Thomaston gets past St. Paul for a spot in Class S quarterfinals
THOMASTON - The bats got going once again and Blaise Russo settled down after a shaky first inning and it added up to a second Class S tournament win in as many days for the Thomaston High baseball team.
Scoring in each of the first three innings, the third-seeded Golden Bears advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-3 victory over No. 19 St. Paul on Tuesday afternoon in a second-round matchup.
Thomaston (18-3) will face either No. 6 Notre Dame-Fairfield or No. 22 Morgan on Friday at home a time to be determined.
The Falcons jumped on Russo early as Troy Micale and Josh Dobratz opened the game with consecutive singles and both came around to score to give St.Paul (11-10) a 2-0 lead. The advantage would be short lived as Russo got in a groove and the Bears offense picked up where it left off Monday.
"It looked like Blaise was going to hit a lot of barrells early on," Thomaston coach Bob McMahon said. "St.Paul looked like the '27 Yankees in the first inning but he settled down and needed only 69 pitches the rest of the way."
"After the first inning getting strike one on a lot of their hitters was huge," Russo said. "I just settled down after that inning and us getting the runs back was a key too."
After scoring nine runs in a victory over Valley Regional in the first round on Monday, Thomaston got to work quickly in this one, scoring two in the first to tie the game, 2-2. Any momentum St. Paul may have had from its fast start was gone and Thomaston added a run in the second and two more in the third to take a 5-2 lead.
Thomaston got production from up and down the lineup as Jake Tehan had three hits, scored twice and added an RBI, Frank Romanelli had a pair of hits with two RBIs and a run scored and Tyler Donofrio added two runs scored.
"It's nice to know that we can score some runs any inning no matter who we have coming up," McMahon said.
St. Paul managed a two-out rally in the fifth but could only push across one run. Russo buckled down to get A.J. Lorenzetti to ground out to second with the bases loaded to end the threat.
Thomaston put the game away with two in the bottom of the sixth and Russo worked around a two-out walk in the seventh for a complete game victory.
The game started at 1 p.m. to accomodate St. Paul which will hold its graduation Tuesday evening. Thomaston took advantage of the early start time to dismiss school early and students from the high school and middle school packed the hill around the field.
"It was awesome, our students and the town get behind the teams, its great," McMahon said. "And it's not iike they only come out for a winner, they get behind the school and the kids no matter what."
The players noticed to and seemed to get a lift.
"It was awesome, Thomaston is a small town but has a lot of heart," Tehan said. "There is no place I'd rather play."