King of the hill: Rizio fans 14 in win

MANCHESTER - In one of the dominant performances of the young season, Burr and Burton Academy pitcher Noah Rizio took control in the first inning and never let go.

Rizio struck out 14 of the 23 batters he faced, allowing just two hits over seven innings in a 3-0 win over Otter Valley (3-3) on Monday.

"That was a dominant high school pitching performance," said BBA coach Tony Cirelli. "Fourteen strikeouts, 76 pitches and his offspeed stuff worked. This was a very good hitting team and he just did everything he needed to do."

Rizio got things going quickly, fanning the first two hitters in six pitches before the Otters John Winslow lined to short for the final out of the first.

After BBA (3-3) stranded a man in the bottom of first, Rizio made short work of the Otters in the second inning, striking out the side.

Rizio came out throwing hard in the first couple of innings before beginning to mix in his offspead stuff.

"I wanted to see if they could hit the fastball and then mix in some pitches in the their second or third time around [to] give them a different look," said Rizio. "I just tried to mix it up and put it over the plate."

BBA was able to get on the board in second. After singles by first baseman Jeremiah Parker and left fielder Ryan Smith, catcher Adam Maitland worked the walk to set up bases loaded with two away for designated hitter Seth Wilkins.

Wilkins was able to get Otter Valley pitcher CJ McCoullough into a 3-0 hole, before McCoullough walked in the run on five pitches. But the senior showed composure and got the next batter, Jon Iris, to ground out to second to end the inning.

Second baseman Will Claessens got the first hit of the day for the Otters in the top of third with a double to left. But the team was unable to get anything going as Rizio struck out McCoullough and got Shane Quenneville to fly to right in the top of the third.

"We just couldn't put anything back to back today that was our problem," said Otter Valley coach Tim Mitchell. "I think I counted two hits. We're averaging 13 to 15 hits a game. You didn't see that today."

The Bulldogs were able to add an insurance run in the third. Right fielder Cody Roberts started off the inning with a single and Rizio hit a long single that dropped in just fair along the left field line. Parker reached on a fielder's choice setting up first and third with one away. After McCoullough struck out second baseman Taylor Muench, Cirelli called for a double steal to try to score the run.

"We've been struggling hitting RBIs and I figured if there was a way we could pull off a double steal and do something in the situation that would score a run we were going to try take advantage of it," said Cirelli.

The Otters went 1-2-3 in the fourth, with the help of a nice leaping grab by Muench near the second base bag to rob Winslow of a base hit.

After getting off to a slow start in the sixth, Wilkins reached first with two away after being hit by Claessens who had come on in relief of McCoullough in the fifth. After stealing second, Wilkins advanced to third on a wild pitch with shortstop Griff Stalcup at the plate. A mishandled chopper at second allowed Stalcup to reach and the run to score to put BBA on top 3-0.

BBA will take on Mount Anthony on Thursday at the Dana Thompson Rec Park. The game begins at 4:30 p.m.

Follow on Twitter @BrandonCanevari


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