NORWALK — The best-laid schemes of mice and men, the poet Robert Burns wrote, often go awry.
The same could be said about baseball coaches.
Just two full innings into Friday’s FCIAC baseball game between St. Joseph and host Norwalk, seven runs had been scored, both starters had been pulled and teams were adjusting on the fly.
The Cadets adjusted a little bit more quickly and earned a 9-4 win at the Callahan Athletic Complex.
“Come on the road and you’ll take any win in this league,” St. Joseph coach Jim Chaves said. “They’re all difficult.”
The Cadets jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but Norwalk answered with pair of runners in the home half of the inning.
St. Joe’s made it a 4-2 game in the second, only to see Norwalk again make it a one-run game in the bottom of the inning.
After Chaves watched his starter walk two batters to lead off the bottom of the third, he gave the ball to reliever Trent Price instead.
Price proceeded to get out of the inning and put up four straight scoreless innings.
“Trent definitely came in and settled the game down, big-time, with those four zeroes in a row,” Chaves said. “He made some big pitches when he had to.”
With their pitching issues settled, St. Joe’s blew the game open in the fourth inning.
Hadyn Gourley and Owen Horne opened the inning with back-to-back base hits before Jake DeLeo ripped a two-run double to right-center field.
“It was awesome,” said DeLeo, a Norwalk resident who was 2 for 4 with two doubles. “We were up a little bit, but I wanted to blow the game open. I got a pitch I could handle and I went the other way with it.”
Two more runs pushed the Cadets’ advantage to 8-3 after four.
The rest was Price sitting down batters. In five innings of work, he scattered five hits with a walk and struck out one batter.
He gave up a solo home run to Norwalk’s Mike Boyian, but pitched out of a bases-loaded jam to cap the win.
“I just wanted to get us the win,” Price said. “I had to get us out of that (third) inning and I knew (the) boys can hit. I knew we’d get it going.”
THE HIT PARADE
The Cadets rapped out 12 hits against a trio of Norwalk pitchers.
DeLeo (2 RBIs) and Gourley (run scored) both had two hits as did Jack Matthews (1 RBI) and Alex Pagliarini (1 RBI).
Stephan Paolini scored three times after notching one hit and a walk. Aaron Kirby also plated two runs with a hit.
TIME TO BEAR DOWN
After answering St. Joe’s twice, Norwalk had no answer for Price or the Cadets beyond the fourth.
Gavin Kee and Brendan Edvardsen had three hits apiece for Norwalk, combining for six of the team’s eight total hits.
Norwalk fell to 1-6, leaving Tucci in a quandary about what to do with his young team.
“If you can’t bring what you do in practice to the field, then you’re not a varsity player,” Tucci said. “I’m sorry, but you’re not. We’re pretending right now that we’re a varsity team and we’re not. Yeah, there’s a lot of talent, but right now there’s not a lot of excellent baseball being played.”
ST. JOSEPH 9, NORWALK 4
ST. JOSEPH 310 401 0—9 12 1
NORWALK 210 000 1—4 8 1
Records: SJ—5-0 , N—1-6; Batteries: Ben Talbot, Trent Price (3) and Aaron Kirby; Gavin Kempa, David Chuba (3), Jack Letizia (6) and Marco Monteiro.