No-hit by Bulldogs hurler in 3-0 setback

Published in the July 16, 2015 edition


WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Merchants took on the Reading Bulldogs last night but could do nothing against Reading pitcher Connor Root, who hurled a no-hitter in a 3-0 Reading Intercity League victory at Walsh Field.

“There’s not much you can say. We didn’t put too any hits together. The kid pitched a good game. I don’t really know who he is. He’s only pitched about five innings this year. He throws hard and he throws strikes,” said Merchants manager Dave Ellegood.

Clay Yianacopolus started for the Merchants and managed to escape a first inning jam. With one out, Yianacopolus hit Harry Oringer with a pitch. Darren Hartwell then reached on an error and, after a fly out by Zac Talis, Ryan O’Connor singled to load the bases. But Yianacopolus was able to strike out Mike Taylor to end the inning.

Yianacopolus, who pitched pretty well in his own right, gave way to John Russolillo to start the fourth inning and Russolillo also managed to get out of a bases loaded jam.

Ryan O’Connor drew a one-out walk and then Russolillo hit Taylor with a pitch. Josh Drew followed with a walk but Russolillo induced two infield pop ups to escape trouble.

Connor Root was working on a perfect game, retiring the first 16 batters he faced when he gave up a walk to Joe Barry, who then moved to second on a wild pitch. A strikeout ended the inning, however. Root also gave up a walk in the bottom of the seventh for the Merchants only other base runner.

“It’s frustrating. We’re in a little slump but we’re finally getting some players back on Sunday we were supposed to have all year, so they’ll be back,” said Ellegood.

Reading finally broke through for all three of its runs in the top of the seventh inning to break the scoreless tie.

Pinch-hitter Jordan Roper had a one-out double down the left field line. Cam Farnham followed with a single to center to put runners at the corners and then stole second. Oringer then singled to center to bring in Roper and Farnham to give Reading a 2-0 lead. Oringer took third on the throw home. Left fielder Louis Tarantino made a diving catch for the second out but then Oringer scored on a passed ball to make it 3-0 where it would stand.

“Our pitchers did well, too. A fly ball just about six inches away from Louie on the fly ball (for a) double and a little bloop to Bobby Losanno and there’s your game. He (Root) pitched a good game. I didn’t know anything about him and they had some clean hits. They made some good defensive plays, too, but we’ve got to string together some hits. We have a big doubleheader with Watertown on Sunday and we’re got to try to take four (points) there,” Ellegood noted.