Tigers spoil Staples' senior day
The seven seniors on the Staples baseball team closed out their regular season home careers on a sour note.
Staples lost its third straight game -- all at home -- in a 6-1 setback to Ridgefield Monday, which spoiled Senior Day.
"We couldn't get the timely hits," Wreckers coach Jack McFarland said. "Ridgefield played a very good ballgame."
Ridgefield raised its record to 15-3, 13-3 in the FCIAC. Staples dropped to 13-5, 11-5.
The Tigers were able to control the game because of their defense, pitching and ability to play small ball.
Lefty Chris McClelland lifted Ridgefield on the mound. McClelland pitched 6 1/3 inning solid innings, allowing one run on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
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McClelland was also helped by the Tigers' defense, which turned three doubles plays. Second baseman Harrison Siclare was the catalyst in all the twin killers and was involved in two other key defensive plays.
Conversely, the Wreckers made five errors, which gave Ridgefield two unearned runs. The first Staples error led to an unearned run and gave the Tigers momentum.
Siclare, who was 4-4 at the plate with three doubles, lined a two-out double to left field to plate Bryce Maher with an unearned run. Maher walked with two outs but wouldn't have scored if Eric Jones didn't reach on shortstop Sam Ellinwood's error.
Zach Levins walked to lead off the bottom of the first and with one out, Ellinwood redeemed himself by slamming a one-out double to left. Levins tried to score on it but left fielder Danny Lake threw it to the cutoff man Siclare, who fired it to the catcher Jones.
Siclare's throw was ahead of Levins, and Jones applied the tag for the out and maintained Ridgefield's lead.
In the bottom of the second, the Wreckers had a chance when Matt Reynolds led off the bottom of the second inning with an infield hit. Reynolds stole second, but after McClelland struck out two batters, Jones picked off Reynolds with Siclare applying the tag.
Staples righty Greg Salamone started and pitched five innings. Salamone allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits with three walks, four strikeouts and he hit a batter. However, the free bases he issued were costly. He walked Adam Zandri, who scored on Siclare's two-out single, to lead off the third.
The Wreckers scored their one run in the fourth. Ellinwood walked, Frusciante singled to right and Reynolds followed with a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Siclare prevented further damage when he tagged Reynolds, who was heading to second on a grounder, and threw to first for the double play to nail Frank Vartuli.
Ben Greenberg was next for Staples and after taking three straight balls, he headed to first on an apparent ball four, but it was strike one. Greenberg then fouled off a pitch and swung at strike three.
This wasn't the Wreckers' only opportunity. Kiedaisch singled to put runners on first and second with no outs in the third. The inning ended with a double play.
Ridgefield broke it open with three runs in the sixth. Salamone hit Ryan Debaney and Zandri had a bunt single with Debaney taking third on Salamone's overthrow.
Right-hander Julian Clarke relieved Salaomone and Debaney scored when his pickoff attempted went into the outfield. Jones singled in Zandri and Siclare doubled home Jones.
Clarke settled down and allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits in three innings, with no walks and two strikeouts.
Levins singled in the fifth but was doubled off on Terzian's liner to Siclaire.
Marco Romero and Kiedaisch singled in the seventh with one out, making the latter 2-3.
"I wish our team would have pulled through," Kiedaisch said. "Hopefully, we'll get out of the slump and start hitting. Our pitching will follow."
Right-hander Brad Rosenfield relieved McClelland and closed the door on Staples.
"Every season, we have a rough patch and we had one last year, but turned it around," McFarland said.
Tigers coach Tony Wilmot said, "They are always good and always reload. McFarland always puts out a great product."
Staples hope to break out of its slump in next week's FCIAC playoffs.
"We will because we're a playoff team and we have experience in the playoffs," Kiedaisch said.
The Wreckers play at Brien McMahon tonight at 7 p.m and a loss could drop them to the fifth seed, which would cost them an FCIAC playoff home game. That could be a blessing in disguise because Staples is 7-1 on the road and 6-4 at home.
"It's going to fall the way it falls," McFarland said.