After a rough beginning, the week certainly concluded in successful fashion for the Greenwich Senior American Legion Cannons.
Following three straight losses to Stamford (Tuesday-Thursday), the Cannons swept a doubleheader on the road against Stratford Saturday, then scored a decisive win over formidable Fairfield on Sunday.
Riley Redahan went 4 for 4, Tyler Cusimano had three hits, Christian Mingione collected two RBIs and Jake Mondschein pitched six strong innings to lead Greenwich to an 8-1 victory over Fairfield Legion at Julian Curtiss School.
With the triumph, the Cannons raised their record to 16-6. They are in second place in Zone 4’s Western Division. Danbury is atop the Zone 4 Western Division standings with a 17-6 mark and Stamford is behind Greenwich in third place at 13-7 in the six-team division. Fairfield entered Sunday’s matchup with a record of 16-3 and is atop the Zone 4 Eastern Division standings. Monday marks the beginning of the final week of the Senior American Legion regular season. The Senior American Legion State Tournament begins Saturday, but some teams may get a bye over the weekend, depending on their record.
Cannons manager Mike Abate is impressed with how his team bounced back from losing three straight games to Stamford in the middle of the week.
“We came out flat against Stamford, but give Stamford credit, they played well and had a great series,” Abate said. “We came back strong from that, we got two yesterday against Stratford and today, we beat a very good Fairfield team.”
Greenwich scored two runs in the first inning, added three runs in the second, two more in the fifth and one in the sixth.
“Fairfield is the No. 1 team in the Zone with only three losses coming into today, so this was a big win for us,” said Abate, whose squad hosts Danbury on Monday at Julian Curtiss School in a rescheduled game from July 8.
The Cannons’ deep lineup set the tone in the bottom of the first inning, tallying a pair of runs. Cusimano and Redahan, both outfielders, began the inning with singles. Mingione, a shortstop, followed with a two-run single, giving Greenwich a 2-0 lead on Fairfield.
“We knew Fairfield was one of the toughest competitors that we were going to play, so it was important for us to come out and perform at a high level,” said Cusimano, a rising Greenwich High School senior. “The first inning was great for us. Mingione hitting that two-run single got us off to a good start and helped make us feel comfortable for the rest of the game.”
A three-run second inning extended the Cannons’ advantage to 5-0. Catcher Felipe Echeto singled to start the inning and first baseman Cage Lasley walked. Second baseman Auggie Bancroft, Cusimano and Redahan each delivered singles, resulting in three more runs and putting the home team on top, 5-0.
“I knew they had a really good pitcher, so the first two at-bats, I tried to go the other way and I was able to hit the ball well,” said Redahan, a Brunswick School student. “Our lineup top to bottom is tough with a lot of potential. One through nine, we are all doing our job. The lineup has speed and power, which makes it tough for pitchers.”
Fairfield scored a run in the top of the third inning against Mondschein, as outfielder Brady Pomer singled and first baseman Matthew Sawyer and shortstop John Mcadams each drew walks. But that’s the lone run Mondschein, a left-hander, yielded. He recorded five strikeouts in six innings.
“I had to battle out there today,” Mondschein said “My fastball control was not there, but our defense played impeccably, which made it easier for me to pitch.”
The fifth inning saw the Cannons add on to their lead against Fairfield left-hander Kevin Donahue. Echeto delivered a double to deep right center field, third baseman Justin Zych singled sharply to center field and with two outs, Cusimano hit a two-run single to center, upping Greenwich’s edge to 7-1. In the sixth inning, Redahan singled for his fourth hit of the game, Tommy Healey reached on an infield error and outfielder Ben Nash reached on an infield single, scoring another run and giving the Cannons an 8-1 advantage.
“Our team has a great mix of experienced players and younger players and each player has a specific characteristic and strength,” said Echeto, who graduated from Greenwich last month. “Our lineup has a good mix of older and younger guys and our older guys have helped the younger guys throughout the season.”
Echeto had two hits and two runs scored and Lasley scored two runs for the victors.
Greenwich plays Danbury Monday, then Stratford on Wednesday and Thursday. Monday’s game could be for first place in the Zone 4’s Western Division.
“Tomorrow could be make-or-break for us,” Cusimano said. “It could determine how we are seeded in the tournament.”
Mondschein likes what he sees from the squad as the postseason approaches.
“I feel good about how our team is playing going into the playoffs,” he said. “We are starting to hit our stride. We had a tough week, but we were able to push our way through these strong teams we played.”
Categories: Summer Sports
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