WESTPORT >> One thing’s for certain, the Staples baseball team is not lacking confidence.
After a near three hour, nine inning 9-6 win over McMahon on Wednesday, the Wreckers scored a 2-1 nine inning victory over visiting Greenwich Thursday afternoon; a game they knew they would win, despite playing 18 innings of baseball in the last 24 hours.
“We just expect to win every game and that’s the bottom line here,” said Staples’ Adam Dulsky, who drove in the game-winning run. “Staples is built on winning.”
The victory came after more than two hours of play in a game that turned into a classic pitchers duel.
With the score knotted at one in the bottom of the ninth, junior Zach Azadian reached first after a missed catch in right field. Azadian advanced to second as teammate Nick Vega laid down a bunt and Ben Casparius connected with a pitch to put Azadian on third.
With two outs, Greenwich intentionally walked Sam Ellinwood to bring up Dulsky, the No. 4 hitter.
Dulsky did his job as he drilled one to centerfield that was mishandled and Azadian raced home for the game-winning score.
“I was just trying to make them pay for it because really you shouldn’t be walking our No. 3 hitter to be getting to me in the four spot,” Dulsky said. “I’m too good a hitter to walk somebody and put me up with a runner on third base.”
The win for the Wreckers puts their record at 4-1 overall and 4-0 in a tight and competitive FCIAC race. Greenwich falls to 3-2 overall, 1-2, FCIAC.
“These guys are focused and they understand the gravity of what the FCIAC is all about,” Staples head coach Jack McFarland said. “You have to grab your wins to get into that (FCIAC) tournament. We’re happy to get a big win today.”
The ending for Greenwich almost downplayed the brilliant pitching performance displayed from both teams the entire game.
Greenwich’s Kyle Dunster and Staples’ Rob Vallone went toe-to-toe for six innings, as each only gave up one run. The two went inning for innings keeping their clubs in the game.
“The wind is blowing in, it’s cold, you have two great pitchers, it’s going to be a 1-0, 2-1 game, and that’s exactly what it was,” McFarland said.
Dunster finished the game giving up just four hits, while striking out eight and walking two.
Staples scored the first run in the game off Dunster in the bottom of the second as Bryan Porter drove in Dulsky from third.
Staples’ Vallone finished with eight strikeouts and no walks. The lone run he gave up came in the top of the sixth as Dunster tied the game with a towering shot to left field that just stayed fair.
“Staples’ reliever Justin Gallanty came in the seventh and pitched three innings and was almost unstoppable. Greenwich J.T. Hintzen was credited with the loss, despite not giving a run and collected three strikeouts.
“You have to make basic plays to win baseball games and we didn’t do that today,” Greenwich head coach Phil Tarantino said. “We wasted a terrific effort by Kyle and J.T. (Hintzen).”