RCP Advances With 3-1 Win Over Tolland

Logan Lessard tossed eight innings of one-run baseball, and the Rocky Hill-Cromwell-Portland defense turned in several sparkling plays that lifted RCP to a 3-1 victory over Tolland in the championship game of the Northern Division bracket of the American Legion state championships at Muzzy Field in Bristol.

Lessard struck out eight while walking just two to earn the win for RCP, the Zone 7 champion. Cole Ogorzalek pitched a perfect ninth to pick up the save.

“Logan threw last Thursday and said he had been a little stiff, but we touched base with him this morning and he was ready to go,” RCP coach Jay Hickey said. “We were hoping to get at least six innings out of him…The seventh and eighth were both quick innings, which made it a little easier. Logan pitched a great game.”

Lessard started slowly, permitting a run in the first inning when Zach Rollins ripped a single to right which scored Luke Broadhurst. On the same play, RCP escaped further damage when right fielder Alex Ramirez threw out Dallon Asnes at the plate. Asnes did not slide, but collided with catcher Kevin Radziewicz, who held onto the baseball to end the inning.

“Lessard is a phenomenal pitcher, and I knew it was going to be most likely a low-scoring game, and we just had to keep it under control,” Tolland coach Steve Paasch said. “That’s why in the first inning, I was aggressive and sent the guy home.”

RCP loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, but Tolland pitcher Thomas Jacobsen worked out of the jam with a strikeout and popup. In the fourth, RCP tied the game when Ramirez led off with a single and eventually scored on a groundout by Ogorzalek.

The game-winning run came in the fifth. Tommy Seaver led off with a double, moved to third on an infield out and scored on a bloop single by Cory Baldwin. Ramirez moved Baldwin to second with a single, and Baldwin scored on a throwing error following an infield single by Josh Zawisa.

Ramirez turned in the defensive gem of the evening with a spectacular diving catch in the right center field gap to rob Alex Hoss leading off the eighth. On the next pitch, Lessard jumped to snare a hot liner off the bat of Broadhurst.

Ogorzalek took the mound in the ninth and quickly disposed of Tolland on two groundouts and a fly ball, sending RCP into the state championship series.

Ramirez had two hits for the winners. Asnes and Rollins each had a pair of safeties for Tolland, which had won the District 8 crown.

RCP will meet Cheshire in a best-of-three matchup beginning Friday in Stamford. Both teams will then participate in the Northeast Regional tournament in Middletown in early August.

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