WESTPORT >> About halfway through the season the Staples baseball team decided they were done waiting.
Nowadays, it’s less talk and a lot more action.
“We just started saying be the guy. Don’t wait for someone else to do something to help the team, you do it yourself,” senior Justin Gallanty said.
Friday afternoon against Darien, that’s exactly what the Wreckers did.
In a battle of two of the FCIAC’s top teams and with the scored tied at four, Staples’ Ross Poulley hit a towering solo home run to left field to give the Wreckers a 5-4 lead.
From there, it was a balanced effort of solid pitching, defense and an offense that produced four runs in the bottom of the sixth to come away with the 9-5 victory.
With the victory, Staples (12-3, 11-2) sits in first place in the FCIAC and is currently riding a six-game win streak.
“Today we faced a little adversity,” Gallanty said. “Ross came out…hit one of the farthest balls I’ve seen hit here, and he was the guy that made it 5-4. Nick (Vega) had a hit, Adam (Dulsky) had a hit, and nobody was waiting for anyone else to do anything, maybe like we were earlier in the season.”
It’s been a refreshed and welcomed change that when the game needs to be pushed a direction, there’s a lineup full of players waiting to be the guy to do it.
Staples took an early 4-0 lead in the second inning, but Darien fought back. The Blue Wave scored two runs in the third and two in the fourth, including a game-tying sacrifice fly from Brendan Donohue.
From there, Staples starting pitcher Ryder Chasin buckled down and settled in a nice groove. Pitching with a 5-4 lead in the fifth, Chasin struck out three.
In the sixth and with Staples still clinging to a one-run lead, Chasin did his job and was backed by a solid defense. With two on and two outs, shortstop Sam Ellinwood made a diving, game-changing catch to stop the Blue Wave momentum.
“Today he was a problem solver,” Staples head coach Jack McFarland said of Chasin. “He started getting the ball down, started mixing some pitches and got some big outs for us.”
Chasin went six and two thirds innings, giving up just six hits and finishing with six strikeouts.
Staples added four runs in the bottom of the six to add security to its lead as Nate Panzer, Dulksy and Vega all produced.
“Right now we have got everyone working,” Gallanty said. “It’s really tough to beat a team when the bottom of your order is producing like that. And really everyone is doing a great job.”
Darien added one run in the top of the seventh but Gallanty came in and collected the final out on the mound.
Staples will face St. Joes on Monday and then have four regular season games remaining on the schedule. The goal for the rest of the season though is simple for Staples.
“We want to keep winning,” McFarland said.