Staples in the FCIAC’s driver seat

With five games left in the regular season, Staples appears to be a serious contender to win the FCIAC title. The Wreckers extended their winning streak to six games with a 9-5 home win over Darien on Friday afternoon and remained in first place in the conference.

The Wreckers (12-3, 11-2 FCIAC) got contributions up and down the order in the victory over the Blue Wave (11-3, 9-3), who entered play second in the FCIAC. Ross Poulley socked a solo home run that broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the fourth inning, and eight of the nine starters registered hits for Staples.

“I think we’ve definitely proved ourselves, but it’s important not to rest where we are and keep the momentum going,” Poulley said.

The Wreckers have scored 60 runs in their last six wins to separate themselves from a crowded FCIAC playoff field.

“We just want to keeping going; we don’t take anything for granted,” Staples coach Jack McFarland said. “One bad week and it’s the electric slide all the way down. I’m feeling good with 11 league wins, we want to keep going, be in the top four and play a home playoff game here.”

Combine the offense with an outstanding pitching staff led by Rob Vallone and Ryder Chasin, who fired six and two thirds innings Friday, and you have the ingredients for a deep postseason run. Staples has given up more than five runs just once this season.

Despite heavy rains overnight, the game went off without a hitch. Most action across the region was canceled Friday, but there was little sign of any wet weather by game time.

“A lot of people were telling me that we should cancel; we don’t cancel here,” McFarland joked. “I’ve played in a lot worse games than this. I think the field held up great, and that was a good decision to play. I think the kids were excited to play today; they didn’t want to play Saturday or next Tuesday.”

The margin for error is always slight in FCIAC baseball. Seven of Staples’ 15 games have been decided by three runs or less and the Wreckers are 3-0 in extra innings. The one-off nature of the FCIAC playoffs often creates havoc — and this year will likely not be any different — but Staples looks in good position to win the league.

Ryan Lacey