Receiving quality starts from its pitchers hasn’t been an issue for Greenwich’s baseball team this season but scoring runs on a consistent basis has. Yesterday, the Cardinals had both components working for them.
Senior pitcher Tyler Cusimano pitched five shutout innings of three-hit ball and Greenwich’s bats going in a crucial 10-0 late-season win over visiting Westhill in an FCIAC game.
The victory over a strong Vikings team improved the Cardinals’ record to 8-8 overall and 6-7 in the FCIAC. With the win, Greenwich earned a berth in the CIAC Class LL Tournament. Coach Adrian Arango’s Cardinals squad hopes to also qualify for the FCIAC Tournament but it needs to most likely, win the remainder of its games, while getting some help along the way.
“We hit our first goal of the year, it took us a little longer than expected – we qualified for the state tournament today – but I’m proud of the guys, very rarely have we scored in the first inning, so that was a great way to start the game,” Arango said.
Cusimano gave Greenwich another strong start on the mound – just what the team needed to keep their hopes of making the FCIAC tourney alive.
“My fastball was my best pitch,” said Cusimano, one of the Cards’ captains. “This was a statement win for our team. Not only did we beat a good team like Westhill, we won by the run rule and we qualified for states.”
“The big thing was Tyler putting up zeroes early,” Arango said. “That’s a really good lineup, that’s deep with a bunch of guys that can hit. Tyler made some good pitches and we made some good defensive plays. – I think giving the ball to a senior, a captain – relying on your seniors in these big moments, that’s going to help us.”
The Cardinals scored two runs in the first inning, added two more in the second inning, plated a run in the third and four more in the fourth against the Vikings, who are 10-6 in the season and entered the matchup in fourth place in the FCIAC. Greenwich ended the game due to the 10-run rule by scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Senior right fielder/captain Ryan Perez hit a two-run homer for Greenwich, which won its second straight game.
“When we played Bridgeport (a 20-5 win on Tuesday) that helped us get out of it and we carried the momentum from yesterday with a good team win,” Perez said. “Today was good hitting game for us and we have to carry it on to tomorrow against Wilton.”
The Cards visit Wilton today at 6 p.m.
Senior second baseman Tommy Healey had two hits, two runs scored and two RBI, sophomore first baseman John McHugh was 2 for 2 with a walk and an RBI, Cusimano had a hit and two RBIs and designated hitter Nathan Jones had two hits and one run scored in the victory.
Senior third baseman/captain Justin Zych had one hit and one RBI, senior center fielder James Babb added one hit and one run scored, as did senior left fielder Aidan Rosario. Shortstop Robert Rota, a senior, had one hit and knocked in a pair of runs to also pace Greenwich’s lineup.
“Guys got key hits in key spots, which is what we’ve been lacking this year – getting the big hit with runners on base and runners in scoring position,” Arango said.
Senior pitcher Craig Ottaviano got the start for the Vikings and pitched two innings, allowing five runs on five hits. He walked two batters, while striking out two. Cusimano registered five strikeouts on the mound for the Cardinals, who received a boost from Perez’s early two-run home run.
Healey ended the game by delivering an RBI single in the sixth inning, making it 10-0. Jones and McHugh also singled in the inning.
“We kind of had a chip on our shoulder,” McHugh said. “We had been struggling going into this game but we wanted to take advantage of their pitching and do the best we can to string hits together in big moments.”
“The pitching has been spot on, with Nathan and Tommy, it’s too bad we haven’t been able to pick those guys up, but today we really picked up Tyler and it was really important for him as a senior to lead us,” McHugh continued. “I think we’re getting hot and when we’re hot it’s going to be tough to beat us.”
Categories: Greenwich High, Spring sports
Great Job Johnny. Keep those hits coming !!!