Their lineup is producing more than eight runs per game, their pitchers are holding the opposition’s hitters at bay and the defense has been solid. Indeed, Greenwich baseball coach Adrian Arango has a lot to be pleased about seven games into the season.
“I’m very impressed with the way we’re putting the three facets of the game together every game,” Arango said, following the Cardinals road game against Wilton on Wednesday. “We’re deep, I have guys coming off the bench getting hits and making plays in the field, so that’s a luxury we’re going to have.”
Arango witnessed his deep, hot-hitting squad with impressive pitching, continue to make its mark Wednesday, as Greenwich rolled to a 10-0 triumph against host Wilton, in a game that was stopped after six innings.
One game after hard-throwing right-hander Miles Langhorne pitched a one-hitter in a victory against St. Joseph, sophomore righty Nathan Jones threw five scoreless innings when the Cardinals visited Wilton.
“Today I had all three pitches working,” Jones said. “I was able to manipulate all three for strikes.”
Jones induced a good number of swings and misses with his change-up and impressively spotted his fastball. He credited senior catcher Felipe Echeto for his performance behind the plate.
“I’m really happy about how Felipe called the game,” Jones said. “A lot of credit goes to him and our defense, it was great today, behind me and I was able to execute all my pitches.”
Watching the University of Vandberbilt-bound Langhorne pitch is a source of motivation for the team’s other hurlers. Jones registered nine strikeouts and walked just two batters in five innings. He was relieved by junior Tommy Healey, who pitched a scoreless sixth inning.
“Miles is one of the big leaders on the team and myself and the other pitchers just want to keep the ball rolling and continue the momentum he creates,” Jones said.
The Cardinal (6-1) scored five runs in the second inning and added two more in the third, before plating three runs in the sixth. Pitching with a sizeable lead is, of course, a plus.
“The extra cushion was definitely helpful, it was relieving to just go out there and throw strikes and know that I had a big cushion behind me,” said Jones, who has a record of 3-0 on the mound so far this season.
At the plate, senior outfielder Jack Zola hit a two-run home run and collected four RBI, senior outfielder Ryan Perez drove in three runs and senior first baseman Cage Lasley, shortstop Christian Mingione (senior) and senior Auggie Bancroft each had two hits in the win.
“The first inning we always start off a little slow, that seems to be the theme, but the second inning was big,” Zola said. “We got the pitch count up and fortunately, we were able to put up some hits.”
Greenwich struck for five runs in the second inning. Lasley singled to start the inning and advanced to third on Mingione’s double. Zola followed by lining a two-run single to center field, giving Greenwich a 2-0 lead.
Bancroft, a senior, drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and Perez knocked in a run with a force out, with a second run scoring on a wild throw to first base, making it 5-0.
Zola, one of Greenwich’s leading run-producers, hit a two-run homer over the left field fence in the third inning and the Cards added three more runs in the sixth inning on Marc Thiebeault’s RBI single and Perez’s two-run double.
“This was a big game for us against a team that if we had lost we would be behind in the standings,” said Arango, who has seen Jones emerge as an effective, dependable starter.
“Nathan has really stepped up for a sophomore, he’s 3-0 now. He’s pounding the zone, he’s working hard. Every opportunity we are giving him, he keeps stepping up to the occasion.”
Wilton managed just two hits for the game – a pair of third inning singles by Ian Kineon and Ryan Van Heyst. Left-hander Nevin Belander, a junior, got the start on the mound for the Warriors and was relieved by Kinean. Wilton’s pitchers weren’t helped by the team committing three errors.
“The pitchers overall, did a pretty good job,” Wilton coach Tim Eagen said. “But we preach, you’ve got to give a team three outs per inning and we gave them four and five outs. They are a good hitting team to start with. You have to make the basic plays.”
While Greenwich prospered with runners in scoring position, Wilton couldn’t get the big hit when they got men on base.
“Jones got into a little bit of trouble in the first inning, but after that he cruised the rest of the game,” Arango said.
Added Eagen: “When we had runners in scoring position, but we struck out,” Eagen said. “Our big thing right now is when the bleeding starts, we can’t stop it and that’s what we have to do to get over the hump. We’re 5-3 and I told them out there we feel like we’re 0-8 right now and that’s mental more than physical.”
Winners of four straight, the Cardinals will look to extend their success streak when they host FCIAC rival Westhill on Friday at 4:30 p.m. Wilton plays Fairfield Ludlowe on Friday.
Categories: Greenwich High, Spring sports
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