Clarke earns first varsity victory in Staples baseball's win over Masuk
The rule of thumb in baseball has always been that good pitching beats good hitting.
Well, this year in the FCIAC, pitching is down, which bodes well for the heavy-hitting Staples baseball team.
The Wreckers (3-0, 2-0 FCIAC) went to Monroe and faced non-conference foe Masuk Saturday and hit their way into a 12-6 victory over the Panthers (1-2). Junior righty pitcher Julian Clarke notched his first ever varsity win in relief of senior righty starter Eric Sawyer and was supported by what's becoming a regular barrage of hitting from the Staples squad.
"I came in with runners on base and the [No.] 3,4,5 hitters coming up. I got out of that inning unscathed and settled down going forward," Clarke said. "We all knew that losing two great pitchers in Dave [Speer] and Jimmy [Sikorski] from last year would put a lot of pressure on the rest of us. We've got a great lineup that produces all the time."
Another great day was had by senior Chris Lametta who had two hits, two RBI and a run scored that broke the game open for the Wreckers. The story here is that last year Lametta wasn't as prepared as he would have liked and didn't make the Staples squad. "This game felt really good to me. [Wreckers] Coach [Jack McFarland] gave me another shot and all I want to do is help this team."
For their part, Masuk has a strong SWC baseball program with a history of top level baseball in the area. Led by senior All-State shortstop Jon Testani, the Panthers brought 11 starters back this year from a team that won 14 games and made the state tournament.
Leading the Wrecker hitting spree was senior quad-captain Ben Lipper with four hits and two RBI. "I've played against a lot of these guys since seventh grade and they're good," said the three-year starting center fielder.
"We have an excellent line-up. Anyone can produce at any time," commented the second baseman Scott.
The Wreckers raised their record to 4-0, 3-0 with a 7-2 victory at Bridgeport Central Monday. Junior righty Jimmy Kopack pitched six innings and was the winning pitcher, raising his record to 2-0. McCarthy and senior quad-captain Brendan Bernstein each had two hits.
Staples hosts Brien McMahon today at 4 p.m., weather-permitting.