By Mike Ready
LINCROFT – Christian Brothers Academy’s super sophomore Luca Dalatri came out blazing, striking out eight of the first nine batters he faced in the Colts 8-1 win over cross-town rival Middletown North, Tuesday at CBA.
The win was the Colts (6-2, 6-2) third in a row since their 8-5 loss to these same Lions (3-4, 3-4) back on April 14th, and now gives them a two and a half game lead over them in the Class A North division.
Dalatri tossed six shutout innings to pick up his fourth win of the season against zero defeats, allowing one hit and one walk, while striking out nine batters.
In 27 innings of work this season, Dalatri has given up one earned run for an ERA of 0.26 and has struck out 36 batters while walking only three for a 0.44 WHIP (walks +hits/innings pitched).
“The first couple of innings I had pretty much everything going for me,” Dalatri said. “My fastball was really working and was I throwing everything for strikes; commanding the strike zone. I ran into a little control trouble in the fourth inning but I fixed that up pretty quick. Our batters had a good approach today and got me the runs I needed.”
CBA got on the board in the bottom of the second when leadoff hitter Pete Papcun walked and stole second before junior first baseman John Moshella drilled an RBI double into the gap in left-center field for his fourth two-bagger of the season and a 1-0 lead.
The Colts scored four-unearned runs in the third off three Middletown North errors. Dalatri added to his own cause with a two-out RBI double that dropped into short right field just inside the line for 5-0 lead.
Dalatri ran into his only trouble of the game in the top of the fourth after Moshella made a nice play knocking down leadoff hitter Ryan Byrd’s low liner to first and tossing it to Dalatri covering the bag for the out. Dalatri then walked the next batter before Kyle Capo lined a single into right field where Will Morgan cut off the ball nicely to hold the runners at first and second.
After a grounder produced the second out of the inning, catcher Ryan Goscinski was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Dalatri then induced a harmless pop up to first stranding all three runners to end the inning.
Dalatri settled down and retired the next six batters he faced in order in the fifth and sixth innings before handing the ball over to Moshella for the final inning of work.
The Colts tacked on three more runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth on a leadoff double by Dalatri, RBI singles by Griffin Arnott and Trey Nelson and a RBI double by Morgan. The RBI was Morgan’s 11th of the season which ranks him third in the Shore Conference in RBI’s.
Dalatri finished 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored while Nelson was 2-for-3 with a triple, RBI and run scored. Ramiz added two hits in three at bats and a run scored.
“We obviously lost to them earlier and we kind of wanted to give it back to them, Dalatri said. “This was a division win and we want to go back-to-back by winning the Class A North title again this year. We’ve taken a big step up from the first couple of games this season and I feel we’re a much better team now than when we were coming into the season. Fundamentally we’re more sound and we’re much more confident as a team; I feel everything is coming together for us.”
The Colts, ranked No.5 in the Shore Conference, return to action Thursday against Class A North and cross-town rival Middletown South. The game will played at the Eagles home field, with first pitch slated for 3:45 p.m.