When Jack McFarland spoke about giving Chris Speer his first career start because he wanted to slow New Canaan's running game, one had to wonder if the Staples baseball coach was in a state of confusion.

McFarland is also a veteran assistant football coach at the school, and the Rams have one of the state's best programs in the sport, though Speer, a starting center, also plays on the offensive side of the ball.

Story angles turned McFarland's choice of words into a possible minefield on Friday, but the coach was as spot-on as his players during a 4-1 win over the Rams at Mead Park.

Speer, a junior southpaw previously known more for being the younger brother of former Wreckers star David Speer, made his first start on the mound and allowed just one run on four hits over four innings to improve to 2-0.

"Chris came in in March and we knew he'd be a factor," McFarland said. "He is a football player, but he needed to get into baseball shape. New Canaan likes to run and he is left-handed."

Unlike his pitches, there was no difficulty deciphering Speer's verbiage.

"I was pretty nervous but it comes with the territory," he said. "Once I threw the first pitch I settled down. It felt great. I really like this field, I pitched here in Junior Legion. Everything worked today. It was a huge team effort."

James Frusciante, who was 3-for-3, delivered the key hit for the Wreckers (7-1, 5-1 FCIAC), a two-out, two-run single in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. There were a pair of perfectly executed bunts that helped build runs, a successfully defended suicide squeeze and strong defensive play.

"We played great fundamental baseball today," McFarland said. "We came down here and got a big win."

The Wreckers are attempting to win their second straight league title and fourth in five years.

Dan Rajkowski had a strong outing for New Canaan, holding the Wreckers to six hits in a complete-game effort. His only real blemish was walking consecutive batters that scored on Frusciante's hit.

"For a sophomore to come out against Staples, he did a good job," New Canaan coach Mitch Hoffman said. "There were a little too many walks, but he pitched well enough to win."

The difference was the lack of offensive support for Rajkowski, which irked Hoffman the most.

Staples took a 1-0 lead in the third when Frusciante singled, was moved to second by Nick Kaedisch and scored on a throwing error.

New Canaan (6-3, 4-3) tied the game in the bottom of the inning after failing to execute a squeeze in the second. Casey Ouellette hit a leadoff single to center, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on Andrew Casali's sacrifice fly.

After the Wreckers took the lead in the fifth, Greg Salamone came in and threw three scoreless innings for the save. He got an extra run to work with in the seventh when Frusciante doubled, went to third on Frankie Vartuli's bunt single and scored on Sam Ellinwood's base hit.

Speer said the fact there have been few comparasions made to his brother, who is now playing at Columbia, has eased his development.

"You would think there would be a lot, but all the coaches, players and my friends never make comparisons," Speer said. "I just go out and pitch and try to win."

dave.ruden@scni.com; Twitter: @DaveRuden