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Heads up baserunning by Cerruto sparks Raiders to eventual 15-6 win over Litchfield in both teams season opener.

POSTED April 06, 2018
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Opening day for the Torrington baseball team had taken forever to get here.

In a spring more representative of a fall football climate, the Raiders and their opponent, the Litchfield Cowboys had waiting and waiting, and you guessed, it, waited to throw a pitch in a live game.

That indoor baseball gets old really fast and as the game unfolded, the Raiders were having their fair share of trouble getting going until a player who you expect to see a lot of key plays from this year, took a chance and sparked a rally that opened the flood gates in an eventual 15-6 win.

The Cowboys had jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first off Torrington starter Adam Vanotti who had trouble finding the strike zone early, walking the first two batters who eventually came around to score.

Torrington, the visitors in this often-moved game, had done little over the first three innings against Litchfield starter, Matt Schweter who worked out of third inning trouble where the Raiders had put two runners on.

In the top of the third, Cerruto, who is signed to attend and play at West Point this fall, led off with a single through the hole between short and third.

Leftfielder Casey Navin hit a grounder to short that looked like a potential double play ball but was misplayed.

As Cerruto rounded second, he noticed the Cowboy’s third baseman was closer to short than third, leaving the third base bag uncovered and continued on with Navin following behind, giving the Raiders with runners on second and third with nobody out.

“I was trying to be aggressive,” Cerruto said. “Trying to get some runs up on the board. When I saw the third baseman kind of inch over trying to get the ball in the hole and the pitcher was still on the mound, I decided to go for it.”

The move sparked the Raiders and one batter later, Jake Nilsson, launched a double to deep right field that tied the game. Nilsson would score the go ahead run when Kyle Banche singled him home.

Nilsson would add a second booming double in the fifth when the Raiders opened the game up with a six-run inning that saw them send 10 batters to the plate.

Torrington would tack on six more in the top of the seventh, including their first home run of the year that was launched by Cerruto over the left centerfield wall.

Vanotti, a sophomore, got the win and Torrington got solid work out of CJ Root and Ben Richardson to close things out.

The Raiders will once again battle Mother Nature as they try and play on Saturday against Derby at either 11 a.m. or noon.

The forecast doesn’t look good but hey, it’s spring in New England.

If the Raiders get the kind of spark they got from their senior leader who is looking to have a memorable season behind the plate and at the dish, weather might be the only thing that can slow them down.

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