BRIDGEPORT >> The one thing you can always count on from the Fairfield Warde baseball team is aggression.
Down 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth against Ludlowe (9-6, 7-6, FCIAC), the Mustangs kept fighting and their offense delivered.
Warde scored seven runs in the fourth, and a strong performance from junior pitcher Nick Nardone did the rest, as Warde (10-5, 10-3, FCAIC) came away with a 7-5 victory over Ludlowe Monday evening at Harbor Yard.
“That’s how we play,” Warde head coach Mark Caron said. “I told the guys, if we’re going to go down, we’re going to go down being aggressive; that’s their personality, that’s my personality.”
Despite an early lead by Ludlowe, taking advantage of some jitters by the Mustangs, the highlight reel came in the later innings.
The bottom of the fourth Warde’s Giacomo Brancato tied the game at two with a shot to left field for a double. From there, the Mustangs used that attack mentality and seized the momentum. Sean Homa took first after being hit by a pitch and then a sac fly from Zach Weinstein gave the Mustangs a 3-2 lead that they never relinquished.
Michael Foley added to the lead as he collected a hit and reach third on an error. Two runs smade for the dominant 5-2 advantage.
“We really had a tremendous inning one through nine,” Caron said.
Warde added two more runs — RBI singles by Tommy Luckner and Narodne — and got the best of Ludlowe’s starter Kevin Hickey and the defense as he was replaced by David Pierpont.
“One inning just killed us,” Ludlowe head coach Mike Francese said. “Hats off to them for going at him (Hickey); he’s been pretty much lights out from innings one through six all season.”
After giving up two runs in the first inning, Nardone settled down with a changeup and fastball. He finished the evening going six innings in a dominant performance. He recorded six strikeouts, walked one and gave up just four hits.
Reece Maniscalco came in the seventh and ended the game with a strikeout.
“I was telling my team I only needed three, but to put up a seven spot like that…if we didn’t put up that seven spot this could be a loss for us,” Nardone said.
“Nick is a bulldog,” Caron said.
Warde’s Alex Goven finished the night with two hits and Nardone added two of his own.
Ludlowe made a rally in the sixth, as the Falcons scored one and then a double by Nick Warkentin scored two runs to make it 7-5.
The Falcons’ Patrick O’Leary, Taylor Szemplinski and Connor Daley each produced RBIs.
As big as the win was against a crosstown rival, Caron said it was even bigger for the FCIAC standings.
“It’s a huge FCIAC win for our program,” Caron said.
Warde 7, Ludlowe 5
Ludlowe 200 003 0: 5 4 2
Warde 000 700 x: 7 9 2