Staples baseball team capitalizes on opportunities in win over Darien
WESTPORT -- It's crucial for teams to be able to capitalize on their opportunities.
That was the difference in the Staples baseball team's 8-3 home win over Darien Wednesday. Staples took advantage of its chances and raised its record to 9-1, 7-1 in the FCIAC while Darien dropped to 3-8, 2-7.
The Wreckers scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 4-3 lead. Moreover, Staples did it without getting a hit. Blue Wave senior righty Jon Dehlin walked and hit a batter with one out. Wrecker junior Bryan Terzian then reached on an error. Senior Zach Levins then hit a sacrifice fly to give Staples the advantage.
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"Zach had a great at-bat," Wreckers coach Jack McFarland said.
Darien had a chance to respond in the top of the fifth. Senior Sam Gillespie hit a one-out single to right, senior Alex Yergy reached on an error and classmate Tommy MacLean singled to right to load the bases. Next up was senior Kyle Mangan, who struck out after Staples senior captain righty Jimmy Kopack battled back from a 3-1 count.
"I was working the outside corner the whole at-bat, and I worked it into the last pitch and caught him off-guard," Kopack said.
Kopack then induced senior Tucker White to ground out to Ellinwood at shortstop to end the inning.
"It's an opportunity you have to take advantage of, and we didn't have good at-bats [in these clutch situations]," Blue Wave coach Mike Scott said.
Staples junior James Frusciante led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to right field. Two batters later, classmate Eli Andrew roped an RBI double to right.
Levins led off the sixth with a single to center. Senior Matt Reynolds followed with an infield hit. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Frusciante plated them with a two-run single to right.
Kopack pitched six and a third innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits with a walk and nine strikeouts. He allowed all three runs in the first three innings.
"Jimmy took awhile to get comfortable, but he settled down nicely," McFarland said.
Senior Bryan Previte led off the game with a double to center field and scored on a wild pitch.
Mangan led off the second with a single. White followed with an infield single and junior Andrew Maley singled in Mangan. Stovall's sacrifice fly plated White to tie it 3-3.
Darien plays at Danbury today and needs to win five of its last nine games in order to make states.
"We have to keep playing," Scott said. "We have work to do. If we make plays and hit well, we'll find us some wins. We have to fight to extend the season. We feel we have a good team, but a play here and a play there changed some games."