There was no better stage for the reigning state champions to show they haven’t gone anywhere than the home field of their hated rivals.
Behind stellar efforts from senior captains Matt Toth and Dan Rajkowski, New Canaan topped Darien 6-2 Wednesday in an excellent, well-rounded performance. The Rams allowed two earned runs, stole nine bases and failed to commit a single error over one of their better games of the season. When asked about the last time his team ran so effectively, New Canaan coach Mitch Hoffman quickly shot back:
Following a tough stretch that included three close losses to fellow FCIAC contenders, the Rams seem to have settled in to their usual form. The energy from their dugout was palpable from start to finish, helping rattle and run Wave starter Ames Murray from the game after 2 2/3 innings. Toth’s grand slam in the third frame was quickly followed by a handful of walks, and out went Murray.
Reliever Luke Mangan was able to stem the tide in more than four innings of work, but New Canaan still scratched across a couple runs with excellent base-running and timely Toth hitting. The senior shortstop was quick to note post-game that this is exactly how the Rams want to play, and their earlier losses were all by close margins. Having now beaten Darien handily in its own park, New Canaan seems to have regained its championship-level confidence.
And upon the return of currently injured starter David Giusti, there may be some cause for concern for the rest of FCIAC baseball.