Thursday, May 06, 2021

Sports

Branford’s Baseball and Softball Teams Notch First Victories

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Senior Justin Elpi got the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Branford baseball team to a 3-2 walk-off victory against North Haven on April 14. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Sound

Senior Justin Elpi got the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Branford baseball team to a 3-2 walk-off victory against North Haven on April 14. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Sound | Buy This Photo)

Baseball

The Branford baseball team picked up its first victory of the season by earning a 3-2 walk-off win versus North Haven last week. The Hornets also took losses to East Haven and Notre Dame-West Haven for an overall record of 1-3 on the year.

Branford started off the week by playing a road game versus rival East Haven on April 12. The Hornets dropped an 8-5 decision to the Yellowjackets.

Two days later, Branford hosted North Haven and won the game by a 3-2 score in walk-off fashion. Branford trailed 2-0 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but scored one run in that frame and two runs in the seventh inning to get the victory. Senior Justin Elpi hit the game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh to give the Hornets the win.

Senior Collin McNeil turned in a solid effort on the mound for Branford by pitching 5.2 innings in which he allowed just two runs on two hits to go with 11 strikeouts. He also went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI at the dish. Fellow senior Dominic Bonanno also had two hits to help Head Coach Stephen Malafronte’s squad emerge victorious.

Branford finished its week by playing a road game versus Notre Dame-West Haven on April 17. The Hornets took a 9-5 loss against the Green Knights at Quigley Stadium.

Softball

The Branford softball squad posted its first win of the year when the team defeated Hand in a high-scoring matchup last week. The Hornets went on to take a close loss against Hamden and are now 1-2 on the year.

Branford started off its week by hosting Hand for a Monday afternoon matchup on April 12. The Hornets put their first victory of the season in the books by earning a 12-10 victory over the Tigers.

Then on April 14, Branford played a home game versus Hamden and lost a close contest to the Green Dragons. Hamden won the game by the final score of 13-11 at Branford High School.

Boys’ Lacrosse

The Branford-East Haven (Bfd-EH) boys’ lacrosse team hit the field to play one game last week. On April 17, the Hornets were on the road to square off against Foran for a Saturday afternoon showdown. Bfd-EH took a 6-5 versus the Lions to put its record at 0-2 in the 2021 season.

Bfd-EH and Foran were locked in a 4-4 tie entering their fourth quarter of their matchup. The Lions outscored the Hornets by a 2-1 margin in the final frame to come away with the one-goal win.

Senior Nick Chieffo scored two goals for Bfd-EH in the contest. Senior Markus Indeck, senior Dylan Pyle, and junior Cam Paleski each scored one goal. Senior Luke Volpe, senior Matt Cordero, and Sean Bosworth contributed one assist apiece. Junior goalie Aidan Strebel made 14 saves for Head Coach Jim May’s squad.

Girls’ Lacrosse

The Branford girls’ lacrosse team kicked off the 2021 season by playing a road match against Guilford last week. Branford took a 15-2 defeat to the Grizzlies at Guilford High School on April 16.

The Hornets enter their first year Billy Alessi as the team’s head coach. Alessi takes over for his sister Jackie Ceccolini, who guided Branford to a pair of Class M state titles during her tenure as head coach.

Boys’ Tennis

The Branford boys’ tennis team moved to 0-3 on the season after taking two recent defeats. The Hornets lost to Cheshire and Amity in recent action.

On April 12, Branford played an away match against Cheshire and lost by a 6-1 score. The Hornets’ No. 3 doubles team of junior Aidan Shamas and freshman Mason Porras claimed an 8-4 victory in the match.

Two days later, Branford took a 6-1 home loss to Amity. Branford’s No. 1 doubles team of seniors Declan Ross and Alec Aceves-Acosta notched a 6-4, 6-2 victory in the contest.

Girls’ Tennis

The Branford girls’ tennis team hosted Lyman Hall for its first match of the spring season last week. The Hornets dropped a 5-2 decision against Lyman Hall in their 2021 opener at Branford High School. Jim Cole is back for another season as the Hornets’ head coach.

Sophomore Leila Omeragic claimed a 8-6 victory for the Hornets in the No. 2 singles match when they faced Lyman Hall. Junior Nuala Paudyal earned an 8-5 win in the No. 3 singles matchup.


Chris Piccirillo is the Sports Editor for Zip06. Email Chris at c.piccirillo@shorepublishing.com.

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