GREENWICH — Played under ominous dark clouds with clashes of thunder in the distance, Monday’s Junior American Legion State Tournament game between Greenwich and Orange surprisingly made it to the sixth inning, as heavy rain eluded the area in the early evening.
Then came the rainfall that was expected.
With Orange Legion Post 27 holding a 4-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning of the opening round of the Connecticut American Legion 17-Under State Tournament at Greenwich High School, play was suspended due to steady rain that hit the area. The game is scheduled to be completed Tuesday in Greenwich and will be picked up with Orange batting in the sixth inning.
There was discussion as to whether the game would be continued, or if Orange would be declared the winner, since five innings were completed. Both coaches made calls to league officials, but nothing was immediately confirmed after play was suspended.
Cannons co-coach Phil Tarantino confirmed with American Legion officials Monday night that a postseason game that followed this type of scenario must be completed.
Orange scored one run in the first inning two in the third and added one more in the fourth. Right-hander Owen Leszczak scattered five hits in five innings for Orange.
“He did well, throwing strikes throughout,” Orange coach Joe Kiwanis said of Leszczak said. “All year, he has consistently been our No. 1 pitcher. He always hits spots low in the zone and makes guys work. He doesn’t leave anything up and he works in the curve ball well.”
Tarantino, who coaches the team with Frank Carbino, liked how his squad swung the bat.
“I thought we swung the bats aggressively and made good contact,” Tarantino said. “We played good defense as well. Their pitcher threw strikes and did a good job of changing speeds.”
Orange’s first run came when Cannons left-hander Carson Bylciw was charged with a balk with runners on first and third in the opening inning. Luke Hauser, who led off the inning with a walk, scored on the balk, making it 1-0.
Bylciw pitched out of a second-and-third jam in the second inning, before Orange extended its advantage in the third inning. Leszcak helped his own cause, lining a two-run single to right center field, scoring Benjamin Daddio and Drew Visnic and giving Orange a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Visnic delivered an RBI single, putting the visitors ahead, 4-0.
“Everyone came up to the plate with a good approach,” Kiwanis said. “Their pitcher threw strikes and we were able to put it in play.”
Cannons pitcher Shane McLaughlin relieved Bylciw with one out in the third inning. He was effetive, yielding one run in three innings.
“Shane pitched very well, he kept us in the game and mixed his pitches really well.”
Miles Walker singled twice, while Michael D’Arcangelo, Nick Alonzi and McLaughlin had one single apiece for Greenwich. Hauser and Visnic each doubled, while John Turski, Leszczak and Aidan Altorelli singled for the victors.
“We are down only four runs and we’ve scored a lot of runs so far this season, so tomorrow (Tuesday) is a new day,” Tarantino said.
If the game cannot be completed Tuesday due to inclement weather, it will be finished on Wednesday.