Hall Baseball closed by Bristol Central – We-Ha

West Hartford’s Hall High School began the season with two home games against tough opponents.

Hallway receiver Tyler Redden slides in to block the shot as Bristol Central’s Rocco Spirito scores. Hall against Bristol Central. April 5, 2023. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

by Paul Palmer

Hall’s baseball team ran into a buzz saw Thursday on Bristol Central pitcher Frank Spirito. The UConn-bound senior pitcher struck out a dozen Titans batters in six innings of work, allowing just three hits in a 5-0 victory.

Hall fell to 0-2 on the season, but both losses have come against two of the best teams in the state and two of the best pitchers. “The Westhill pitcher is going to a D1 school and Frank Spirito is going to UConn, so it’s a tough way to start the season,” Hall head coach Nick Marsh said of this week’s contests.

The Titans are also dealing with the loss of 13 players from a season ago. Spirito’s combination of fastball, curveball and slider had Hall’s hitters guessing most of the day and never allowing the home team to put together a real offensive threat.

The Rams built an early 3-0 lead using small ball. In the first, Anthony Satilli hit a one-out single to right, stole second base, and scored one batter later when Oscar Kuzniar singled up the middle. Hall would get one of his base hits in the bottom half of the inning when catcher Tyler Redden overcame an infield single with a head slide to first.

Bristol Central’s Frank Spirito struck out 12 Hall batters in six innings in a 5-0 shutout of the Titans. Hall against Bristol Central. April 5, 2023. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

He would steal second base, but Spirito struck out Hall’s next two batters to end the inning.

In the third, Joe Gratta reached on an error, stole second base, and finally scored on Spirito’s sacrifice fly.

Hall managed to put on two runners in the fourth when Chase Hanawalt singled with one out and Tighe Johnston reached on error. But Spirito struck out Simon Levy to end the threat.

Hall’s Chase Hanawalt returns to first base against the Bristol Central. Hall against Bristol Central. April 5, 2023. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

Johnston and Brody Donan combined for three scoreless innings of relief for the Titans, before the Bristol Central added two more runs in the top of the seventh against Levy after an error at first base. Hall threatened the reliever Kuzniar in the bottom of the seventh when Levy drew a one-out walk and pinch hitter Sean Fay singled to put two runners on base. But a couple of popups in the infield ended the threat and the game.

“It was a three-run game with two runs added,” Marsh said. “We got Westhill to the last out with the tying runs on base. We fought until the last out.”

Hall will try again for his first win of the season on Monday when the Titans host Southington at 3:45 p.m.

Hall against Bristol Central. April 5, 2023. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

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