himself out by drilling a ball to deep left field and chugged around the bases for a two run inside the park homerun, giving Enfield the 4-0 advantage.

“I don’t think we batted well today but we had some timely hits,” Gaucher said. “He [Cerrato] helped himself at the plate and had some big hits.”

Canton would threaten in the top of the fifth inning. After giving up a leadoff single up the middle, Cerrato came back to strike out the next batter, but would hit the next batter to put runners on first and second with only one out. He then worked a groundball to the second baseman for another out, putting runners on the corners with two outs. The next batter hit a hard grounder in between short and third. Meskell dove for the ball, backhanding it to stop it from reaching the outfield and throwing to second in time to help the Raiders out of the jam.

“Tommy has been great for us at short stop,” Gaucher said. “He doesn’t have the strongest arm, but when he uses his feet, he can make any play. He had the awareness to get the ball to second for the out and made a great play to save some runs.”

Cerrato would retire six of the game’s final seven batters. He threw 88 pitches, 64 for strikes, allowing him to go the distance. He faced 28 batters and threw first pitch strikes to 18 of them.

“Johnny threw strikes and got ahead of the hitters,” Gaucher said. “He throws a heavy fastball, and when it’s low in the zone, it’s hard to hit.”

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