Holy cross

NVL baseball ratings: Torrington shows resilience in win over Holy Cross

WATERBURY — When the Torrington High baseball team had to respond to a push from Holy Cross during Monday afternoon’s NVL game at Bucks Hill Park, they had one.
The Raiders, who saw four errors lead to four Crusader runs late in the fifth inning, played a small ball to grab a key insurance run.
Torrington then won, 8-6, and handed Holy Cross (4-1) their first loss of the season.
The Raiders improved to 2-1 with a busy week ahead that includes three more games.
“That was the most important thing was the resilience of our team,” Torrington coach Pat Richardson said. “They didn’t back down, they came right back and responded with a run, which ended up being a huge run to give us some breathing room.”
Ray Campbell kicked off that sixth inning with a booming brace from the left center field fence. Angel Santana’s pinch ran for Campbell and moved to third base on Thomas Rooney’s slow roll to first base, which ended up being as good as a sacrificial bunt.
With Cooper Suminski at home plate, Santana headed home. Suminski hit a perfect suicide squeeze and Santana scored for an 8-6 lead.
That resilience that Richardson talked about also applied to pitchers Joe Dipippo and Tyler Semonich, who were able to dig deep and throw big.
With the tying run in the second, Dipippo got a third strike called to end the fifth inning with Torrington ahead, 7-6. In the sixth, Semonich erased a starting walk with a late-inning double play grounder. After a two-out walk in the seventh, Semonich landed a third strike called to end the game.
“Our pitchers did an outstanding job today. Sometimes our defense wasn’t there, but with our sticks, a small ball and their mental game on the mound, they got through today,” Richardson said.
Jake Groebl had a single, a sacrifice fly, a run scored, three RBIs and a stolen base while Dean Basso scored a single, scored twice, drove in two runs and stole a base for Torrington. For Holy Cross, Luke Daddona doubled, singled, scored a deuce and drove in a pair.

No field advantage: Bucks Hill Park became the de facto home ground of Holy Cross on Monday for the second time this season. The Crusaders have played their five games so far, but both of their home games have been played across town from their Oronoke Road campus.
Holy Cross coach Matt Smolley said he, assistant coach Kevin Zupkus and athletic director Mike Giampetruzzi removed about 200 gallons of water from their home baseball field Friday afternoon and Sunday morning combined. . Five and eight gallon buckets were used. The Crusaders trained on their home ground once, and that was during the first week of training. Last week, Holy Cross trained at the Tim McDonald Gymnasium, the Waterbury Athletic Center in Hamilton Park and the Hit Club in Thomaston. Even on a sunny day like Monday, the outside fields were spongy from leftover water.
Holy Cross is far from the only team to face difficult field conditions. Woodland were due to face Ansonia at home on the opening day but it has been postponed twice so far. The Hawks have won on the road at Torrington and Wilby so far, and they also have away games at Oxford today and Masuk on Thursday. Woodland is set to face Wolcott at home on Saturday at 11 a.m.