WESTPORT -- Two of the best pitchers in the FCIAC plus a cold day with wind blowing in from left field meant Thursday's game between Greenwich and Staples would probably come down to which team executed better.
After nine innings, the Greenwich defense finally cracked, committing two errors on fly balls to the outfield before losing to Staples 2-1.
Staples coach Jack McFarland said the that every little detail matters in a game like this
"Everything matters. The umpire's strike zone, getting a bunt down in the ninth, we did a great job defending the delayed steal in the fifth," McFarland said. "Everybody knew. The wind is blowing in, it's cold, you have two great pitchers. It's going to be a 1-0, 2-1 game and that's exactly what it was."
Staples starter Rob Vallone struck out eight over six innings, allowing four hits while walking none as the Wreckers improved to 4-1 overall and 4-0 in conference.
The one pitch Vallone would like back was a 2-0 offering he left up to Kyle Dunster in the sixth. Dunster hit it just fair over the fence in left field to tie the game 1-1.
Dunster started the game for Greenwich (3-2, 2-1), allowing a run in the second on a hit by pitch, single and two fielder's choices.
Dunster pitched six innings, striking out seven while allowing four hits.
Dunster was relieved by J.T. Hintzen, who took the loss despite not allowing a hit over three innings of work.
Justin Gallanty picked up the win, pitching three innings while allowing no hits and striking out four.
Greenwich coach Phil Tarantino said the Cardinals defense let down the strong efforts of both pitchers.
"You have to make the basic plays to win games and we didn't do that today," Tarantino said. "We wasted a terrific effort from Kyle and J.T. and there's not much more to say. With Kyle or J.T. if we can score a run or two we are going to win but we have to pick the ball up."
In the bottom of the ninth, Zachary Azadian hit a sinking liner to right, which was dropped by Greenwich.
Azadian was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Nick Vega, going to third on an ensuing groundout. Read Full Article
The Cardinals then intentionally walked Sam Ellinwood to face No. 4 hitter Adam Dulsky.
That decision motivated Dulsky, to say the least.
"I'm just trying to make them pay for it because really you shouldn't be walking our No. 3 hitter to get to me in the four spot," Dulsky said. "I'm too good a hitter to walk somebody and put me up with a runner on third base."
Dulsky roped a sharp liner to center which hit off the glove of the charging centerfielder, sending Azadian home and allowing the Wreckers to celebrate a 9-inning win for the second straight day after beating McMahon in nine innings on Wednesday.
Staples 2, Greenwich 1 (9 innings)
GREENWICH 000 001 000 -- 1 4 4
STAPLES 010 000 001 -- 2 4 2
Records: S 4-1, 4-0 FCIAC; G 3-2, 1-2 FCIAC
Batteries: S--Rob Vallone, Justin Gallanty (W, 7) and Adam Dulsky; G--Kyle Dunster, J.T. Hintzen (L, 7) and Jon Dreher
Home runs: G - Dunster