Greenwich Cannons extend winning streak to nine
GREENWICH — Winning each series and claiming the Zone 4 titles were among the Greenwich Cannons’ main goals entering the season. Two thirds into the season, the Cannons are well on their way to crossing those goals off their list.
The Cannons put yet another win in the books Thursday, extending their long success streak in the process. Left-hander Andrew Desino pitched five strong innings for the Cannons, who used a four-run fifth inning to register an impressive 6-2 victory over Darien/New Canaan in a Senior American Legion Zoe 4 game at Greenwich High School.
With their ninth straight triumph, the Cannons upped their record to a robust 17-1. They lead Stamford in the standings by two games in the loss column. Stamford is 16-3 on the season.
“We are getting good pitching, getting timely hits and playing good defense,” Cannons coach Mike Abate said. “Our goal coming into the season was to win every series. If you win every series, you put yourself into position to win the zone. If you win your zone, you get a bye going into the postseason.”
Desino (3-0), meanwhile, held Darien/New Canaan scoreless until the fourth inning, mixing his pitches well.
“Coach tells us to establish our fastball early and after the first inning, I settled down,” Desino said. “My curveball was also pretty good. Our fielding has been great all year, which has really helped our pitchers. Ryan (King) made some great plays in center field and Colin (Kelly) at shortstop has been picking the ball all year.”
Nick Walter got the start for Darien/New Canaan (12-7) and pitched three innings, yielding two runs.
“Our pitching and defense has been good all year, it’s our hitting that has struggled a bit,” Darien/New Canaan coach Jason Schofield said. “Our offense has been struggling, so hopefully our bats will come around. Nick Walter allowed only two earned runs coming into this game, he’s been great.”
Loparco singled and Wil Salomon and Kelly each drew walks in the second inning, as the Cannons extended their lead on catcher Marco Pastore’s RBI groundout.
However, the Cannons gave themselves some breathing room with one of their signature big innings in the fifth. Mike Genaro’s pinch-hit two-run double to right center field keyed the four-run inning. Loparco also had a hit in the inning.
King, Loparco and Mini have sparked the Cannons at the plate from the top three spots in the order all season.
“Our lineup is pretty tough to handle when we have everyone here — it’s tough for pitchers to get through it,” Mini said. “I’ve been looking for high fastballs and when I get them, I’ve been able to turn on them and get hits.”
Said Loparco: “Everyone is confident at the plate and we feel good about how we are playing right now. We believe we are one of the best teams in the zone and the state.”
Kelly allowed one run in two innings of work to pick up the save for the red-hot Cannons.