Foley paints masterpiece for St. Paul as it earns return trip to state final

St. Paul baseball senior southpaw Brendan Foley was superb in Tuesday night’s Class S state semifinal at Palmer Field in Middletown.

Foley pitched 6 1/3 innings, gave up only four hits and fanned 14 while walking just two as the top-seeded Falcons blanked No. 12 Immaculate-Danbury, 7-0. It was a masterpiece for Foley, who sought and got his redemption after not having his best effort in last year’s Class S state final loss to Coginchaug-Durham. St. Paul (25-1 overall) will play third-seeded Somers (20-5 overall), a 9-3 winner over NVL foe and seventh-seeded Oxford, in Saturday’s Class S championship game at 3:30 p.m. at Palmer.

Offensively, the Falcons gave Foley some quick support with four first inning runs. Ryan Daniels, Casey Cerruto, Steve Morelli and Jamie Leggett all drove in runs, with Daniels, Cerruto and Leggett doing so via singles. Morelli brought his run home with a productive groundout to second base.

Foley would have only needed a run or two, given the way he was pitching Tuesday. All of his first nine outs came via strikeout. After no strikeouts in the fourth, Foley fanned two in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.

St. Paul added a pair of runs in the fifth inning, one on a hit by Cerruto, another on a Joey Tonnotti single. The Falcons scored one more run in the sixth when Jon Remillard came home on a throwing error.

After a one-out triple in the top of the seventh inning, Leggett relieved Foley, who received a standing ovation from the Falcon fans in attendance. Foley tipped his cap on the way to the third base dugout and got hugs from his teammates. Leggett struck out his first batter, then retired the last one on a groundout to Daniels at shortstop.

St. Paul is going for its fourth state championship Saturday, and first since 2016, Vic Rinaldi’s first season as head coach.

GALLERY: Here are my photos from Tuesday night’s game.

PHOTO CAPTION: St. Paul starter Brendan Foley winds up during Tuesday night’s Class S state semifinal against Immaculate-Danbury at Palmer Field in Middletown. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)