Enfield outlasts Suffield on Senior Day

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., May. 17, 2012
Senior captain John Cerrato pitches during the second inning. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Senior captain John Cerrato pitches during the second inning. Photos by Colin Rajala.

Enfield High School didn’t hit the ball particularly well and their pitchers didn’t have their best stuff, but some gritty play led the Raiders (14-3) to a 9-8 victory over the Suffield Wildcats (8-8) May 16 on Enfield’s Senior Day. “It was a grinder,” said Jay Gaucher, Enfield head coach. “At 6-6 all, we grinded it out, got some timely hitting and some good play from our bench.”

The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead in the first inning on two RBI singles to right field off of senior starting pitcher John Cerrato. Enfield answered back in the bottom of the first inning, getting the lead for Cerrato using key stolen bases to put runners in scoring position. Avery Boissy led off with a stand-up triple to left center field.  Justin Thomas walked and stole second. Cerrato helped himself out driving Boissy in on a groundout to second base. Thomas would score in the next at-bat on a wild pitch. Salvatore Spadaro walked, advanced to second on a balk and scored on a RBI single to right field by Dan Critz. Critz stole second and scored on an RBI single by Matt Nicewicz, giving Enfield the 4-2 advantage.

Suffield answered in the top of the second with the bases loaded when Cerrato hit a batter to score a run and evened it up at four a piece on a sacrifice ground out to second base. With runners at second and third, Cerrato got himself out of the jam by getting the base runner out in a pickle between third and home after a comeback to the mound and ended the inning on a ground out to short.

Cerrato ran into trouble again in the third inning, surrendering a leadoff single and walk. Spadaro came in to relieve Cerrato and got the Raiders out of trouble on a 5-4-3 (third to second to first) double play and a pop out to the short stop.

Enfield took the lead in the bottom of the third when Thomas walked, stole second base, advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a RBI grounder by Nicewicz for the 5-4 lead. Suffield tied the game in the top of the fourth with a double to left center field. Enfield answered back in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead on a double to right field by senior T.J. Diggs.

Suffield would get to Spadaro in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with three straight singles, one for an RBI. The Wildcats took the 7-6 lead on a bunt single and extended their lead to 8-6 on a bases loaded single before a pop out ended the inning.

The Raiders would not go quietly on Senior Day, making a run of their own in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead. Kyle Lumbert earned a bases loaded walk to close the score to 8-7. Diggs rifled a single up the middle, driving in two runs for the 9-8 advantage.

“We moved him [Diggs] up to the two spot, and his first two at-bats weren’t good,” Gaucher said. “He came back strong and got two big hits for us.”

A lead-off double by Suffield in the top of the sixth inning and a 2-0 count to the second batter prompted Gaucher to take Spadaro off the mound and put the starter Cerrato back in, in relief. Cerrato retired six of the last seven batters in the game to give Enfield the victory.

“I thought Johnny was our best chance at getting the victory,” Gaucher said. “It worked out for us today. We need to take it one game at a time and keep chugging. I challenge them to play with passion early, and when we do that were a tough team to beat.”

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