Staples baseball routs Ludlowe
WESTPORT -- Staples senior pitcher Ryder Chasin vividly remembers the last time he took the hill against FCIAC rival Ludlowe prior to Saturday's showdown between the two teams.
Chasin yielded four runs in the first inning en route to a crushing walk-off loss early last season that put Staples in an early hole that left it scrambling for a postseason spot.
Over a year later, Chasin got revenge by firing six innings of two-run ball as the Wreckers defeated Ludlowe 10-2 for their third straight victory. Staples (9-3, 8-2 FCIAC) remained in second place in the FCIAC standings with the win.
"Last year against Ludlowe was definitely my worst start of the year (a 5-4 loss), and it was a bitter loss for the team," Chasin said. "I was happy to be able to come out a year later, and have the same opportunity on our home field."
The Wreckers broke open a close game with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Leading 4-2 entering the frame, Staples sent 10 batters to the plate. Noah Yokoi, Nate Panzer and Topher Brown each had RBI hits during the inning.
"We had everyone contributing in that inning," said Staples' Sam Ellinwood, who hit a home run in the bottom of the first. "A lot of kids contributing and a lot of kids getting on base. We have a lot of talent on this team and a lot of kids that can make an impact."
The Falcons (7-4, 5-4) got a pair of hits from Kevin Hickey, including an RBI single in the first inning to give Ludlowe the lead. The Falcons took a 2-1 lead into the third inning on an RBI single by Tom Ryan.
"I keep telling the boys it's a matter of execution, offensively and defensively," Ludlowe coach Mike Francese said. "There is a lot of parity in this league and everyone has someone that can do something, it's a matter of who can do it consistently."
Panzer, who went 3-for-3 with a walk, broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI double that plated Bryan Porter. Panzer drove in a run during the fifth inning surge with a bunt single.
"Panzer has been performing very well for us," Ellinwood said. ¦ "He's playing smart baseball, he's playing well in center field for us, and he laid down that bunt in a clutch time."
Ludlowe had a chance to narrow an 8-2 gap in the top of the sixth inning. The Falcons loaded the bases with two outs for Mikey Arman, but Chasin got Arman to fly out to center, ending the threat.
"The key to getting him out was luck," Chaskin joked. "I jammed him with a two-seam fastball and with these BBCOR bats; it's hard to drive a ball like that. It was just keeping my composure and making sure I hit my spots."
Staples 10, Fairfield Ludlowe 2
FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 110 000 0--2 8 3
STAPLES 101 242 X--10 10 1
Records: Fairfield Ludlowe 7-4, 5-4 FCIAC; Staples 9-3, 8-2.
Batteries: FL--Steve Zadrevec (L), Chris Huzil, Max Settineri and Conner Daley . S--Ryder Chasin (W), Alec Johnson and Adam Dulsky. Highlights: S--Sam Ellinwood went 2-for-3 with a home run, walk and two runs scored. Nate Panzer went 3-for-3 with a walk, two doubles, and two RBI.