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Week of April 29: Pitching continues to be dominant as Centaurs go to 12-1

Three solid starting pitchers.

It’s a recipe for success in high school baseball.

It's the luxury that first-year coach Connor Elliott and his Woodstock Academy baseball team has this season.

The Centaurs could have easily had three complete games in a pair of victories over Norwich Free Academy and South Windsor.

“The pitching staff has been great,” Elliott said. “The most impressive part about that is that the expectation (for a starting pitcher) is to go five innings and then, we have guys coming out of the (bull)pen. I wanted to give Logan some work (on Thursday) for example, because he has been such a trooper for us, missing out on opportunities at JV to swing for us a little as well. He deserved an inning.”

Take away an eight-run anomaly against Coventry earlier this season and the Centaurs have allowed just 20 runs in 11 games.

Brady Ericson lowered his earned run average to 1.00 after a six inning, four hit, 12-strikeout performance in a 7-0 win over Norwich Free Academy Thursday.

The day before that, it was Riley O'Brien's turn as he allowed only six hits and struck out six in a 6-0 non-league victory over South Windsor.

“That was huge because the South Windsor team can really swing it. I think that was the best outing of his career. He’s been pitching for us since his freshman year and I was really impressed by that,” Elliott said.

O'Brien now sports a 1.52 earned run average.

Eric Mathewson, who pitched a complete game against Norwich Free Academy in a 7-1 victory on Monday, is at 2.42,

That makes it mighty difficult on opponents.

“That’s a telling stat,” Elliott said of giving up just 20 runs in the last 11 games (or 1.8 runs per game), “But give it a couple of weeks and we will see where it is still at. It’s great for now. I hope it stays that way. I think we have the guys who can keep it that way.”

The offense provided enough support.

Mathewson was at the center of it as usual.

The senior second baseman had a double, triple and two runs batted in against NFA on Thursday.

The Centaurs gave Ericson all the support he needed with three runs each in the third and fourth innings.

Mathewson had an RBI triple in the third, scored on an error and Ericson helped himself as he later added an RBI single in the inning. O’Brien, who also had two hits, knocked in a run with a single in the fourth.

Mathewson helped O'Brien, his senior classmate, with three hits and two runs scored in the win over South Windsor.

Keon Lamarche homered and had another RBI with a sacrifice fly.

Tanner Graham also drove in two runs for the Centaurs 

Eric Mathewson provided all the help he needed against the Wildcats earlier in the week at Dickenman Field. 

The righthander threw just 78 pitches, allowed just four hits and struck out seven as he went the distance to pick up the win over the Wildcats.

Mathewson also knocked in two runs with a third-inning homer and another with a ground out.

For the week, Mathewson was 6-for-11 with six runs batted in.

“He’s unconscious right now. I don’t even talk to him. It’s to the point that I might not even look at him,” Elliott said with a laugh. “He- hit a couple of balls (Thursday) that would have been out at other fields. He’s really bought into the approach and he’s our catalyst.”

Brady Lecuyer continues to be an RBI machine as he knocked in two with a single. The sophomore, in just 14 at-bats, has 10 runs driven in.

 Maxx Corradi added a pair of hits in the win for Woodstock Academy.

The Centaurs are now 12-1 overall, winners of their last nine, and are 5-0 in Division I of the Eastern Connecticut Conference.

A win over East Lyme on Saturday, May 11 would clinch at least a tie for the division title.

“That’s step 1 in terms of on-field goals and how we want to measure ourselves. The wins are great but they don’t earn you anything if you are one-and-done in the ECC or State tournaments. Moving up to Division I this year, that is our first goal, and a chance to prove to the league that we are here and will put up a fight every time,” Elliott said.