Lancers earn key SWC victory

Notre Dame’s Will Clyne went the distance when the Lancers defeated Masuk of Monroe, 5-2, on Monday. Clyne allowed only four hits. (Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Notre Dame’s Will Clyne went the distance when the Lancers defeated Masuk of Monroe, 5-2, on Monday. Clyne allowed only four hits.
(Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

The Notre Dame of Fairfield baseball team had already secured a position in the state tournament, and coach Bill Mazzucco’s Lancers were looking to help their South-West Conference standing when they played host to Masuk of Monroe on Monday.
When the dust settled, it was Notre Dame that emerged with a 5-2 victory, leaving both squads with 7-5 SWC marks.
Lancer right hander Will Clyne limited the Panthers to four hits, as Masuk’s record dipped to 10-8 overall and Notre Dame improved to 11-7.
Clyne had three strikeouts and three assists, and it was his second defensive play that loomed large in the top of the third inning.
Scott Levin opened the frame with Masuk’s first hit, a double into the right field corner.
Clyne retired Thomas Milone on a grounder to first base, as Levin advanced to third.
Kyle Horton followed with a line shot up the middle that was snared by Clyne.
Moving on contact, Levin was caught off third base by Clyne and chased down by Spencer Bassett before catcher Anthony Searles applied the tag.
The Lancers made the play double damaging, as Horton was caught trying to go to second at the end of the rundown on a strong throw from Searles to P.J. DeFilippo covered second to retire the side.
Masuk had threatened in the second.
With one out, Matt Romaniello walked on a 3-2 count and Anthony Amoroso ripped a drive off Clyne’s leg. Notre Dame first baseman Mark Komaromi fielded the carom and beat Amoroso’s belly slide to the bag for the second out.
Malik Cummings walked before Erik Laaksonen went into shallow right field to run down Paul Marchese’s flare to retire the side.
Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead on Masuk starter Chris Rubis in the bottom of the second.
Bassett opened the frame with a double to right field on a 3-2 pitch and drew a balk call when he took off for third with Collin Cegelka at the plate.
Rubis retired the next two batters with infield grounders, before Matt Lasky rescued the rally with a soft RBI single over the glove at Horton at shortstop and into left field. Notre Dame scored three runs in the third.
Searles opened a string of three straight hits with a single, before DeFilippo had an RBI double and Komaromi singled to put runners on the corners.
Karl Rodriguez had to settle for a sacrifice fly when Milone robbed him of extra bases with a tumbling catch near the base of the fence in right-center field.
Bassett walked and Cegelka singled to load the bases.
Masuk brought Dylan Izzo on in relief, and the right hander struck out two batters around a run-producing walk.
Down 4-0, Masuk pulled two runs back in the top of the fourth.
Sam Cleveland singled to start the inning, Romaniello was hit by a pitch with one out and Amoroso reached on an infield error.
Clyne got a caught-looking strikeout before Marchese sent an 0-2 pitch into left-center field for a two-run single.
On the play, Amoroso was caught off second base and Notre Dame escaped further damage.
Romaniello threw out Searles trying to steal second after a leadoff walk in the home fourth, before DeFilippo doubled to the fence in center field.
Izzo again struck out two batters with off-speed pitches, but again the Lancers got a run home, this time on Rodriguez’ RBI single to center.
Clyne set down 9-of-10 batters to finish the game, with Rubis now playing third the only Panther to solve him with a one-out single in the sixth.
Notre Dame will visit Joel Barlow in Redding today at 3:45.

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