Return to Headlines

Week of April 15: Centaurs finally play and win at home

It certainly took a while.

The Woodstock Academy baseball team had to wait until the sixth game of the season to finally get on friendly turf at the Bentley Athletic Complex.

“It was amazing,” said coach Connor Elliott. “(The team) put a lot of work into it this spring and the maintenance department has done a great job working on it. It’s been a battle with the elements and, finally, the field is awesome.”

Fortunately, the Centaurs got to play on it early in the week.

That’s because Spring Break week for Woodstock Academy was typical of spring, some warmth and sunshine and some cold, raw and wet.

The Centaurs took advantage of the sun and warmth to post an 11-4 win over Ellis Tech Tuesday.

“You learn to appreciate those days because we don’t know how many times we’re going to get them,” Elliott said with a laugh.

Then they got to sit for the rest of the week as their game with East Lyme on Thursday was postponed by rain and their game with Norwich Free Academy on Saturday had to be moved because the fields in Norwich were unplayable on Saturday.

Woodstock Academy (5-1) jumped into the lead against the Eagles with five runs crossing the plate in the first inning.

Maxx Corradi drew a lead off walk in the bottom of the first inning and was doubled home by Eric Mathewson.

Mathewson advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a Riley O’Brien single to make it 2-0 but the Centaurs were not done yet.

A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases and Noah Sampson knocked in two with a hard ground ball that resulted in an error.

After a couple of stolen bases, the Centaurs had 14 in the game, a Tanner Graham ground out pushed another run across for the Centaurs.

And then, they rested.

“We had a good first inning and then, we just let (Ellis Tech) back in the game. It’s something we’ve been fighting early on this year. It’s a lesson we learned against Coventry. We’ve done a good job of getting ahead but we need to continue to grow the lead which we did eventually. We just don’t want it to get to 5-4, like it did, when it was 5-0,” Elliott said.

The Eagles pulled close in the third against Woodstock Academy ace Brady Ericson who did not have a Brady Ericson outing.

He gave up two singles and a walk to Ellis Tech and then a pair of bases-loaded walks pushed the first two runs across. A ground out allowed the third run to score before Ericson got out of trouble.

He only pitched three innings, however.

“He had a lot of pitches in that third inning and had a little arm tightness which kind of altered his mechanics a bit and he struggled to find himself. But he got through the third inning and I can’t say enough good things about Bradley Blair coming in. He has come on in two big spots this year and he’s two-for-two. I’m definitely developing a lot of trust in him and when he pounds the zone, he has really good stuff,” Elliott said.

Blair would allow a run in the fourth as Ellis Tech cut the Centaurs advantage to a slim one run but Woodstock Academy got one back in the bottom of the inning.

Corradi and Mathewson singled to lead off the inning with both advancing on a stolen base and Corradi scored on a passed ball to make it 6-4.

The Centaurs took over in the fifth when three walks loaded the bases and Mathewson followed with his second double of the game to clear the bases.

The senior second baseman finished four-for-five at the plate with four runs driven in.

“Maybe because it’s because I’m just so into the game, I don’t want to say it was a quiet four-for-five for him but he just swung it the way we kind of expected him to. Maybe that’s a little unfair, but it’s the type of player he is and the kind of young man he is. We go as he goes,” Elliott said.

No one else had more than one hit in the game for the Centaurs.

Now comes the fun part.

The rain meant an easy spring break week.

It will not be the same story for the coming week provided the weather cooperates.

The Centaurs are now scheduled to play Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I foes East Lyme and Waterford on Monday and Tuesday, both at home. They host another Division I opponent, Fitch, on Thursday before traveling on Saturday the 27th to play at Stonington.

“We’re going to need all of our pitching to be ready. That’s three games in four days and four games in six days. Hopefully, if the weather holds, there will be a lot more playing than practicing. We’re going to need everyone once these games start rolling,” Elliott said.