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Article Published April 13, 2019
Easties Beat Branford to Cap Off Three-Win Week
PJ Foti, Sports Writer

The East Haven baseball team won all three of its games last week, including a victory versus rival Branford in the club’s first SCC Hammonasset Division matchup of the season. East Haven posted wins over Shelton (6-3 in 8 innings), Lyman Hall (14-4), and Branford (8-3) to sweep the week and improve to 3-1 on the year.

The Easties are hitting the field with a veteran group this spring. Head Coach Butch Johnson’s squad features 11 seniors on its roster.

“The guys are very unselfish,” said Johnson. “We’ve been shuffling kids around and giving a lot of seniors a chance to play. They’ve all been contributing, so we’ll keep going with the rotation.”

Juniors Mike Streeto and Mike O’Connor have been splitting time behind the plate for East Haven. Senior captain Steve Mingione is the starting first baseman, while seniors Giro Esposito and Robert Garcia are playing both second and third. Senior Hunter Santana can play either third base or shortstop. Senior captain Nate Furino plays shortstop when isn’t on the mound.

In the outfield, Coach Johnson has been employing a rotation of senior captain Jack Kabel, fellow seniors Gianni Mumford and Fred Mascola, and junior Jake Marquardt. Senior Matt Lisko is the Yellowjackets’ designated hitter.

On the mound, Nate Furino, Kabel, and sophomore Nick Furino form East Haven’s three-man rotation. Santana, Mumford, and Marquardt can also provide some innings for the Easties, who have been swinging the bats well early on this season.

“We have some pretty decent pitching, so we should be in almost every game,” Johnson said. “I’m actually pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think we’d hit this well.”

East Haven opened up last week by earning a 6-3 road win at Shelton on April 8. Kabel started on the hill and pitched shutout ball until the seventh inning, when Shelton rallied for three runs to tie the game and force extras. Coach Johnson was pleased to see his team respond by plating three runs in the top of the eighth to come away with the win. Nate Furino, Santana, and Lisko had key hits in the inning to lift East Haven to its first victory of the year.

“[Kabel] deserved to get the win, but didn’t hold it. To their credit, they bounced back with three runs,” said Johnson. “They could have stuck their heads in the sand, but we got three runs and put them away. It’s nice to see the kids have it, lose it, and go get it back again.”

Two days later, East Haven hosted Lyman Hall and prevailed by the final score of 14-4. The Easties collected 21 hits as a team, including three apiece from Nate Furino and Mumford, who both had three RBI.

“Pretty much everybody in the lineup had something to do with that win. That’s for sure,” Coach Johnson said. “We were able to square up. We just strung together some hits.”

To close out the week, East Haven headed over to Branford to take on the Hornets in its SCC Hammonasset Division opener on April 12. The Yellowjackets left town with an 8-3 victory to start off divisional play at 1-0. Nate Furino pitched a complete game to earn the win for East Haven. He also had a big day at the plate by getting three hits, including a pair of doubles, to go with three RBI and two runs scored. Santana had two hits and scored three runs to help the Yellowjackets notch their third straight win.

“We had our ace going, so that’s always a plus, and we had some hits early. We were able to take advantage of some early mistakes, and we were in complete control,” said Johnson. “So far, it’s been everybody doing something.”

From the Sidelines

The East Haven baseball team’s roster features senior captains Nate Furino, Steve Mingione, and Jack Kabel; fellow seniors Robert Garcia, Gianni Mumford, Matt Lisko, Ronald Jones, Fred Mascola, Hunter Santana, Giro Esposito, and Mike Gaudioso; juniors Mike Streeto, Kaymond Quattlebaum, Ryan Howard, Ryan Gold, Jake Marquardt, Mike O’Connor, Brian Kenyon, and Noah Danz; sophomores Jake Cillo, Darius Morrison, Nick Furino, Trey Garea, CJ Lombardi, Alec Madureira, Zachary Sayers, and Andrew Viora; plus freshmen Ethan Roach, Kyle Miller, David Riccio, and Marcello Proto.

Butch Johnson is in his 20th season as East Haven’s head coach. Johnson’s assistant coaches are Dan Gleason, Gary Brasile, and Fran Belevich.

East Haven is competing in the SCC Hammonasset Division with Branford, Notre Dame-West Haven, Law, and Fairfield Prep this season.