Norwalk baseball searching for answers

This has to be getting old for Norwalk.

The Bears again stepped onto the diamond looking for their first win and again they left with a battered pitching staff and few solutions as to how to stop their six-game slide.

Norwalk is now 0-6 on the season following a 12-3 drubbing at the hands of crosstown rival Brien McMahon on Friday. The Bears have surrendered at least nine runs in five of those games and a total of 68 on the season.

Junior Lucas LaBry earned the start against McMahon and for the most part, he limited the damage. The Senators recorded seven of their 14 hits against the right-hander over five innings, which in retrospect, doesn’t look so bad for LaBry.

Norwalk head coach Pete Tucci was more bothered by the three walks LaBry issued over the first two innings.

“The first three runs that they scored all got on by walks. That’s a no-no. He battled and that’s all you can ask somebody to do,” Tucci said.  

Although LeBry kept the Bears in the game, it all fell apart for them—again. So, now at 0-6, needing a dramatic turnaround to extend a string of 23 straight trips to the state tournament, where do the Bears go from here?

The schedule doesn’t get much easier outside of a matchup on Wednesday against winless Bassick. They face the likes of Ridgefield (4-1), Fairfield Ludlowe (3-2) and Greenwich (5-0) all in the next 10 days. It doesn’t look promising for meaningful baseball in May at City Hall Field. The first order of business, Tucci believes, is finishing a game.

“As soon as they got up, we stopped playing. That’s unacceptable,” said Tucci, whose team allowed eight runs in the seventh on Friday. 

One positive for Norwalk is that it does have a strong middle of the lineup to lean on. Mike Parlanti and Matt Ederle are as strong a 2-3 punch in the batting order as there is around, and Richard Henderson has come up with timely hits out of the clean-up spot.

“Those three guys that they have in their lineup can do some damage,” McMahon head coach John Cross said. “If they were in our lineup, they would more than likely be hitting 3-4-5.” 

The Bears have struggled through growing pains after graduating nearly their entire starting lineup from a year ago and at this point, they’re just looking for a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately for them, it’s more than likely already too late.