New Canaan rallies from big deficit to beat St. Joseph
NEW CANAAN -- It's almost as if the New Canaan bats don't hit unless the Rams are in a hole.
New Canaan came from behind on multiple occasions Wednesday, as it has all year, beating St. Joseph 10-9 in a wild back and forth baseball game.
"Sometimes we come out a little bit flat which we definitely need to work on," said shortstop Brandon Abate, who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs in the win. "But in the big spots everyone's been doing a great job of picking each other up and getting the clutch hits."
St. Joe got off to a roaring start, scoring in four different innings of the contest, highlighted by the efforts ofMatt Laveneziana, who hit a two-run homer and ultimately drove in four runs in the loss. Unfortunately for the Cadets they could never quite finish the job when New Canaan came to bat.
"Our guys gave the effort, they fought hard all day," said St. Joseph coach Jim Chaves, whose team was eliminated from the FCIAC playoff race with the loss. "But the bottom line is the way the game finished; that's why they're 15-4 and were 9-9, they pull out games like that -- we don't."
St. Joseph headed into the bottom of the fifth with a 7-1 lead but New Canaan recorded six runs on six hits in the inning, with Kane Curtin's three-run bomb to right center providing the exclamation point.
The Cadets then retaliated in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs on base hits by Tully Horne and Laveneziana to take a 9-7 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning however New Canaan put up three, starting with a double by David Giusti and culminating in RBI hits by Kyle Levasseur and Zach Smith. From there New Canaan pitcher Tom Williams was able to earn the save by working around a Neil Valesquez double and inducing a pop up to center and two groundouts to short.
The loss was crushing to St. Joseph, which desperately needed a win to stay afloat in the FCIAC playoff hunt, but now will have to look ahead to states.
"We'll try to win out our next two and just focus to states," Chaves said. "We'd love to play in the FCIACs but it's not our year."
Although New Canaan is comfortably in the FCIAC playoffs, and now sits as the No. 2 seed, the Rams had a little more to play for Wednesday as it was Senior Day at Mead Park.
"They gave me a gift," Rams coach Mitch Hoffman said of the win. "It's the first time I've beaten St. Joe since I've been here; this is a tremendous senior class, I can't say enough about them."
Abate, a senior captain who provided much of the pop along with his stellar play at short, deflected praise after the win.
"It's a great fight and great feeling to win on Senior Day in front of everyone; it means a lot," Abate said. "It was a great job of everyone, especially the younger guys, of picking each other up."
New Canaan 10, St. Joseph 9
ST. JOSEPH 022 302 0--9 13 2
NEW CANAAN 100 063 X--10 10 2
Records: St. Joseph 9-9, 8-9 FCIAC; New Canaan 15-4, 14-3. Batteries: SJ--Mike Rotundo (5.1, L), Mike D'Agostino and Brendan Rush; NC--Clark Newlove (3.1), Jack Havard (2), Mike Pelli (.2, W), Tom Williams (S) and Zach Smith. Highlights: SJ--Matt Laveneziana hit a two-run homer and drove in four. NC--Kane Curtin hit a three-run, game tying home run in the fifth. Brandon Abate went 3-4 with four RBIs and a run scored. Robby Jones, Kyle Lavasseur, Zach Smith and David Giusti all scored twice.