St. Luke's baseball rallies but falls short against Brunswick
Updated 8:42 pm, Wednesday, April 18, 2012
NEW CANAAN -- A lot of small ball added up to another impressive run total and yet another victory for the Brunswick baseball team.
It needed every sacrifice, double steal and infield single it could generate to put away a feisty opponent.
The Bruins took advantage of a costly fielding error to score four runs in the top of the eighth inning and defeat St. Luke's
10-6 on Tuesday.
With the score tied at 6 with two outs and runners on first and second in the top of the eighth, Brandon Muto hit a ground ball to the St. Luke's shortstop, but a wild throw to first base allowed Sam Fraser to score what would prove to be the winning run.
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"(Kagen) put a good swing on the ball and I tip my cap to him," Voigt said. "It was a 3-2 pitch and I put it where I wanted to, he just hit the ball hard."
Brunswick (7-2) extended its lead in the eighth following the error on a double steal and a two-run double by Ryan Hardin. The small-ball approach is paying major dividends as the Bruins have won seven straight games.
"Our objective is to use a team approach to every inning in every game," Brunswick coach Johnny Montanez said. "Any chance we get to put a run on the board we are going to take advantage of it, no matter what."
Of the 13 hits Brunswick recorded, only one went for extra bases.
After dropping their first two games to start the season, the Bruins are beginning to resemble the group that is considered one of the favorites for the FAA title. Despite not having hit the midway point of the season, each victory raises expectations that this is the year the school earns an FAA title.
"We need to play our best baseball to win," Montanez said. "We make few mistakes, we play defense, we hit the ball hard and have quality at-bats. I think we can win any game against any team we play."
The Storm (3-5) showed a lot of resiliency in what has been a tough start to the season. They came into the game on the back of an tough 2-1 defeat to Hopkins and put together another strong effort Tuesday, but have nothing to show for their recent efforts.
"Errors in the field hurt us today, but I think this the best game we played all year," St. Luke's coach Stephen Benko said. "Our guys were in the game, they were having fun. We have had some tough losses this year and this one is going to sting but we are going to bounce back from it."
Brunswick appeared to be coasting to a comfortable win against a team lacking confidence, but St. Luke's pulled together and rallied from two-run deficits in both the sixth and seventh innings.
"We have good kids on our team which is very important," Benko said. "Everyone picks each other up and we will get better as the season goes along."
Kagen went 3-for-4 with two doubles in addition to the homer. Starting pitcher Morgan Simmonds went five innings and yielded four runs for the Storm.
Brunswick gets an opportunity to avenge one of its two losses in its next game, when it travels to New Haven Thursday to take on the Hopkins School.
The Bruins opened the season with a 5-2 defeat to the FAA's runner-up, but the Hilltoppers are probably going to see a far better effort the second time around.
"We've been looking forward to it since we lost to them, we have it circled on our calender," Voigt said. "It's a big game and we're going to do what we can to get the win."
Ryan Lacey is a correspondent from Fairfield County.