New Canaan baseball falls in FCIAC quarters to Trumbull
Updated 9:36 pm, Wednesday, May 22, 2013
NEW CANAAN -- Oftentimes in baseball a simple bounce or tricky hop can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
After registering one hit in 4 2/3 innings Monday and trailing 1-0 to No. 4 seed New Canaan with its season on the line, No. 5 Trumbull was sprung to life as a result of such a circumstance and put together a big inning to begin its FCIAC title defense.
Rams pitcher Andrew Casali had retired six straight before Vinny Ciambriello hit a ground ball that bounced right on top of the first base bag and into the outfield for a single.
The play led to a five-run -- all with two outs -- fifth inning highlighted by Colin Keyes' three-run double as the Eagles advanced to the semifinals of the FCIAC tournament with a 6-3 win over host New Canaan at Mead Park. Trumbull will meet Greenwich on Wednesday at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport (5 or 7:30) in a rematch of last season's championship game.
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"Momentum seemed to be going (New Canaan's) way after they scored in the bottom of the fourth," Trumbull coach Phil Pacelli said. "Sometimes you need a funny play, a funny bounce, to change things in your favor and that definitely did for us. The bats started to come alive after that."
After Ciambriello reached and was lifted for a pinch-runner, Brandon Liscinksy was hit by a pitch and Willy Velez tied the game with an RBI single. Casey Mack followed with a double before Trumbull (15-6, 14-5 FCIAC) loaded the bases and Keyes drilled a ball down the line to make it 5-1.
"We're just doing our jobs out there," Mack said. "Just getting men on base and you have to hit the ball to get them in and that's what we did. That's how we win games."
New Canaan (16-5, 14-5 FCIAC) tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh inning trailing 6-1. Base hits by Matt Toth and Casali set up the Rams with one out and Toth scored on a throwing error by the Eagles. Erik Jager beat out an infield single to plate Casali, but Trumbull relief pitcher Avery Santos got Nick Cascione to pop out to end the game.
"We never die," New Canaan coach Mitch Hoffman said. "We go on the bootstraps of Casali and (Casey) Oullette. Casali had three hits today and battled. He had a tough inning (on the mound); (Trumbull) got a couple hits off him. He isn't the best player in the FCIAC for nothing. You just have to tip your cap to Trumbull."
The Rams hit the ball hard against Trumbull starting pitcher Gerard Spiegel, but despite drawing four walks and eight hits, couldn't do enough offensively to claim the win.
"We didn't' take advantage of the opportunities we had," Hoffman said. "Both teams battled; (Spiegel) was on the ropes a little bit. We obviously hit; we had eight hits today. We just didn't make enough plays. It was a great baseball game."
The Eagles, who won their last three games of the regular season to make the tournament, are two victories away from the first back-to-back titles in school history.
"We're a team that figures back, we always come back fighting," Mack said. "We go out there play good defense and get good pitching. We were able to get back in it."
TRUMBULL 000 050 1--6 8 1
NEW CANAAN 000 100 2--3 8 0
Records: Trumbull 15-6, 14-5 FCIAC; New Canaan 16-5, 14-5. Batteries: T--Gerard Spiegel (W), Avery Santos (S) and James DeNomme; NC--Andrew Casali (L) and Casey Oullette. Highlights: T--Colin Keyes went 1-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Willy Velez went 2-for-4 with an RBI. NC--Andrew Casali went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Casey Oullette went 1-for-3 with a walk, double and an RBI.