After hitting into double plays in the fifth and sixth innings, and then blowing a three-run lead in the seventh, the Fairfield Ludlowe baseball team wanted some redemption.
And Victor D'Ascenzo was the perfect candidate to deliver for the Falcons.
D'Ascenzo's two-out, seventh-inning triple scored Mike Poudrier, sending Ludlowe home a 5-4 winner over Staples on Friday at Kiwanis Field.
"All I did was went up there and saw a fastball and pulled my hands through the zone," D'Ascenzo said. "It feels amazing."
Charlie Meder drove in three runs and D'Ascenzo earned the win -- Ludlowe's second straight to improve to 3-6.
"I'm happy we were able to hang on," Ludlowe coach Keith O'Rourke said. "We went into this week ¦ saying we need to take two out of three, and we did that."
Matt Smith singled twice, drove in a run and scored one for Staples. The Wreckers (4-4) dropped their third straight, losing for the fourth time in five games.
Ludlowe loaded the bases with one out in both the fifth and sixth innings but failed to score. In the fifth, D'Ascenzo popped up a suicide-squeeze bunt that Staples catcher Noah Yokoi acrobatically caught before flipping to pitcher Alec Johnson for the frame-ending double play, keeping the score at 4-1.
"We made some pretty-good defensive plays," Staples coach Jack McFarland said. "And we thought we could take advantage of it."
"You definitely start to think stuff is going against you when you hit into two double plays with the bases loaded in consecutive innings," O'Rourke said. "It was a lack of execution in those situations."
After James Frusciante reached on a catcher's interference that scored Smith, D'Ascenzo induced Nicholas Vega to hit into a 4-6-5-4-1 inning-ending double play. Frank Vartuli scored to tie the game 4-4.
"You want to crack it open there," McFarland said. "You want to come into the dugout up 6-4."
"(D'Ascenzo) was effective enough to get us through the inning without giving up the lead," O'Rourke said.
After Johnson retired the first two hitters in the seventh, he hit Poudrier with a pitch. D'Ascenzo then smoked a fastball over Smith's head in right for the game-winning hit.
"Vic definitely could've put his head in the sand, but he wound up being the hero," O'Rourke said.
Meder's two-out, bases-clearing double put Ludlowe ahead 3-0 in the first. Meder's aggressive base running allowed him to score on Kevin Hickey's infield single, boosting Ludlowe's lead to 4-0 after one inning.
"Getting that two-out hit and putting them down 4-0 at the end of the first inning was big," O'Rourke said.
The Wreckers scored one in the top of the second, but could not solve Salveson after that. Ludlowe's senior starter allowed three earned runs in six-plus innings, retiring 11 straight Wreckers at one point.
"We've got to find a way to play better in the first three innings," McFarland said. "It's our Achilles' heel right now."
FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 5, STAPLES 4
STAPLES 010 000 3--4 7 1
FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 400 000 1--5 7 2
Records: Staples 4-4, Ludlowe 3-6.