BRIDGEPORT >> Aside from a memorable game-ending celebration at the pitcher’s mound, that Hunter Hewitt called “The greatest moment of his life,” the Fairfield Warde baseball team sure didn’t look like a team that was playing for its first ever conference title.
Saturday afternoon at Harbor Yard, the sixth-seeded Mustangs, made the key hits, took advantage of its opponent’s errors and stayed composed as they defeated No. 5 Trumbull 4-0 to win the program’s first FCIAC title.
“It’s so rewarding and to do it with this group of kids is really special,” Warde head coach Mark Caron said.
For Warde, Saturday was all about having fun and enjoying the moment. The Mustangs, who were making their first appearance in a championship, took to the role of the underdog and embraced the challenge of playing a team that beat them 17-3 in the regular season.
“There’s nothing better than an underdog winning an FCIAC championship,” senior Tommy Luckner said.
The Mustangs did the bulk of its offensive damage early. In the top of the second, Anthony Miller got things going with a single, and with runners on the corners, Zach Weinstein laced one to left field as Jack Myers tagged up from third to make it 1-0.
With two outs, Trumbull could have ended the inning, but an error at third put two on, and Luckner made them pay, as he connected with one to right field for a triple that scored two.
The Eagles had their chances, but self-made errors cost them, including a base-running error that resulted in a throw down from home to third, which Warde converted for the out.
Backed by a solid defensive performance, included a highlight worthy save at third from Weinstein, and stellar job on the mound from Hewitt, Warde looked all the part of a veteran club who was ready for the spotlight Saturday.
“He (Caron) just said stay in the moment,” Hewitt said. “We’re not going to take this for granted…you know, we just had to stay with it and play.”
Added Caron: “You saw some of the defensive plays, we were definitely not nervous today. They just believed that they could do it. They were motivated and hungry.”
Hewitt, a lefty, finished the afternoon giving up no runs, just four hits in five and 2/3 innings, as he kept Trumbull off balance and was named the Most Valuable Player.
“His last two starts he didn’t give up an earned run, so I didn’t think it was even a question,” Caron said of starting Hewitt. “He earned this.”
Trumbull went through three pitchers, as Colin Keyes took the loss.
Warde added an insurance run in the top of the seventh as Trumbull walked Glacomo Brancato which brought up Christian Sabella. Sabella drilled on to the outfield as Warde scored to make it 4-0.
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