Staples baseball routs Ludlowe
FAIRFIELD -- Getting off to a fast start in any game is important. Getting off to a fast start in a league game is even more important. And that's just what Staples did.
Sparked by Noah Yokoi's first-inning, three-run homer, the Wreckers romped past Ludlowe 12-0 on a breezy Monday afternoon at Kiwanis Field. Staples banged out 15 hits -- including four from sophomore shortstop Ben Casperius, who capped off the rout with a long two-run homer in the top of the seventh.
"I felt pretty good today," said Casperius, who finished with five RBIs. "I was able to stay back, the wind was blowing out pretty good. It's always good playing in 65-degree weather. I was lucky today."
And while the Wreckers (2-0, 1-0 FCIAC) were having their way offensively, the Falcons (0-3, 0-2 FCIAC) weren't able to get anything going against Staples ace Ian Burns, who went five innings, allowing just six hits while striking out six.
"Burns pitched great. He had some `swing and miss' stuff today," Staples coach Jack McFarland said. "He's a Division I pitcher, that's what they look like. They overpower you a little bit. He threw the ball well."
Over his five innings, Burns strander five Ludlowe runners in scoring position, two huge ones coming in the bottom of the third. With two out and the bases loaded, Wreckers third baseman Zach Adazian made a diving stop to his right to snare a hard-hit one-hopper off the bat of CJ Hanrahan and throw him out to end the inning, preserving a 4-0 Staples lead.
"That was a big play for us, probably one of the deal breaking plays of the game," Casperius said.
"That play changes the complete aspect of the game," Burns said. "If he doesn't make that play, it gets their dugout all riled up. But we got out of the inning and come back and put some more runs on the board."
Staples took advantage of some early wildness from Ludlowe starter Nate Klein (who walked the first two batters) and then gave up that three-run blast to Yokoi. An RBI double from Casperius made it 4-0 in the second and Hanranhan's play in the third kept it that way.
In the fourth, Staples added three runs, on RBI hits from Casperius, Ross Poulley and Marco Latella and the Wreckers added three more in the fifth, two on a RBI double from Yokoi and a run-scoring wild pitch, making it 10-0.
Casperius' bomb in the seventh ended the scoring.
"This was our first league game, so this was very important for us," McFarland said. "To get into the playoffs, you have to win those league games, so we're 1-0 and we're happy about that."
Ludlowe coach Mike Francese, on the other hand, was not happy.
"Guys have to go out there and have confidence," he said. "The guys that are playing behind them have to have confidence as well. It's just a matter of getting guys who can go out there consistently and get the batters out. We got down early and facing a guy that's throwing strikes, it's tough to come back. All I expect from my guys is to keep fighting and today we just weren't able to put up the fight of putting any runs up."
STAPLES 310 330 2--12 15 2
LUDLOWE 000 000 0 --0 8 0
Records: Ludlowe (0-3, 0-2 FCIAC); Staples (2-0, 1-0)