Greenwich Senior American Legion Cannons manager Mike Abate has seen different players spark the team in most of its games so far this summer.
Saturday, Riley Redahan performed the leading role for the Cannons.
Redahan pitched 4 1/3 effective innings and went 2 for 3 with two RBI to lead Greenwich to a 3-2 victory over Westport in a Senior American Legion Zone 4 game at Wakeman Park in Westport.
The win upped the Cannons’ record to 12-3 heading into their Monday matchup against Ridgefield at Julian Curtiss School. Through 15 games, Greenwich is in first place in the Western Division of Zone 4, thanks to receiving the type of pitching performances Redahan and relievers Christian Mingione and Jake Mondschein exhibited on Saturday against Westport Legion.
“Most of the guys are coming in and throwing strikes,” Abate said of his squad’s pitchers. “We have good quality guys who are going to throw strikes and we’re playing really good defense behind them and that’s the key.”
A rising junior at Brunswick School, Redahan threw 82 pitches in 4 1/3 innings, allowed two runs, none of which were earned. The Cannons right-hander effectively mixed his pitches throughout.
“When I’m on the mound, I’m just trying to locate as best as possible,” Redahan said. “I’m not a guy who can blow people away with my fastball, I just try to locate and get people off balance with the curve ball. The curve ball was a little off today, but the fastball was locating nicely. Besides that, I’m happy with how I pitched. I walked a couple of guys, but the defense had my back.”
Christian Mingione, a 2021 Greenwich High School graduate who started the game at shortstop, pitched two innings of scoreless innings of relief for the Cannons. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Westport catcher Ben Schattman and outfielder Zach Zobel each drew walks off Mingione to start the inning. Abate called upon Mondschein, a left-hander, to record the final three outs and Mondschein pitched out of the inning unscathed, sealing the Cannons’ 12th win of the season.
A 2020 Greenwich High graduate, Mondschein struck out a batter and retired Westport’s other two hitters on a pop and ground out to pick up the save.
“The mindset was to pound the zone and come right at them,” said Mondschein, who faced a first-and-second no outs situation. “If I’m going to get beat, I’m going to get beat with them hitting it, instead of me walking batters. I had to be careful and come right at them, because they’re good players.”
Getting the first out of the seventh on a pop out gave Mondschein a big boost.
“That’s a huge relief, because you’re one pitch away,” said Mondschein, one of the Cannons’ reliable starting pitchers. “I feel like I’m in the driver’s seat in that situation.”
Said Abate: “I put Jake in a tough situation to close the game out. It’s not an ideal situation. Jake’s one of our starters, this was a bullpen day for him, but he’s finding a way to get outs and he stepped up for us.”
Westport received five solid innings from right-hander Ryan Friesen, who threw 100 pitches and allowed three runs. Jumper Quinn and Alex Petrsoric each pitched one scoreless inning of relief for Westport (7-7).
“We got ahead early, but their pitcher had good stuff,” Abate said Friesen. “Give credit to Westport, because they played a great game.”
The Cannons scored all their runs in the third inning against Friesen. Catcher Hunter Gruenstrass and outfielder Ben Nash, both of whom graduated from Greenwich in 2020, each walked. With two outs, Justin Zych grounded a single through the right side, scoring Nash and giving Greenwich a 1-0 lead.
“There were two outs, I just wanted to put the ball in play, said Zych, a rising GHS senior. “We were struggling at the plate a little bit, so it definitely gave us a spark.”
Greenwich increased its lead, as Redahan helped his own cause. Redahan hit a single to center field, scoring Gruenstrass and Zych to put the Cannons ahead, 3-0.
“He was trying to blow people away with his curve ball and he had a nice fastball that he was trying to get by people,” Redahan said of his hit against Friesen. “So I tried to shorten up with two strikes and put the ball in play.”
Said Zych: “Riley was able to come up with another big hit and we got two more runs after that, which provided us with enough runs for what we needed.”
Scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Westport cut Greenwich’s lead to 3-2. Brian Rabacs led off the inning with a walk, then Cameron Manna reached first on an error off a bunt. Rabacs scored on a error in the inning and Manna came home when Schattman hit a sacrifice fly to left center field, making it 3-2.
Mingione, a 2021 GHS graduate, relieved Redahan with one out in the fourth inning and the Cannons holding a 3-2 lead. He retired the final two batters of the inning, then pitched a scoreless fifth inning.
After hosting Ridgefield on Monday, the Cannons, who received two hits from first baseman Cage Lasley on Saturday, play a three-game series against Stamford Tuesday-Thursday. As of Saturday, Stamford had a 9-3 record in the Zone 4 Western Division and Danbury was at 11-4.
“We’re 12-3, we’re sitting atop the division and we’re taking one game at a time,” Abate said. “It’s a close race right now. I love the way my guys are playing. Different guys are stepping up each day. Today, it was Riley. On the mound, he was great and he got the big at-bat, he got the big hit. He and Justin were able to manufacture some runs for us.”
“It’s been a great year for us so far, we’re first in the standings, but we have to keep winning,” Zych said. “It’s close with us and Danbury and every game counts, so this was an important win for us.”
Categories: Summer Sports