TRUMBULL — Ridgefield High’s Matt DeLuca pitched 6 2/3 one-hit innings and Trumbull’s two-out rally in the seventh fell short when the Tigers earned a 2-0 FCIAC win on Friday.
Trumbull got an excellent outing from starting pitcher J.Y. Nyarady, but his 5 2/3 innings of two-run work just wasn’t quite enough for the Eagles to overcome Ridgefield’s tandem of DeLuca and Jack Bohrer.
The Eagles dropped to 4-3; Ridgefield improved to 6-1.
Down to their final out, the Eagles got a base runner when Ryan Teixeira fouled off a 2-2 pitch to keep the at bat going then reached on an error.
Due to pitch count restrictions, DeLuca’s outing was over.
Brian Hance was walked by Bohrer, putting the potential tying run on base.
It appeared, momentarily, that the game would be extended beyond the next batter, after Tim Lojko grounded out on a play in which Ridgefield first baseman Nick Cullinan stretched for the throw and Trumbull’s bench pleaded with the umpire that his foot came off.
“That was a frustrating ending for us,” Trumbull coach Phil Pacelli said. “It was a well-played game on both sides. They came up with the timely hit and we couldn’t. They did all of their damage with two outs and that’s the frustrating part.”
Ridgefield scored in the fourth when, after Nyarady struck out the first two batters of the inning, Cole Blackwell doubled, stole third and scored on an error.
The Tigers added a run in the sixth when, following a pair of ground outs to shortstop Chris Brown, Bobby Arent and Blackwell walked, and Colin LaCoille hit an RBI single.
Nyarady struck out five batters, walked five and allowed just two hits. He worked around a leadoff error and two-out walk in the second inning.
“He deserved better today,” Pacelli said of his pitcher, who had a hard-luck no-decision in the team’s 3-2 extra-inning loss at Cheshire.
While Nyarady might prefer some runs on the board (what pitcher doesn’t?) he enjoys being part of a pitcher’s duel.
“I love the competition,” Nyarady said. “I threw a good mix of fastball, slider and a little bit of curveball.”
Pitching has been a strength of the Eagles.
Ryan Vawter entered in the sixth and pitched the final inning-plus.
“He came in and got the outs we needed,” Pacelli said. “It’s too early to panic. Once we start putting some runs on the board, we’re going to be a tough team to beat. Our pitching has been great.”
The lone Eagle hit came off the bat of Kevin Bruggeman when he singled and stole second base in the third inning.
“We had a tough loss yesterday and we needed this,” said Ridgefield interim coach Mike Scarlett, whose team suffered a 15-8 loss at Trinity Catholic of Stamford on Thursday. “We wanted to come out here and make a point, and I think we did.”
DeLuca, who threw a fastball and curve effectively to compile seven strikeouts — including all three batters looking in the sixth — received plenty of praise from catcher Sean Livingstone.
“I always have confidence he’s going to pump strikes, not just his fastball, his curveball, too,” Livingstone said of the Quinnipiac-bound right-hander.
Trumbull did not go down quietly in the seventh, even before the error.
The first batter, Devin DiCocco, got ahead in the count taking three of the first four pitches out of the strike zone before fanning. Ray Leonzi worked the count full and fouled off a pitch before lining out.
“He never gives up. He never succumbs to pressure,” Livingstone said of DeLuca.