Staples baseball shuts down Norwalk
Updated 10:34 am, Thursday, May 21, 2015
While the hitting has been up-and-down for the Staples baseball team this year, the pitching has remained a stellar constant.
The bats are now beginning to come alive at just the right time, and the FCIAC's hottest team remained that way with another impressive win.
Eric Hawes went 3-for-4 with a two-run triple, and Ryan Fitton fired a complete game 1-hitter as the Wreckers eased past Norwalk 9-0 on Wednesday. The win over the 15-4 Bears was the seventh straight and 10th in 11 games for Staples (15-4).
The Wreckers, who are in fourth place in the FCIAC heading into the final day Friday, have defeated the three teams in front of them in the last 12 days by a combined score of 22-4.
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"The kids are confident now," Staples coach Jack McFarland said. "I knew we would eventually hit once it got warmer. Fitton has been lights out on the mound, it's tough to square the kid up, he pounds the zone and throws strikes."
Ben Casparius and Ross Poulley hit solo home runs for Staples, who led 3-0 after six innings and broke the game open with a six-run seventh inning against a Bears team that's been in every game they've played in this season.
"We haven't had much adversity this year so I want to see what they're made of," Norwalk coach Pete Tucci said of his team. "Adversity happens all the time, it's about how you respond. I think they'll bounce back."
Fitton hurled his third shutout of the season behind eight strikeouts and 10 ground balls. The 6-foot-5 sophomore threw no-hitter in a start against Greenwich last month and is a vital part of a pitching staff that has yielded a league-low 35 runs in 17 FCIAC games this year.
"I felt really good today," Fitton said. "The fastball was good, curveball was good; I was getting ahead of batters and got a lot of ground balls. The defense played great; I pitched my game, the defense backed me up and the offense exploded."
The Bears, who had their eight-game winning streak snapped, face first place Darien on Friday. Norwalk made three errors in the fourth inning Tuesday that led to a run and was unable to get any offense going against Fitton.
"(Fitton) had us off balance," Tucci said. "He's good and when he hits his spots you're not going to get a whole lot."
Norwalk pitcher Mike Gonzalez allowed three runs in five innings, but exited as a precaution in the sixth when he injured his back during a pitch. The Wreckers jumped on the Bears bullpen in the seventh and blew the game open.
"I thought Mike threw the ball well," Tucci said. "The first run was unearned, and he made a mistake to (Casparius) on the home run. "There was nothing wrong with how he threw the ball; he landed in a hole and hurt his back."
The Wreckers hit a pair of triples in the seventh -- by Marco Latella and Eric Hawes -- that each plated two runs.
"The goal is always to tack on," Hawes said. "We don't want to just get two or three, we want to get five and six until the game is out of reach."