BBA tops Raiders, stands undefeated

MANCHESTER - Putting their undefeated record on the line, the Burr and Burton Academy baseball team was in a battle against Rutland, ahead by one run in the fourth inning.

In those situations, good teams find a way to win.

The Bulldogs used a three-run fifth and five-run sixth to pull away in a 14-5 victory on Tuesday at Dana Thompson Park, improving to 10-0 on the season.

"Rutland has a good team, they have good bats," said BBA coach Tony Cirelli. "The way they hit the ball, we wanted to get a cushion." Up 6-5 heading into the bottom of the fifth, the first five hitters reached base. Noah Rizio crushed a ground-rule double to right center to start the inning, then a walk and hit by pitch loaded the bases with no one out.

Alex Alberti then drove in two with a single to right, making it 8-5.

Two batters later, Weston Muench singled in Taylor Fuller for a four-run advantage.

"The kids have come a long way hitting," Cirelli said. "They're working hard in the cage, doing the little things we ask. They are being patient at the plate, forcing other teams to throw a lot of pitches."

All nine starters had at least one hit. No. 9 hitter Muench went 3-for-4 at the bottom of the lineup, setting the table for Robert England and Zach Stewart. The top two hitters in the Bulldogs' lineup combined for three hits and four runs scored.

'"All three of those guys did a nice job with getting on base and scoring runs," Cirelli said.

At the same time, Jake Stalcup - who came on in relief of the starter Rizio - kept the Division-I Raiders (7-5) off the scoreboard, allowing a hit and walk in the sixth before striking out Jordan Godfrey to end the inning.

The rout was on in the seventh as Stewart and Rizio reached on errors to start the frame and Stalcup and Fuller brought in runs with base hits in a five-run inning.

"They beat the crap out of us," said Rutland coach Kevin Bellomo.

"It's just contagious. Once things happen, we can't put a stop to it and it continues to slide. You can't make the mistakes against a good team like BBA and they capitalized on everything we did wrong, that's why they're undefeated."

Rutland started quickly against BBA starter Noah Rizio. The Raiders had three straight hits to begin the game and four in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. But the Bulldogs came right back against Andy Cassarino, taking advantage of two hits and a walk to tie it 2-2.

"It's good for us to jump on it, but we can't give runs back," Bellomo said. "If we have a good team [down] 2-0, we have to have good defense and pitching and get back in the dugout."

Cassarino pitched four innings, allowing six runs on seven hits with one strikeout. Rizio also threw four innings, allowing four runs, eight hits and striking out three.

"We're progressing," Cirelli said. "I like to see [us] doing little things well. If we can take advantage of certain situations, we'll be good."


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