HAMDEN — Shelton and Hamden High found themselves in a strange company on Friday afternoon — adversaries.
It really didn’t matter, however, to the Green Dragons’ Matt Cintron.
The junior designated hitter provided a good portion of the power, hitting a two-run home run in the third, and adding a double which produced another run in the fifth, as the Green Dragons came up with a 6-3 win over the Gaels.
The Southern Connecticut Conference teams hadn’t met in three years when each squad took to the field at Hamden. In fact, since 2008, they’ve only gone up against each other three times, with Hamden holding a 2-1 edge.
Re-alignment within the SCC this year put both teams in the Oronoque Division along with West Haven, Hand and Career.
Through his hitting prowess, Cintron has found himself in the line-up this year.
“I really focused on my batting and getting in good, physical shape during the off season,” Cintron said. “I struggled last year. So, I’m taking as many swings as I can. My father (Junior) is the one who really pushed me.”
The loss for the Gaels was their fifth in a row.
They jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Hamden starting pitcher Jack Michaud with a pair of runs in the third on Sonny DiFilippo’s hard liner to center which plated Dylan DeSio and Joe Romano.
DeSio opened the inning with a base hit up the middle, before going to second on a ground out. He then stole third. Romano walked and stole second, putting two runners in scoring position for DeFilippo, who had three hits and drove in all of Shelton’s runs.
Hamden came right back in its half of the inning against Russ DeMarco, making his first start for the Gaels.
Carson Reynolds started the inning by hitting a sharp liner just inside the third-base bag. He wound up at second. Catcher Ron Desroches delivered Reynolds with a drive to deep left center for a triple, and Cintron followed with a well-hit ball which cleared the fence right down the line in left.
The Green Dragons went from being down two to being up two.
“That’s the first lead we’ve had in a game this year,” said Shelton coach Scott Gura. “This is a young team which still needs to learn how to hold a lead and win a game. It will come. We’ll get the monkey off our backs. Once we do, we’ll win some games. Right now, we just need to stay positive.”
Hamden added two more in the fifth to pad its lead to 6-2.
Desroches walked and Cintron doubled to the opposite field (right) scoring Desroches.
Henry Bielen then rapped his second two-base hit of the game, giving Hamden its sixth run.
Michaud (2-1) worked through the fifth and threw 105 pitches.
“He needs to become more efficient,” said Hamden coach Chris Borelli. “He’s working on it. If he can keep his pitch count down, which we want him to do, he’ll be able to work deeper into the game.”
Borelli then called on Cullin Florio, who pitched a perfect sixth before getting into trouble in the seventh where Shelton scored its final run.
Romano doubled to left to lead things off. Florio got Trent Dias on an infield popup to short, but DeFilippo singled to score Romano.
Mike Kennedy walked, leaving runners on first and second with one out. Borelli brought in Mike Aceto, his starting shortstop who got Nick Guzek on a fly to center and Colin St. Pierre on a fly ball to left for the final out.
“We had a good week of swinging the bats,” Borelli said. “Our start has been a little slower than I would’ve liked. We’re 3-3 and we very well could’ve been 5-1. The good thing is I know we’re going to get better from here on out.”
HAMDEN 6, SHELTON 3
Shelton 002 000 1 — 3 8 0
Hamden 004 020 x — 6 8 1
Records: S 0-5 (0-1 SCC Oronoque); H 3-3 (1-0).
Batteries: S — Russ DeMarco (L, 0-1), Michael Kennedy (3), Ben Van Tine (5), Max McLoughlin (6) and Joe Romano; H — Jake Michaud (W, 2-1), Cullin Florio (6), Mike Aceto (7) and Ron Desroches. 2B — Romano (S), Henry Bielen, 2 (H), Carson Reynolds (H), Matt Cintron (H); 3B — Ron Desroches (H), HR — Cintron (H).