Casali goes the distance in New Canaan baseball's rout of McMahon
NEW CANAAN -- When a team plates nine two-out runs in the first three innings, it's usually a good sign.
The New Canaan baseball team's clutch hitting proved to be the difference in a 10-3 triumph over visiting Brien McMahon on Friday afternoon at Mead Park.
The timely hitting -- combined with starting pitcher Andrew Casali's complete game -- paved the way for the streaking Rams to win their fourth straight while improving to 8-1 on the season.
"I was on a week-and-a-half rest this time, so I felt pretty fresh. I was just trusting what Casey (Oullette) was calling and trying to hit the spot every time, and it worked pretty well," Casali said. "(The two-out hitting) really shows what our team is all about. We never give up on an inning, and we can always score runs."
Oullette, New Canaan's catcher, opened the bottom of the first by drawing a walk against McMahon starter Mark Ballard. After Ballard rebounded to retire the next two, Brian Moran notched his first of three singles to put runners on the corners with two outs.
Moran stole second base, and the throw sailed into center field, allowing Oullette to score. Erik Jager reached on an error, Alex Curto walked and Nick Cascione hit an RBI double to help the Rams build a 3-0 first inning lead.
"We came out with an aggressive, really fast first inning. It's big for us because it sets up our pitching," Moran said. "Capitalizing on other teams errors is always important. You've got to score when you've got runners on. When you do that, you win."
After Ballard retired the first two New Canaan hitters in the bottom of the third, the Rams broke the game open with six runs (two earned). In consecutive at bats, Cascione singled, Henry Lavieri walked, Alex LaPolice doubled, Oullette singled, Matt Toth doubled, Casali walked, Moran singled and Erik Jager doubled for a 9-0 lead.
"It's nice to see this happening. We just tell them to get in there, take aggressive cuts and things will happen," New Canaan coach Mitch Hoffman said. "The ball bounced the wrong way a few times for (McMahon) and we capitalized on it. That's important. You've got to continue to make that happen."
Several defensive miscues contributed to McMahon's nine-run hole. In total, the Senators (3-5) committed four errors, and only three of New Canaan's 10 runs were earned.
"When you play one of the class teams in the league, you have to play a complete game. When you boot four or five balls, it's not going to happen. You're not going to win," McMahon coach John Cross said. "I thought we swung the bats pretty well. Their pitcher was pounding the zone all day. New Canaan is a good team."
Ballard was removed in favor of reliever Andrew Seiden, who pitched the final 5ï»¿1/3 innings while giving up just one run.
"(Seiden) did a good job. That was his first appearance of the year," Cross said. "Seeing him come in and being pretty effective was important for us."
Casali didn't allow the Senators a hit until Edwin Owolo roped an RBI double down the left field line in the top of the fourth, but the New Canaan hurler was unaware of his brief no-hit bid.
"Honestly, I had absolutely no clue," Casali said. "It helps a lot getting early run support because you've just got to throw strikes. I love the run support."
Casali scattered four hits, struck out four, walked one and hit a batter.
The Rams added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Curto and pinch hitter CJ Altman led off the inning with consecutive doubles.
"It's a nice start, but we've got to keep it going," Moran said.
McMahon third baseman Chris Wintrop had to exit the game after a collision with Lavieri on a play at third base. Wintrop was unable to put weight on his leg while leaving the field, but Cross indicated that he should be fine.
"He's bruised on the shin, but I think he'll be alright," Cross said.
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New Canaan 10, McMahon 3
MCMAHON 000 300 0--3 4 4
NEW CANAAN 306 001 X--10 11 3
Records: McMahon 3-5, 2-5 FCIAC; New Canaan 7-1, 6-1 FCIAC.
Batteries: NC--Andrew Casali (W) and Casey Ouellette; M--Mark Ballard (L), Andrew Seiden and Mike Giordano. Highlights: NC--Brian Moran had three hits. Nick Cascione had two hits, including a double. Casali threw a complete game. M--Andrew Seiden gave up one run in five and a third innings. Edwin Owolo doubled. Alex Valenzano singled and walked.