WOODBURY – Sam Williams’ 2-out, 2 RBI single with the bases loaded with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh gave the Nonnewaug a 3-2 opening day win over Northwestern on Saturday.
“My coach told me to take the first pitch, even though I wanted to swing at it,” Williams said. “The next one was in the dirt, and I expected the next one to be on the outer half of the plate, so I just took it that way.”
All three of Nonnewaug’s runs came in the bottom of the seventh.
“We knew we had a lot of older guys, a lot of starters coming back, and they never give up,” Nonnewaug head coach Frank Melillo said. “We knew we just had to get a runner or two on and the guys would do what they had to do.”
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Nicholas Sordi walked, went to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a ground out by Evan Kachur, and scored when James Parker reached on an error.
Hayden Brochu followed with a two-out walk, and Joseph Rupe loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice.
Williams’ single, which was just Nonnewaug’s third hit of the game off Northwestern’s Jayson Reola, brought in Parker and Brochu for the win.
“Sam Williams is one of our better players, always reliable at the plate, always puts the bat on the ball,” Melillo said. “I was pretty confident when he got up to the plate.”
Matt Sibilia pitched two innings for the win in relief of Liam O’Brien, who struck out five and gave up one earned run in five innings.
O’Brien was almost knocked out of the game in the third inning, when a comebacker went off his clove and hit him in the chin. However, O’Brien passed concussion protocol and could continue.
Melillo said he hopes things get easier for the Chiefs as the season goes on, and that he can’t take too many of these heart-pounding close games.
“Hopefully things will get a little easier, but the Berkshire League is a hard league,” Melillo said. “Every team is tough, and we’ll do what we have to do to get the job done. I don’t care if it’s 3-2, 1-0, or 10-0, as long as in the end we get the win.”
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