New Canaan breaks out bats in scrimmage win
GREENWICH - The New Canaan Rams brought out the bats in a big way Tuesday night against the Brunswick Bruins, pushing seven runs across the plate in the first two innings en route to a 9-3 victory.
The seven run cushion was more than enough for Alex Farina, who drew the start for New Canaan. Farina pitched four strong innings of two-run ball, fanning seven Brunswick batters while permitting only three hits and one free pass.
"I was pretty satisfied for the second time out in the cold," said Farina, a senior captain. "A couple bad calls on the umpire's part, but that's not really a big deal. But I was pretty satisfied with the seven strikeouts."
New Canaan catcher Casey Ouellette drove the fourth pitch of the game deep to straight away centerfield for a standup triple. Shortstop Andrew Casali knocked him in with a single to center, leftfielder Cameron Armstrong drew a walk and Casali and Armstrong executed a double steal. Farina drew a walk to load the bases, right fielder Chris Laird hit a sacrifice fly to plate Casali and first baseman Will Carl singled to knock in Armstrong and Farina after they had advanced two third and second base, respectively.
New Canaan continued its hot hitting in the top of the second, plating three runs on the strength of a two-RBI double by Farina and an RBI single by Laird.
For New Canaan, which finished last season at 7-13 to miss the state tournament by one game, the scrimmage was the third out of four consecutive days of scrimmaging, and the Rams feel as though the heavy dose of game action is serving them well with Opening Day at Danbury on Wednesday looming on the horizon.
"Everybody's getting a shot to show what they've got," New Canaan captain and left fielder Cameron Armstrong said. "Last year we lost most of our games by just a couple of runs, and if we eliminate some of those mistakes that we made last year I think the turnout will be a lot better in the win column."
"Going into this year we really want to rebound. We're using last year as motivation to kind of give us that spark that we're going to need this year to make the playoffs," New Canaan captain Tom Krieger said. "I've got all the confidence in the world in our guys. We've got a lot of young talent and a lot of seniors so I think we should make a playoff push this year."
New Canaan's second year coach Mitch Hoffman wasn't shy about sharing his lofty expectations for his Rams.
"When we start, the goal is nothing less than to win every game. It's a goal to win both [the FCIAC and State Championship], and we won't compromise with anything less," Hoffman said. "One thing I've liked so far is the chemistry. A lot of older guys are working with the younger guys and the chemistry is really going to help us prevail."