Darien downs Greenwich in FCIAC baseball matchup
GREENWICH — Darien didn’t get the production it expected from its lineup during its first three games of the season, but it certainly saw plenty of positive signs from its hitters against Greenwich on Monday.
The Blue Wave received the type of production it was hoping for up and down its batter order — a welcome sight to coach Mike Scott.
The way right-hander Jake Geddes was pitching, Darien didn’t need to score a lot of runs, but it still gave one of its top hurlers a lot to work with.
Sean O’Malley and Casey Brown each hit two-run home runs and Geddes allowed just one run in 5 2/3innings to lead Darien to a resounding 11-1 win over host Greenwich in an FCIAC matchup.
The victory snapped the defending FCIAC champion Blue Wave’s two-game losing streak and evened its record to 2-2 in its conference-opener. Darien was coming off losses to Daniel Hand (8-1 defeat) and New Fairfield (7-5 loss).
“It all starts on the mound,” Scott said. “You get a good outing on the mound, you play a little defense behind him and you get a timely hit. I can’t say enough about Jake today. Coming out after a couple of tough games we had and throwing strikes like he did was huge. He was great today.”
With the defeat, the Cardinals dropped to 0-3. They’ll look to get their first win Wednesday at New Canaan at 1 p.m.
“They’re a solid team,” GHS coach Mike Mora said of Darien. “Their first two pitchers they threw against us are among the top caliber pitchers in the league. We see right now where we have to be. We see them as one of the top teams and we are scratching for a win.”
Greenwich, which was coming off a 5-2 loss against Xavier on Saturday, struck first, scoring a run in the opening inning. Senior first baseman Mark Sunoo reached on an infield single to lead off the first inning and with two outs, scored on a double down the left field line by senior Erik Mini, giving GHS a 1-0 lead.
That’s all the Cards managed against Geddes, who showcased a live fastball and mixed his pitches well. He retired the side in order the next three innings, before allowing two hits during a scoreless fifth inning. Geddes struck out five en route to earning the win.
“I definitely feel like fastball location was the key, that’s what kept us in the game,” Geddes said. “I had to keep the ball down and I did a good job of that. This was a good game for us. We needed the bats to wake up a lot, so scoring runs like we did today was huge.”
Cardinals senior right-hander Connor Langan pitched two scoreless innings, before running into some trouble in the third. . Outfielder Fin Batson was hit by a pitch to lead off the third inning and advanced to second on Ethan Ehlers’ sacrifice bunt. Leadoff hitter/outfielder Justin Jordan reached on a bunt single, putting Langan in a first-and-third jam.
Senior third baseman Peter Marren followed by lining a two-run double to left center field, putting the Blue Wave ahead, 2-1. Later in the inning, designated hitter Cord Fox delivered an infield single with the bases loaded, making it 3-1.
“Connor threw well,” Mora said. “When he made a mistake, they hit it. They’re a good team, so give the credit to them. I can’t find much wrong with Connor’s performance. When he got behind he had to bring it in and they swung the bats and hit it well.”
The Blue Wave extended their lead to 5-1 on O’Malley’s two-run homer over the right center field fence in the fifth inning.
“The last few games we haven’t strung a few hits in a row, but today we did that and put up 11,” said O’Malley a junior. “It was a 3-2 pitch, he threw me a fastball and I jumped on it. Connor almost shut us out last year (Darien won 1-0), so this is a big win for us.”
Henry Quinlan pitched the sixth inning and Simon Bass and Matt Circelli worked the seventh for Greenwich, which saw the Blue Wave add six runs in the final frame. Brown smashed a two-run homer, Batson drove in a pair of runs with a double and Ehlers had a two-run double in the big inning.
“I’ve been struggling lately, getting in my own head,” said Brown, a senior, who went 2 for 4. “I just beared down, relaxed and got the pitch I was looking for. We have the power, we know we have the talent. When it all comes together, I can’t wait to see what happens.”
DARIEN 11, GREENWICH 1
DARIEN 003 020 6 — 11 8 1
GREENWICH 100 000 0 — 1 6 0
Records: Darien 2-2; Greenwich 0-3. Batteries: D — Jake Geddes (WP, 5 2/3 IP), Justin Jordan (1/3 IP), Sam Hickey (1 IP) and Sean O’Malley; G — Connor Langan (LP, 5 IP), Henry Quinlan (1 IP), Simon Bass (1/3 IP), Matt Circelli (2/3 IP) and Cristian Perez; Doubles: D — Peter Marren, Fin Batson; G — Erik Mini, Aaron Schur; Home runs: D — Sean O’Malley, Casey Brown.