May 26—GROTON — Trace Morales’ made a most auspicious first varsity high school baseball start Tuesday afternoon.
Morales, a freshman at Fitch High School, no-hit Montville, leading the No. 5 Falcons to a 1-0 win over the 12th-seeded Indians in the first round of the Eastern Connecticut Conference Tournament.
Morales struck out 12.
“This was big,” Morales said. “I’m only a freshman.”
Fitch will play at No. 4 Plainfield in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
“He’s been with freshman, JV and varsity this year, but I think this is where he’s the most comfortable,” Fitch coach Brian McGugan said. “He rises to the occasion. Montville has some hitters. He mixed it up well.”
Ryan O’Connor’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth scored pinch runner Dante Valentine with the game’s only run. Valentine ran for Tate Scherer, who reached on a one-out single.
Montville (7-9) pitchers Isaiah Gallagher and Justin Saad limited Fitch (13-4) to three hits total.
In other games:
— Colton Vasseur retired the final 10 batters he faced — eight by strikeout — as No. 6 Bacon Academy advanced to the ECC quarterfinals with a 4-3 win over No. 11 Griswold.
Vasseur pitched a complete game with 11 strikeouts for the Bobcats (11-5) who play at No. 3 Killingly in the quarters.
Steven Laliberte, whose two-out RBI single in the fifth scored the go-ahead run, went 3-for-3. Evan Gilgenbach drove in all three runs for the Wolverines (8-11).
— Jason Hicks, Dominic Pontbriant, Elliott Johnson, and Griffin Pontbriant combined on a five-hitter as No. 7 Norwich Free Academy defeated No. 10 Lyman Memorial 4-2 in the first round of the ECC Tournament.
Griffin Pontbriant got the save for NFA (12-5), which plays No. 2 Waterford in the quarterfinals.
Ethan Heinsz and Jake Savage had two hits and an RBI for NFA while Nate Cone had two hits for Lyman (9-9).
— Medalist Tyler Radford shot 42 as Montville defeated Norwich Free Academy (7-0) and Bacon Academy (6.5-.5) at Norwich Golf Course. NFA defeated Bacon 4.5-2.5. The Indians are 9-7. Bacon is 8-4 and NFA is 8-6.
— Brandon Tavares shot 46 and John Cunningham 47 in Stonington’s 5-2 loss to Woodstock Academy. The Bears are 4-9 overall.
— Killingly (160) defeated Fitch (200) and Plainfield (234). Co-medalists Harry Giambattista and Cooper Morrisette shot 39 for Killingly while Jack Kramer shot 48 for Fitch (9-8).