Glastonbury Rallies to Earn Walk-Off Win Against Windsor

GLASTONBURY-Glastonbury junior Gianni Zarilli found himself in a pressure-filled situation during Monday’s game against rival South Windsor, to say the least. Zarilli came up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs and the score tied at six against Bobcats junior reliever Will Nowak, following a double by senior right fielder Patrick Sconzo. Zarrilli had the opportunity to help the Tomahawks earn a walk-off win after rallying from a three-run deficit, and he immediately stepped up.

On Nowak’s second pitch (a letter-high fastball down the middle), Zarilli ripped a line drive to right field that easily scored Sconzo and gave Glastonbury a 7-6 comeback win. The triumph came just five days after the Tomahawks (3-2) were shut out at South Windsor (3-2) 5-0.

Following the win, Zarilli discussed his approach in the at bat.

“Coach (Dennis) Accomando has a lot of faith in me, and he just told me once I got up there to have fun and get a pitch you like and give it a ride.”

Zarilli also discussed the offense coming alive in the final two innings. Glastonbury trailed 6-3 entering the sixth inning, but scored three runs to tie it and set up Zarilli’s RBI.

“Our approach did not change at the plate, we keep fighting and maintain faith no matter what,” he said. “Our offense has a lot of confidence and we have the ability to score late inning runs.”

Accomando also briefly discussed Zarilli’s winning single.

“Gianni is a good hitter, that’s why he bats third, and he feels no pressure. My advice to him was just to have fun, and he got a good pitch to hit,” Accomando said.

Following South Windsor’s three-run outburst in the top of the sixth that gave them a 6-3 lead, the Tomahawks kicked off their rally in the bottom of the frame trailing 6-3 against junior reliever Jason Ray. Sconzo and Zarilli were again the catalysts, as Sconzo opened with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on Zarilli’s line drive single to center field. South Windsor responded by bringing in Nowak. Senior starter Andrew Heymann hit a deep fly ball to center to score Sconzo. Nowak struck out junior designated hitter Zach Tallebione on a blazing fastball to earn the second out. With sophomore catcher Christopher Fisher at the plate, Zarilli again made a big-time play by stealing second base. Fisher displayed good plate discipline and drew a walk. Senior shortstop Ben LaPlante took advantage of a poorly located pitch, jumping on it and smashing a triple to deep left to score Zarilli and Fisher and tie the game.

South Windsor head coach Mike McDermott discussed Glastonbury’s winning comeback.

“They came out and were great at the end of the game, and we came up short on the defensive end. That’s high school baseball. We left a few runs out there by not getting bunts down and missing signs, and Glastonbury made the big plays at the right time,” McDermott said.

South Windsor jumped on Glastonbury in the top of the first by scoring a run. Nowak singled and scored on two errors. In the following inning, Heymann escaped from a first and third situation by jamming sophomore outfielder Zach Donahue and forcing an infield popout.

The squad’s offense responded by scoring three runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 3-1 lead. Heymann crushed a triple to center on Ray’s first pitch. Ray promptly hit Tabellione and Fisher followed by hitting a line drive RBI single to right. LaPlante bunted Tabellione to third and Levin smocked a double to deep center to give the Tomahawks a 3-0 lead. The hurler recovered and escaped the inning by striking out sophomore third baseman Colby Seymour looking on an off-speed pitch and junior outfielder Ryan Molinari to ground out to second.

In the top of third, junior first baseman James Tamburro came to bat with one out and jumped on Heymann’s first pitch, hitting a triple to deep center field. Sophomore second baseman Hunter Pasqualini drove him in with a ground ball out to second to make it 3-2.

In the following inning, Heymann recorded two outs after an opening single. Custer hit a single on the first pitch to tie the score. Heymann found himself in a tougher jam with two runners in scoring position following a hit and stolen base, but obtained the final out on a fly to right.

The Glastonbury offense was quiet in the following two innings, going 1-2-3 in the fourth and striking out twice in the fifth.

South Windsor scored three runs in the sixth to take a 6-3 lead, taking advantage of sloppy defense. With junior shortstop Robert Williams and senior DH Mike Kostantakis up to open the inning, the Tomahawks committed two errors. Custer loaded the bases with a single and Williams scored on Donahue’s groundout. Heymann walked Nowak, and Accomando decided to bring junior Angelo Dombek on in relief.  Tamburro promptly greeted him with a single, scoring Kostantakis and cutting the deficit to one.  Pasqualoni tied the game by hitting a fielder’s choice to second.

McDermott said that while his offense made a few costly mistakes, it performed well overall.

Accomando discussed Heymann’s overall performance and junior Angelo Dombek’s relief appearance.

“Entering the game Drew had thrown 11.2 scoreless innings. Today he didn’t have his best stuff, but he still battled through it,” Accomando said. “Angelo had a good opportunity today and did a great job. He pitched in some really tough situations.”

“Our pitchers did very well overall and showed good composure out there,” Zarilli said. “Angelo was great.”

South Windsor finished the game with 13 hits, while Glastonbury scored seven runs despite just six hits.

The Tomahawks will play at Bristol Eastern and Berlin later this week, while the Bobcats have games lined up at New Britain and against East Lyme. Accomando discussed how this win can give Glastonbury momentum, while McDermott talked about what his team needs to do to maintain its solid start.

“This win can give us confidence. Once you establish you can have comeback walk-off wins, every time the seventh inning comes and you’re down you have the confidence you can rally,” Accomando said.

“We have to establish a pitching rotation. There are a couple of kids I am confident in, but then there are three or four arms who need to step up,” McDermott said. “We need to do this in the next week or so.”

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