Greenwich cleared its first hurdle in the FCIAC Baseball Tournament in the form of Danbury.
Now the next team separating the Cardinals from an appearance in the FCIAC finals is Ridgefield.
Top-seeded Greenwich earned a berth into the FCIAC semifinals with a 4-0 victory over eighth-seeded Danbury in Monday’s quarterfinals.
Senior Vandberbilt-bound Miles Langhorne produced another dominant performance on the mound for the Cardinals (15-3). The right-hander allowed three hits in six scoreless innings and registered 11 strikeouts to earn the win.
“I didn’t feel great, I was a little sick before the game, but I was able to battle through and give my teammates a chance to win,” Langhorne said. “I was happy I was able to work deep into the game and not allow any runs, which gave our lineup the best shot to put some runs on the board and retain the win.”
Said Greenwich coach Adrian Arango: “Miles was phenomenal. He scattered a couple of hits and they got a couple of guys to third base, but he held them scoreless. It was another great performance.”
Danbury’s Jackson Ciccone singled up the middle to lead off the game. Kai O’Dell followed by laying down a bunt, but Cardinals senior catcher Felipe Echeto quickly fielded the ball and threw to second base for the force out. Langhorne then retired the final two batters in the first inning. In the second inning, Luke Ciccone walked, but was thrown by Echeto trying to steal second base.
“Felipe has been under-looked, our catcher he has been throwing everyone out,” Arango said.
“It was awesome to see good defense behind me as always,” Langhorne said. “The fielders really did their job when the ball was put into play.”
Langhorne threw 98 pitches in six innings, 61 for strikes.
“I threw a good slider for the majority of the game and later in the game, my fastball started working a lot for me,” Langhorne said. “I started throwing harder and was able to put some guys away.”
Junior right-hander Tommy Healey pitched a scoreless seventh inning to close out the game for the Cardinals.
“Tommy did a great job as usual,” Arango said. “He’s been pitching like that for us all season.”
Greenwich scored one run in the second inning, added two more in the third and tacked on a run in the fourth. Junior center fielder Tyler Cusimano went 2 for 3 with one RBI to pace Greenwich’s lineup. Right fielder Ryan Perez, a junior, was 1 for 3, while senior outfielder Jack Zola was 1 for 2 with an RBI in the winning effort.
Junior Jack Zych and Echeto each had one hit and one RBI for Greenwich, which had six hits. Nick Parker pitched four innings for Danbury, yielding four runs. He was relieved by Eric McNamara, who pitched two scoreless innings. Echeto hit a run-scoring double, senior Cage Lasley drove in a run with a force out and Zola hit a sacrifice fly for the Cards.
“We only had six hits, but our hits were timely,” Arango said. “Getting runners in when they’re in scoring position has been something we’ve done pretty well.”
Greenwich plays Ridgefield in the FCIAC semifinals on Wednesday at Cubeta Stadium in Stamford at 7 p.m.
“One of our three losses is to Ridgefeld,” Arango said. “They have a deep pitching staff and one of the best lineups in the league. We’re going to show up and give our best performance.”
Said Langhorne: “This is an awesome way to start the tournament. We put ourselves in a good position with first-round bye and now putting ourselves into the semifinals feels great and we are hoping to keep this energy going.”