Canes One-Hit By Slaters’ Ace

Hartford — It’s all so simple when the pitcher throws strikes, the defense picks up the ball and bats click at the right time. That’s what happened for Fair Haven in its 7-1 win over Hartford High’s baseball team yesterday afternoon.

The Slaters got a one-hit pitching performance from Matt Graziano and an eight-assist game from shortstop Dakota Euber to even their record at 6-6.

Hartford came into the game feeling pretty good about itself, having improved from a rough start to post wins over Rutland, Mount Anthony and Hanover in a game played at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday.

However, things started to go a little sour on the bus ride home when there was no heat and the air conditioning would not shut off. Then just before game time yesterday, Hartford’s scheduled starter, Justin Devoid, had to be scratched.

“This was one of our worst losses in a long time,” Hartford coach Jarrod Grassi said. “We weren’t ready to play today, and if they are not ready to play, then it’s my fault.”

Hartford, which had won three of its last four, fell back to 3-6.

“That’s OK,” added Grassi. “We’ll recover from this.”

Graziano threw a very efficient 74 pitches, walked no one and had three strikeouts. He was helped a lot by Euber who not only had the hands to make the stop, but threw darts across the diamond, always on the mark.

“Dakota makes it happen for us,” Fair Haven coach Kyle Ruby said.

When Devoid was a late scratch, Grassi gave the ball to Connor Brooks, who went 62∕3 innings, giving up five hits and five walks with two strikeouts. He threw 110 pitches.

“Connor gave up the opportunity to keep it close, but we couldn’t capitalize,” Grassi said.

The Hartford defense also had a couple of bad moments as three of the runs were unearned.

It was just a 3-0 game through six innings, but the Slaters put it away with four runs in the seventh on just two hits as there was two walks, a wild pitch and an error.

Hartford’s only run came in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Joe Sweeney. The only Hartford hit was a clean single to center by Dylan Terino in the sixth. Hartford did hit some other balls hard as Brooks, Terino and Cam Gaudette all lined out to deep center.

For Fair Haven, Tom Bowen singled in a run in the second, Graziano had a sacrifice fly in the fifth and a two-run double in the seventh.

Hartford greets Windsor tomorrrow.