Staples baseball gets by St. Joseph in eight innings
In his last team's game against Stamford, Staples senior Zach Azadian watched as his drive was caught by an outfielder who crashed through the fence to prevent what would have been a game-tying homer in a one-run loss.
Azadian again found himself up in the same situation on Friday afternoon against St. Joseph, and this time he made sure no one could catch his shot.
"I guess the baseball God's owed me one," Azadian joked.
Azadian's home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh tied the game, and the Wreckers had a slight stroke of fortune in the eighth inning to prevail 4-3 over the Cadets.
Staples had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and Sean Clarke at the plate. On a 3-2 pitch, Clark hit a high popup between the infield and the outfield that somehow dropped in for a hit.
"It was just a miscommunication," St. Joseph coach Jim Chaves said. "It looked like they were just looking at each other and no one wanted to make a play. It's just young kids being kids."
The Wreckers (4-1) were on their way to another frustrating loss before rallying. Staples stranded 12 runners through six innings, including leaving failing to score with the bases loaded and no outs in the third.
"Baseball is all about getting timely hits and we haven't been getting them at all," Staples coach Jack McFarland said. "When Zach came up in the seventh inning he did what great senior leaders do and he hit a home run."
Instead it was St. Joseph (2-2), which lost 17-2 to Darien Wednesday, to contemplate what might have been.
"I thought in the bottom of the seventh with a one-run and getting the leadoff guy out, I thought we would be able to close it out," Chaves said. "We're not really in the business of moral victories but we'll take any small thing we can get here. We played with one of the best teams in the league and now we feel we can play with anyone."
Staples plated two runs on four hits in the first inning, but the Cadets responded with two runs in the second. Matt Laveneziana had an RBI single in the fourth to give St. Joseph a 3-2 lead.
After Azadian's home run, Dave Capela led off with a double for St. Joseph. A sacrifice moved a pinch runner to third, but Staples sophomore Ben Casparius struck out the new two batters on six pitches.
Casparius threw a complete game in his first start of the season and struck out eight batters.
"It had been a while since I pitched," Casparius said. "I was itching to get out there; it was a really good day today I felt really good on the mound. I was able to go far for our team."
Staples 4, St. Joseph 3 (8 innings)
ST JOSEPH 020 100 00 -- 3 6 1
STAPLES 200 000 11 -- 4 9 0
Records: St. Joseph 2-2, 2-2 FCIAC; Staples 4-1, 3-1.