Holy Cross baseball slugs way to first-ever state championship

Holy Cross baseball celebrates its first-ever state championship after beating Lyman Memorial 13-9 in the Class S final Saturday.

From no hits to 14 hits.
That’s what it took for top-seeded Holy Cross baseball to get past second-seeded Lyman Memorial-Lebanon in the Class S state championship game on Saturday afternoon at Palmer Field in Middletown. The Crusaders rallied twice and pulled out a 13-9 slugfest victory over the Bulldogs, clinching the first state championship in program history.
Holy Cross trailed 3-0 before taking its first at bats, but quickly regained a 4-3 lead in the second inning. The Crusaders built their lead to 7-3, but saw it go away in a five-run outburst by the Bulldogs in the top of the fourth inning. That included a grand slam by Colton Bender, which gave Lyman an 8-7 lead.

Brian Parzyck dives safely into third base on his triple.

Holy Cross responded to the adversity with a six-run eruption of its own in the bottom of the inning. Will Marshall led off with a walk, then was pinch run for by Justin Alaimo. Brian Parzyck blasted a double to left center to score Alaimo and tie the game 8-8. Matt Cipriano’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Parzyck and put the Crusaders ahead 9-8, but they were far from done. Adam Razza doubled, then Fran Phelan reached on an error. With first and third, Matt Bonvicini was intentionally walked. Tim Zupkus made Lyman pay for the decision with a RBI single for a 10-8 advantage. Connor Goggin blasted a two-run double to drive in Phelan and Bonvicini to make the score 12-8. A bases loaded walk from Marshall, his second free pass of the inning, brought in Zupkus with the sixth run and upped the Holy Cross lead to 13-8.
Lyman got a run back in the seventh, but Zupkus made sure no more were scored. Zupkus dove all-out for a fly ball to right field and caught it, preventing a big hit. With two outs, Nick Hernandez whiffed the final batter and the Crusaders mobbed him on the mound in celebration. Hernandez picked up the win in relief.
Zupkus was a perfect 3-for-3 with a RBI, run scored and two walks. Parzyck finished a single short of the cycle (3-for-4), drove in a run and scored two more. Phelan and Goggin each had two hits and three RBI. Phelan also scored three runs. Razza had two hits and scored three times while Bonvicini added three RBI and a run scored. Marshall and Cipriano each had a RBI.
On defense, there were several awesome plays. Goggin ran down a fly ball close to the foul line in left, Keating made a diving catch on a smash down the third base line, and Zupkus had his highlight-reel snag in right field. Parzyck threw out two runners trying to steal second.
It wasn’t Holy Cross’ usual formula of pitching, defense and timely hitting, but it was enough for a first state championship.

PHOTOS: Click here for images from the game on my gallery site.