NEW CANAAN — There’s a reason Ridgefield is the No. 1 team in the FCIAC.
Actually, there’s several.
One being the pitching that the Tigers possess, and another the ability to piece things together despite an otherwise lethargic performance.
Both those factors were at play Wednesday as the Tigers edged out New Canaan 4-2 at Mead Park.
“We were a little sluggish and a little flat, they gift-wrapped four runs with the walks and the guy couldn’t find the plate and then we went to sleep,” Tigers coach Paul Fabbri said. “…That’s the difference between teams that win and lose, who can get the hit at the opportune time. They had a rally and (starter Jake Artzt) shut it down and that’s the difference, our pitching has been superb all year.”
Ridgefield (14-3, 11-2 FCIAC) got two runs in the first after two walks and a hit batter set up a Nicholas Hanna single and a Joseph Pastore sacrifice fly.
The second was similar, as the Tigers scored two runs via two walks, a sac bunt, a Matthew Stamatis single and then Matthew Restivo coming home on a double-steal.
“We couldn’t overcome our early mistakes and that’s pretty much it,” New Canaan coach Geoff Lambert said. “The walks and a hit batter, we couldn’t overcome that…we didn’t put the bat on the ball enough. Two weeks ago we were hitting the snot out of the ball and now we’re struggling for hits; we’re playing quality teams now.”
The Rams (9-8, 7-6) had the bases loaded and nobody out in the second, but could only muster one run on a 6-4-3 double play.
New Canaan’s second run came in the fifth after Frankie Ramppen hit a two-out single and scored from first on Nate Bozzella’s double down the left-field line.
Ridgefield had a chance to add on in the fifth inning, putting runners on the corners with nobody out, but New Canaan third baseman Jack DeFrancesco climbed the ladder for a hard-hit liner, and doubled up the runner at third.
Ram catcher Griffin Arnone threw out a would be base-stealer at second to end the inning.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Ridgefield’s pitchers. Starter Jake Artzt went five innings, giving up two runs and picking up the win while ace Alex Price came in for the final two, notching three strikeouts and a save to hold the normally prolific New Canaan bats.
“Each member of the staff has been having some good outings and that’s really helped our confidence as players and as a team,” Price said. “…as long as we throw strikes and trust our stuff and our team, we’ll be just fine.”
WHAT A RELIEF
After control issues chased New Canaan starter Patrick Metzger with one out in the second, junior Andrew Jordan entered and threw 5.1 stellar innings of shutout ball.
“I can’t say enough about what Andrew Jordan did,” Lambert said. “He’s been floating down to JV and got his pitching in there because early in the season he wasn’t going to be pitching, but I think he just worked his way into the rotation. Andrew Jordan gave us a chance to win today, but unfortunately we couldn’t overcome those two innings.”
RIDGEFIELD 4, NEW CANAAN 2
RIDGEFIELD 2 2 0 0 0 0 0—4 5 1
NEW CANAAN 0 1 0 0 1 0 0—2 4 2
Records: Ridgefield 14-3, 11-2 FCIAC; New Canaan 9-8, 7-6. Batteries: R—Jake Artzt (W), Alex Price (6, S) and Ben Cohen; NC—Patrick Metzger (L), Andrew Jordan (2), Frankie Ramppen (7). Highlights: R—Alex Price had a two-inning save and went 1-3 at the plate with a walk and run scored. Matthew Stamatis went 3-3 with a walk, RBI and run scored. NC—Andrew Jordan threw 5.1 innings of scoreless ball in relief.