Staples had Greenwich on the ropes in the second inning but could not get a big hit with the bases loaded, settling for one run on no hits and four walks.
The inability to pounce ended up costing the Wreckers who fell 3-2 to Greenwich in the FCIAC semifinals.
Two Wreckers’ errors in the 7th inning led to a walk-off win for the Cards and a ticket to the semifinals at Harbor Yard for the second straight season.
No. 1 Greenwich will face No. 5 Trumbull in a rematch of last year’s title game at 5:15 p.m.
Danbury will take on Ludlowe at 7 in the other semifinal.
The Cardinals were the only higher seed to advance Monday.
- Biggest crowd of the year in Greenwich Monday with many former Cardinals now in college back in town to root for the home team.
- Greenwich has played small ball all season and did so again, putting the pressure on the Wreckers’ defense with bunts, which led to the run in the 7th.
- Staples starter Chris Speer was solid, going four innings, allowing one unearned run before giving way to Alec Johnson, who was equally as good but was let down by his defense.
Staples also had a hard time putting the ball in play on the ground, flying or popping out 9 times Monday, much to the dismay of Head Coach Jack McFarland.
- J.T. Hintzen pitched was nearly lights out in relief of Ryan Marks who was uncharacteristically wild Monday, walking 5 guys in three innings.
Looks as though Kyle Dunster will start Wednesday with both Hintzen and Marks most likely available Saturday should Greenwich advance.
- Last year, playing the late game, the Cardinals lost pitcher Dylan Callahan after a rain delay caused the game to be finished he next day while Trumbull was able to keep their rotation in order and rest ahead of the finals.
The FCIAC changed the rule this year, allowing the higher seed to pick which game they wanted to play prior to the tournament and, for obvious reasons, Greenwich took the early game.
Hopefully the rain stays away Wednesday and we get to see two quality games in Bridgeport.