Published April 30. 2013 4:00AM
Waterford - Visiting coach Marc Peluso called Waterford pitcher Jordan Hamler "a pitbull."
Waterford coach Art Peluso, Marc's brother and Eastern Connecticut Conference Large Division rival, called Hamler "awesome" and "dominant."
"This entire process today, the whole seven innings, started and ended with Jordan Hamler," Art Peluso said. "He hit a home run in the first inning and held them. He's a big-game pitcher. He allowed a bunt single through six innings."
Waterford High School's baseball team blanked Fitch 4-0 on Monday, snapping Fitch's 11-game winning streak and forging a tie with the Falcons for first place in the ECC Large.
Hamler (4-1) pitched a two hitter, allowing a bunt single to Cooper Robinson in the second inning and a hard shot to third base in the seventh by Corey Hurt. Hamler struck out seven, walked three, hit a batter and got errorless defense from the Lancers (10-2, 4-1).
Hamler's two-run home run in the first came after Fitch pitcher Pete Aldrich walked Seth Hoagland with two outs. Hamler called the home run, which bounced off the top of the fence "cheap," although it was anything but, as it was hit to the deepest part of the park on a line.
Waterford scored twice more in the seventh on an RBI single by Kyle Willoughby and an RBI ground ball by Adam Goss.
"We knew what we were getting there," Marc Peluso said of Fitch facing Waterford and Hamler. "... We didn't swing it well. We don't have to like it; we just have to move on from it. In our two losses so far, we didn't have big offensive days."
Fitch (11-2, 4-1) lost its only other game to Montville, 3-1 on opening day, before winning the next 11, scoring eight or more runs seven times.
Waterford, meanwhile, with Hamler pitching, lost last week to East Lyme in the ECC Large. The Lancers, however, came back with wins Thursday against Old Lyme, Friday against Valley Regional and Saturday against Stonington.
"It was awesome. You don't get time to think about things. Just react," Art Peluso said. "We've been playing better. After we had a little issue with East Lyme, we figured out some things. They play hard. The roles are being filled and sorted out."
Hamler, who played with several Fitch players on the Connecticut Pirates in the fall, walked Aaron Hill to start the game before striking out the side.
"I just felt really groovy," Hamler said. "... I didn't want to give (Hill) something he could hit. After I came back and struck out the next three batters, that was a good feeling.
"Fitch played hard. Petey did a hell of a job pitching. We know we're going to have to see them again at their house."
Hamler credited shortstop Jesse Coates, who fielded four ground balls effortlessly in the third through fifth innings. In addition, Waterford center fielder Will Sherman backhanded a deep fly ball hit to the gap by Fitch's Jack Porter in the sixth inning.
Waterford next plays Norwich Free Academy on Wednesday, while Fitch also stays in the ECC Large with a game against East Lyme.
Waterford, East Lyme and Fitch all shared the ECC Large Division a year ago.
"It only gets more difficult from our standpoint," Marc Peluso said. "We're not just playing to finish the season, we're playing for a second season beyond that."