Through 16 games, the Greenwich Cannons Senior American Legion baseball team has 11 wins, is tied for first place in Zone 4 and has the components in place to make a run for the state championship.
And that’s despite a three-game losing streak that the Cannons find themselves in.
Though the Cannons are battling their way through a three-game losing skid, their latest loss coming Wednesday evening against visiting Danbury Post 60, head coach Mike Abate’s squad, has displayed plenty of positive signs with more than 70 percent of the regular season in the books.
“For our guys, it’s just coming ready to play mentally,” Abate said. “We can beat any team in this league and we can lose to any team in this league if we don’t come ready to play.”
Following an 11-1 loss to Danbury on Tuesday, host Greenwich responded with a strong performance Wednesday, jumping out to a six-run lead, before the visitors stormed back.
Staging a four-run seventh-inning rally, Danbury Post 60 registered a hard-fought 9-8 comeback win over the Cannons in Senior American Legion Zone 4 action.
“Our at-bats were a lot better than our previous game, our team motivation was there,” said Greenwich second baseman Riley Redahan, who went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and one run scored. “When we’re on as a team, we can do some damage with the bats, we can make plays in the field and we can pitch perfectly.”
With seven games left in the regular season, the Cannons have a record of 11-5 and are tied atop the standings with Westport. Stamford is third in the standings with a record of 13-6, followed by Trumbull (11-7) and Danbury (11-7), rounding out the top five squads in the nine-team zone.
“Our first goal is to win the Zone and with that, we’ll get a good seed for the playoffs and then make a run for the state championship,” said Cannons third baseman Justin Zych, a 2022 Greenwich High graduate, who had two hits and two RBIs against Danbury.
Danbury struck first, scoring one run off Cannons right-hander Nathan Jones in the opening inning on an RBI triple by Jake Elston, a 2021 Brookfield High School graduate. Greenwich quickly took the lead in the bottom of the first inning, with Zych hitting a two-run double to the right center field gap against Danbury right-hander Jack Gunzy. Redahan, a rising Brunswick School senior, began the rally with a bunt single, then catcher Felipe Echeto, a 2021 Greenwich High graduate, doubled.
The Cannons added two more runs in the second inning on a run-scoring single by first baseman Tyler Cusimano (2022 GHS graduate) and an RBI double by Redahan.
In the third inning, the home team extended its advantage to 7-1. Shortstop Tommy Healey (2022 GHS graduate) drove in a run with a fielder’s chose ground ball, Zack Alza delivered an RBI single and Marc Thibeault hit a run-scoring single in the third for the Cannons.
“We definitely started really well, it’s been a rough couple of days, but we’ll bounce back,” said Zych, who excelled for Greenwich High’s baseball team this past spring. “We came out hot the first four innings. We hit a bunch of balls hard and then we cooled down a little bit, but overall, we still did really well today.”
Jones, a rising Greenwich High senior, pitched a scoreless second and third inning, before Danbury plated a pair of runs in the fourth, cutting the Cannons’ lead to 7-3. The fifth inning saw the visitors add two more runs, one of which scored off a double steal, as Redahan relieved Jones.
Redahan helped his own cause, lining an RBI single to the gap in left center field, making it 8-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“We got off to a good start and you have to give credit to Danbury, because they battled back,” Abate said. “They scored a couple in each inning, then put together that big seventh inning.”
That key seventh inning for Danbury featured an RBI single by Casey Katz and a two-out, two-run double by Nicholas Mercing, which knotted the score at 8-8. Just one out away from winning the game, the Cannons fell behind, 9-8, when Jackson Ciccone drove home a run.
The Cannons get another chance to defeat Danbury when it visits them today in the final game of their three-game series.
“Credit to them for a good game and we hope the ball bounces our way tomorrow,” Abate said. “Even with this loss, we’re still tied for first. We are in a three-game losing streak and we have to figure out a way to get back on the winning side of things.”
Redahan had three hits, while Zych, Alza and Thibeault each delivered two hits for the Cannons. Cusimano had one hit and one run scored, as did Echeto.
“We’re pitching very well, we’re hitting well,” Cusimano said.”Our pitchers have great. It’s not often where we’ll do this. It’s nice to be able to play them three days in a row – there’s no time to think about it.”
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