Crusaders beat Hearts in Class S baseball second round

The Holy Cross and Sacred Heart baseball teams met for the third time this season on Wednesday afternoon at a busy Holy Cross High School.

This time, it was a Class S second round game between the city rivals. As with the other two games this season, however, the Crusaders beat the Hearts. Second-seeded Holy Cross got another complete game from senior right-hander Fran Phelan, Jr., and beat No. 18 Sacred Heart 6-2. The Crusaders (23-2) will play seventh-seeded Immaculate of Danbury on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Holy Cross. The Hearts saw their season end at 12-11.

Phelan gave up two runs on seven hits, struck out five and walked one. He threw 72 of his 103 pitches for strikes. Phelan has won his last 22 decisions and is 7-0 this season.

Phelan also scored the first run of the game when he came home on a passed ball in the bottom of the first. Holy Cross added two more runs in the third on a two-run single by Will Marshall. Marshall’s liner the other way to left center drove in Tim Zupkus and Connor Goggin.

Three more Crusaders came home in the fifth. Goggin scored from second when a throw to first base was dropped on a ball hit by Brian Parzyck. Corey Fappiano’s sacrifice fly drove in Parzyck and put Holy Cross ahead 5-0. Austin Brown’s double to left drove in pinch runner Justin Miller to make the score 6-0.

Sacred Heart got on the board in the top of the sixth inning. Justin Stephens singled with one out, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jimmy Edwards drove him in with an RBI single, then Ernest McClary doubled in Edwards to make the score 6-2. Phelan got a fly ball to left and a comebacker to end the inning. He then retired the side in the seventh to end the game.

Holy Cross, the defending Class S state champion, looks to secure a return trip to the semifinal round on Saturday. The Crusaders will need to get past Immaculate, which has beaten No. 26 North Branford (3-0) and No. 10 East Granby (11-1).

GALLERY: Here are my photos from Wednesday’s game.