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Miscues down Staples baseball in loss to Ridgefield

Updated 6:44 pm, Wednesday, April 17, 2013
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With a four-run seventh inning, the Staples High baseball team momentarily overcame the mistakes that plagued them early Wednesday against Ridgefield.

But, after the Wreckers rallied to tie it, the same problems plagued them again.

Following a hit batter, a wild pitch and two walks, Ridgefield walked off with a 7-6 win at Ciuccoli Field when a potential force out at home resulted in a throwing error.

"I think it was a war of attrition today," Ridgefield coach Paul Fabbri said. "We just made fewer mistakes, bad plays than they did."

Staples, which has now lost three of its last four games to fall to 4-3, committed four errors in the loss.

"They played a little smarter baseball than us," Staples coach Jack McFarland said.

Staples left-hander Chris Speer pitched the first 6 1/3 innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on four hits and three walks. Justin Gallanty entered in relief with one out and none on in the seventh, but quickly loaded the bases without allowing a hit.

With the infield in and the winning run at third base, Ridgefield's Devin Martin hit a ball that was fielded cleanly at third. The throw home for a force out, however, bounced in the dirt, allowing the Tigers to slide in safely.

"When you make people make plays, that's what happens," Fabbri said. "With the infield in, it's a bang-bang play. Fortunately for us, the throw was a little wide."

"I was trying to hit something in play, at least," Martin said.

Ridgefield (6-2) also capitalized on mistakes in the third inning, when it plated four runs on only one hit. After a walk, a single and an error -- all with no outs -- right fielder Robert DePalma drew a bases-loaded walk for a 2-0 lead. A balk by Speer and a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Kevin Ash accounted for the Tigers' third and fourth runs. Martin made it 5-0 on a ground out.

The Tigers finished with just four hits, but capitalized on the opportunities that they were given.

"You've got to take advantage of it," Fabbri said. "We did that enough to get that lead. ... That's a good win against a quality pitcher."

Those runs nearly weren't enough, however, as Staples rallied from 6-2 down in the seventh inning to tie it.

After a single and a walk to lead off the inning, center fielder James Frusciante singled off Martin to make it 6-3. Martin then gave way to reliever Joseph Ammirato, who allowed a bunt single to second baseman Nick Vega. A throwing error on the play made it 6-4.

With the next batter up -- and runners at second and third with no outs -- Ammirato threw a wild pitch, which enabled Frusciante to score. Vega attempted to score from second base on the play, but was tagged out after the catcher located the ball and threw home.

"He's trying to make something happen, but it's just the wrong time," McFarland said of Vega's attempt to score.

Catcher Noah Yokoi eventually tied the game with a two-out double off Christian Petersen, but Frank Vartuli was thrown out at home on a close play attempting to score the go-ahead run.

Martin earned the no-decision for Ridgefield after allowing seven hits and three walks in six-plus innings. The right-hander struck out five.

"I was just mixing up a lot of pitches against a pretty good team like that -- fastball, slider, curve, change up," Martin said.

With the Wreckers looking to get back in the win column, McFarland knows that his team must put an end to its miscues.

"They're pressing," McFarland said.

dbonjour@scni.com; 203-255-4561 ext. 114; twitter.com/DougBonjour

RIDGEFIELD 7, STAPLES 6

STAPLES 000 020 4 -- 6 9 4

RIDGEFIELD 104 001 1 -- 7 4 3

Records: Staples 4-3; Ridgefield 6-2

Batteries: S -- Chris Speer, Justin Gallanty (7, L) and Noah Yokoi; R -- Devin Martin, Joseph Ammirato (7), Christian Petersen (7, W) and Collin O'Meara.

Doubles: S -- Bryan Terzian, Yokoi; R -- Kevin Ash. Triples: S -- James Frusciante.

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