Over the past several summers, the Westport Senior American Legion baseball team has tried to establish a program capable of competing with the best towns in a competitive Zone 4. With time winding down in the regular season and most of the difficult games behind it, Westport is in prime position to strike against the top teams Fairfield County has to offer.
Westport claimed its fifth straight win with an 8-0 road triumph over Ridgefield at East Ridge Middle School on Tuesday afternoon to improve to 11-6 on the season.
Westport went 13-14 last year and 6-21 in 2012.
"We're playing comfortable and loose baseball, and it's really good for us," Westport catcher Adam Dulsky said. "It's showing in the win-loss record right now."
Ryder Chasin threw five shutout innings for Westport, while Mike Moritz finished off the shutout with two clean frames. Chasin struck out eight and yielded just four hits.
"(Chasin has) just been throwing strikes; his last two outings have been great," Westport assistant coach Dennis Accomando said. "He was able to keep his pitch count down. He's been great against the wood bats all season long; his stuff plays well for that."
Westport broke through for four runs in the fourth inning to secure the win. Dulsky led off the inning with a home run that skipped off a hill in a fenceless left field. The umpire awarded Dulsky a home run as it cleared the required distance.
"It was a 3-0 fastball and I was looking to drive something," Dulsky said. "Coach gave me the green light and I put it in play. It might have been a little questionable but thankfully (the umpire) gave me four bases."
Marco Latella and Ross Poulley each had RBI singles in the fourth to push the lead to 5-0, which was more than enough cushion for Chasin and Moritz.
Sam Ellinwood opened the scoring with RBI double in the top of the third. Ellinwood went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles.
"Today was great, everything came together," Accomando said. "We scored some runs and threw up a zero. It was a good team win."
Westport has been getting help from a number of players that contributed to the Staples High team that went 17-5 this spring, including pitchers Ian Burns, Justin Gallanty and Chasin. With 10 games left in the regular season, Accomando realizes there is plenty of work to be done despite the early success.
"If you told us in the beginning of the season we'd be where we are, I'd take it, but down the stretch we still need to play good baseball," Accomando said. "We are facing the bottom half of our zone and we need to execute."