Trumbull hustles to win over Darien in extra innings
DARIEN — During its three-game losing streak, the Trumbull baseball team has struggled to put runs on the board.
One of the things the Trumbull coaches have been preaching is being aggressive on the base paths, hoping a little extra hustle could provide the spark the team has needed.
That aggressive nature on the bases paid off Wednesday with two runs, including the winner, in extra innings as the Eagles defeated reigning FCIAC champion Darien 5-4 in eight innings.
With two outs in the eighth, Trumbull’s Danny Ruchalski broke from second as a groundball made its way toward the Darien second baseman.
As Ruchalski reach third, the ball was booted and Trumbull coach Phil Pacelli waved Ruchalski around. Never breaking stride, Ruchalski raced home, sliding in just ahead of the ball and putting the Eagles ahead for good.
“I was just coming to third and I was watching coach Pacelli and he waved me and I went home and slid around the catcher,” Ruchalski said. “We have been struggling to score runs and we have been talking about being more aggressive on the base paths. We want to try and make stuff happen, and today we did that. This was really fun. We played them well three times last year. They are a great team and it is always fun against them.”
Ruchalski singled leading off the inning, reaching second on a sacrifice.
Darien coach Mike Scott said Trumbull capitalized on Darien’s mistakes and that made the difference.
“It has been like this the last three or four times we have played (Trumbull),” Scott said. “You get a break and that’s all it takes and they got a break or two today. I think we had a mental lapse in the last inning, not completing the play. We have some young infielders and they are learning on the fly. We will take this game and learn from it and get better.”
Trumbull pitcher Ben Fero threw all eight innings, striking out seven and picking up the win.
“We gave them a few unearned runs, got down 3-0 early, but Benny battled for us today and kept us in the game,” Pacelli said. “(The play at second) I saw it come up on him and Danny was coming hard and right around the bag and I just kept him going.”
The Blue Wave went up 3-0 with two run unearned runs in the third.
Trumbull (2-3) tied it at 3 in the fourth with Robert Olah driving in two runs with a single to center and Vinny DeRubeis stealing home after a pickoff attempt at first base with runners at first and third.
Darien took a 4-3 lead in the fifth on a home run by Marren, but Trumbull got the run right back in the sixth when Siqueria singled home Tony Socci.
TRUMBULL 5, DARIEN 4 (8 INN.)
TRUMBULL 000 301 01—5 9 2
DARIEN 102 010 00—4 6 1
Records: T—2-3, 1-1 FCIAC; D—2-3, 1-1 FCIAC