WESTPORT >> Fairfield Warde head baseball coach Mark Caron tried to describe Nick Nardone in one word. He couldn’t quite do it as two words seemed more appropriate after Friday afternoon’s 2-0 victory over Staples.
He’s a winner and a competitor,” Caron said.
Nardone did it all, as he pitched a complete game, giving up just three hits and finished with seven strikeouts as Warde collected a huge road win to improve to 5-4 on the season.
“We knew we had a tough week this week,” Caron said. “And to do it against Staples on their home field shows that we’re for real this year. We ‘re excited about it.”
It was a victory that took some time for the Mustangs as they were engaged in a pitching battle for most of the game. Staples’ Rob Vallone had another terrific outing as he held the Mustangs at bay for almost the entire game.
Both he and Nardone did their jobs as the game remained scoreless until the seventh inning.
The Mustangs, however, started connecting with Vallone as the first two runners for Warde got on base in the bottom of the seventh.
With relief pitcher Ben Casparius in for Vallone, Warde’s Sean Homa crushed a pitch to the center left-field gap for an RBI double. A few batters later, Nardone helped himself as he delivered an RBI single with the bases loaded to give Warde a 2-0 edge.
Nardone said he was confident his offense would produce.
“I knew my offense would come out, I just didn’t know who,” he said.
Added Caron: “Sean has a real quick, short quick swing. I figured that he would give us the best chance to put a ball in the gap like he did. And it worked out for us this time.”
Staples’ offense couldn’t answer in the bottom of the seventh as Nardone ended the game with a strikeout.
The Wreckers struggled throughout the game to get an offensive rhythm going.
“I’m very disappointed in the lineup,” Staples head coach Jack McFarland said. “We’ve worked hard on trying to score runs. We scored eight in the first inning against Trinity (Catholic, on Wednesday) and today we come out on a nice day…I’m disappointed.”
Staples (6-3) will get a chance to bounce back as they face Harding on Monday and then host Ludlowe on Wednesday.