One game after defeating Staples in 11 innings, the Greenwich baseball team found itself in another extra-inning thriller, this time against Trumbull.
Yet there was no walk-off win for the Cardinals on Tuesday.
Scoring two runs in the top of the 10th inning, Trumbull recorded a hard-fought 2-0 victory over host Greenwich in a key FCIAC game. The Cardinals entered the matchup with a record of 9-2, while Trumbull sported a 10-2 mark.
Tuesday’s game between the Cardinals and Eagles featured a classic pitcher’s duel. Greenwich senior right-hander Miles Langhorne, who pitched in front of a large group of Major League Baseball scouts, threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Langhorne, who has committed to play baseball at Vanderbilt, struck out nine batters in a no-decision.
“I didn’t feel my best today, but I was still able to compete and throw up some zeroes until the sixth,” Langhorne said. “I just wanted to keep us in the game for as long as I could, give the team a chance to win and pass it on to the bullpen.”
Trumbull junior right-hander Connor Johnston also pitched a standout game. He pitched seven-plus scoreless innings, before being relieved by junior Tyler Bashar.
“That was a great game,” said Trumbull coach Phil Pacelli, whose team improved its record to 11-2 with the triumph. “What a great effort by both starting pitchers. Langhorne was as good as advertised and our man Connor Johnston was as good as advertised and matching him zero for zero. He was coming off a great performance last week against McMahon, where he pitched 6 1/3 no-hit innings.”
Following nine scoreless innings, featuring outstanding pitching and fine defensive plays, Trumbull broke through for two runs in the top of the 10th inning off Cardinals junior right-hander Tommy Healey, who threw a scoreless ninth inning.
With one out, junior Justin Delaney singled through the left side of the infield and advanced to second when Healey was charged with a balk. Senior outfielder Ray Leonzi stepped to the plate with two outs and hit a low pitch up the middle for a base hit, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
“Ray’s been doing that all year for us, he’s been hitting the ball all season and that was a clutch one,” Pacelli said.
John Bova, a senior second baseman, delivered a run-scoring single, upping Trumbull’s lead to 2-0 in the 10th inning.
“That was an 11-pitch at-bat and what a great job with two strikes,” Pacelli said. “That was a big insurance run.”
Junior Tyler Cusimano led off the bottom of the 10th inning for Greenwich with a single to left field, but Bashar induced a pop up to shortstop and a double play from the next two Cardinals batters to seal the win.
“It’s tough to lose that game, but that’s a great team and they deserved it,” Greenwich coach Adrian Arango said. “It was another great baseball game, I’d like to get off these extra-inning games. We’ve played 21 innings in our last two games.”
Senior Matt Chioditti, a right-hander, relieved Langhorne and pitched into the ninth inning.
“These guys come in and stepped up,” Arango said. “Matt put up zeroes for us in relief of Miles and Tommy pitched well. I’m proud of how they came in and did their job.”
Senior shortstop Christian Mingione singled in the seventh inning and junior Justin Zych had a single in the eighth inning, but the Cardinals were held off the scoreboard by Johnston and Bashar. Langhorne enjoyed the challenge of pitching in a tight, scoreless game.
“It’s always fun, you get a little more focused in and get a little more locked in and you try to throw up some zeroes and try to give the team the best chance to win,” Langhorne said. “We’ll bounce right back tomorrow and come through.”
Said Arango: “This was Miles’ third start and we were able to stretch him to a longer pitch count and they were able to match zeros with us. I was very impressed with Connor for Trumbull. He threw strikes, commanded the zone and threw strikes. Miles was great for us and the guys that came in for us were great.”
Greenwich hosts Danbury Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
“The boys are doing a great job of competing,” Langhorne said. “We are going to want to jump on teams earlier to conserve some pitching and not put ourselves through that stress. So we can win baseball games in seven innings and not 10 or 11.”