Staples freshman standout Ben Casparius grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the first inning in his team's FCIAC encounter with Brien McMahon on Wednesday afternoon.
Casparius was the last man standing three hours and nine innings later, finishing off a wild game with a dominating performance in relief.
Casparius went 3-for-5 with a walk and threw four and two-thirds innings of relief ball as Staples scored three runs in the top of the ninth to down the Senators 9-6 in nine innings on the road.
"I felt pretty comfortable the entire game," Casparius said. "I was really focused on the bench making sure I just kept it that way and tried to deliver for the team with the best of my abilities."
Sam Ellinwood delivered the big hit for the Wreckers (3-1). With the bases loaded and the score tied at six in the top of the ninth, Ellinwood hit a sharp grounder towards third base that got through the infield and allowed Zach Azadian to score. Two extra runs plated on the play when the Senators made a pair of defensive errors.
"At that point it felt like we had been in that situation four times through the game," Ellinwood said, referring to the 16 runners the Wreckers stranded Wednesday. I was trying to hit the ball hard on the ground and that's what I did. It was near the third baseman but the ground was choppy."
The play encapsulated most of the afternoon for the Senators (1-3), who committed six errors.
"Bad communication, we gave (Staples) too many outs," McMahon coach Alex Cross said. "You can't do that to a really good team. I thought our pitching was pretty solid."
McMahon rallied from a 6-2 deficit in the fifth inning just to force extras. The Senators loaded the bases to chase Wreckers starter Ian Burns, which brought Casparius into the game. Two-run singles by Paul Salata and Keegan Roberts drew the Senators even.
"I was glad to see the fight in the team," Cross said. "I thought we turned the corner; the momentum completely swinging. I wish we could have come out on the positive end because it would have been a season changing type of win."
The Wreckers had a chance to win the game in the top of the seventh inning. Staples loaded the bases with no outs, but McMahon reliever Salata struck out a batter and got a pair of groundouts to end the threat.
The teams combined for 23 hits -- none for extra bases -- and 11 errors. Nick Vega went 2-for-5 with three runs scored for the Wreckers.
"I woke up and saw snow on my house and I knew it was going to be a crazy game," Staples coach Jack McFarland said. "It's not really a baseball day. There were times both teams played well and times where balls dropped and stuff like that. We gutted it out."
Casparius retired the Senators in order in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win. With an eye towards a showdown with Greenwich Thursday, The Wreckers allowed Casparius to finish off the victory to preserve the bullpen. Read Full Article
"I thought (relief pitcher) Justin (Gallanty) was coming in, and (McFarland) told me get one inning for us," Casparius said. "I wanted to get the job done."
Staples 9, Brien McMahon 6 (9 innings)
STAPLES 121 200 003 -- 9 16 5
BRIEN MCMAHON 110 040 000 -- 6 7 6
Records: Staples 3-1, 3-0 FCIAC; Brien McMahon 1-3, 1-1.
Batteries: S--Ian Burns, Ben Casparius (W, 1-0) and Adam Dulsky; BM--Alex Scallion, Matt Galyas, Paul Salata (L, 0-2), Sawyer Machette and Hunter Dumas.