Staples baseball edged by Stamford
Updated 11:37 am, Thursday, April 16, 2015
The way the offense had been rolling so far this spring, Staples coach Jack McFarland knew it would take a near-perfect pitching performance and timely offense by the opposition in order to shut down his team.
And that's exactly what happened on Wednesday. Stamford senior Shawn Urbano threw a complete game, allowing just one run in a 2-1 road win by the Black Knights over one of the FCIAC favorites.
"That's going to happen in the regular season," said McFarland, whose team dropped to 3-1. "(Urbano) did great and you have to top your cap to him. He did a great job cutting down our running game because he's a left-hander. Sometimes a good pitcher shuts down a good lineup."
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Urbano silenced the Wreckers bats that had scored 27 runs in their first three games despite a little trouble early. A pair of hit batters and two additional walks put runners on base early, but he settled in and struck out five batters.
"At first I didn't have my stuff, but after (the third inning) I really started to settle down and throw strikes and really changed how I was throwing," Urbano said.
The rare times he was hit hard, Urbano had his defense to thank for preserving a lead. Billy DeVito crashed through the right field fence to make a catch that prevented a home run in the middle innings, and Jalen Brown prevented the tying run from scoring in the bottom of the seventh inning with a diving grab in center.
"They one where Billy ran through the fence that was (Staples') No. 8 hitter, and he stayed with it," Stamford coach Rit Lacomis said. "Jalen had a little late break on the ball but him coming in and laying out shows the type of dedication and leadership we have from these kids."
Zach Azadian singled to lead off the seventh for Staples (3-1), and Phil McGovern sacrificed Azadian to second. Nathan Panzer then hit a fly ball to center that Brown raced towards and hauled it in. Urbano got the next batter out to wrap up the win.
Staples sophomore Ryan Fitton also pitched excellently Wednesday, firing a complete-game five hitter on just 79 pitches.
"There was a lot of pop on the ball," McFarland said. "He pitched an incredible game; you can't ask for more that."
The Wreckers opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly by Ben Casparius in the second inning, and Stamford drew level in the third on an error that allowed Brown to score. Ross Poulley led off the bottom of the third with a double, but Stamford induced a double play to escape the threat.
The Black Knights took the lead for good as Jay DeVito had an RBI single in the top of the fifth.
"After the first two innings I already had another guy warming up," Lacomis said. :After that double play (Urbano) he really bared down. The curveball was snapping nice and he was getting ahead of hitters."
Staples was playing its third game in three days and will face St. Joseph on Friday.