STAMFORD -- Stamford and Westhill are as bitter of rivals as you will find in the FCIAC, but prior to their game Monday night at Cubeta Stadium, the teams came together at home plate, bowing their heads in silence.
Bob Curto, the father of Westhill senior right fielder Cam Curto and a man involved in Stamford baseball for many years, passed away suddenly Sunday night, leaving the city's baseball community reeling.
Curto sat in the dugout prior to the game, trying to muster the strength to take the field.
Minutes before the lineups were turned in, Curto told Westhill coach DJ Mulvany he wanted in the lineup and his coach obliged, knowing how much baseball means to his family.
"Everything I did today was for Cam Curto and his family," Elkins said. "My heart is out to him. He is the best kid I ever met and he's my inspiration. It means the world, nothing else means more in our whole lives than doing this for the Curto family."
Elkins pitched six innings, picking up the 3-2 win for his team.
When Curto came to the plate for his first at bat in the second inning, the crowd gave him a prolonged standing ovation with his mother in the crowd.
After the game Mulvany went into the bleachers where Curto's mother was standing, embracing her in a tearful hug.
"For the coaching staff and team I don't think there has been a game that we wanted to win more from an emotional standpoint," Mulvany said. "The Curtos have been part of this program since Ryan came in, in 2007 and Cam is the last one through. The Curtos have been there every step of the way and they are great people and have always been supportive. We were glad we could take their mind off this loss for a couple seconds."
Mulvany said the pregame ceremony, at Cubeta Stadium especially, was meaningful for Stamford baseball.
"It was important and it meant a lot that (Stamford) was willing to do that," Mulvany said. "Cam knows a lot of guys over there and their coaches expressed a lot of sympathy for the team and what we are going through."
Westhill got two runs in the second and one more in the fifth.
Ronnie Jackson came in to pick up the save, setting the Black Knights down in order in the seventh.
Stamford got one in the second and one in the sixth but left two men on in the sixth after the run scored.
Stamford coach Fred Kelley said he and his players know the Curto family and thought the show of support from his team was admirable.
"I knew Bob Curto for years and it is a shock," Kelley said. "Not only with Stamford baseball but the Curto name is synonymous with Westhill baseball and I could tell DJ was touched by everything. I thought it was a class act on our part as well as their part. It had to be tearing that poor kid apart."
The win keeps Westhill (9-6, 9-4 FCIAC) in the thick of the FCIAC playoff race with two weeks to play.
Westhill 3, Stamford 2
STAMFORD 010 001 0 --2 6 2
WESTHILL 020 010 x--3 8 0