GREENWICH — Shut out in its first meeting against Hamden Hall Country Day School, Brunswick School was held off the scoreboard over the first four innings of Tuesday’s key FAA baseball matchup against the Hornets.
Then the Bruins broke finally through.
Capitalizing on three walks and a clutch two-run single by Leo Socci, Brunswick scored three runs in the fifth inning on its way to registering a 5-1 comeback win over the visiting Hornets.
With the victory, the Bruins improved to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in FAA play. Hamden Hall’s record stands at 9-5 and 6-2 in the FAA.
“For league play, it puts us in a good position coming down the stretch,” Brunswick coach Johnny Montanez said. “We’re in a position where we want to be.”
Junior right-hander Jake Hyde allowed one run on six hits in five innings to earn the win. Senior Reed Mascolo, a right-hander, pitched two hitless innings of relief and struck out two batters to seal the triumph.
“This was a really big game for us and we knew they could really hit the ball and that they’re a great team,” said Hyde, who struck out five and walked four batters over five innings. “It was tough, I didn’t start too well, but everyone played great behind me. I don’t think we made any errors, the boys picked me up today and that was great.”
Hamden Hall senior left-hander Ryan Doherty allowed five runs in six innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. Mixing his pitches well, he pitched four scoreless innings, before running into trouble in the fifth, due to three walks.
“When we talked before the game, we said any time you play a team of that caliber, you have to be ready to execute for seven innings,” Hamden Hall coach Joseph Fontana said. “We had just one inning where we didn’t execute. But Ryan’s a great pitcher, a great competitor and he’s going to do a good job at the next level. If he executes his pitches, he’s going to shut a lineup down.”
Junior Jack Mathews went 3 for 3 with with an RBI and sophomore Danny Lauter drove in a run with a double for the victors.
“Their pitcher (Doherty) is going to Manhattan, so for us to have quality at-bats, especially late in the game, was impressive,” Montanez said.
Trailing 1-0, Brunswick rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning off Doherty. Lauter and catcher Marc McGuire each walked, then Mathews laid down a perfect bunt toward third base for a hit, loading the bases with no outs.
Outfielder Cole Mascolo drew a bases-loaded walk, tying the score at 1-1. Sophomore leadoff hitter Aidan Redahan followed by hitting a fly ball to centerfield that was caught by Michael Coggins, who then threw out the Brunswick runner at home, keeping the score 1-1.
Socci, a junior first baseman, stepped to the plate and delivered a base hit up the middle, scoring two runs with two outs and giving the Bruins the lead for good at 3-1.
“It was a tough battle out there, their pitcher was pounding the strike zone,” Socci said. “So I just tried to put the ball in play and luckily I put it in play. He (Doherty) was very tough, he moved the ball up and down and did a really good job.”
The home team added on to its lead in the sixth inning. Junior center fielder Jack Griffin doubled to left center field and scored on Lauter’s double to right center, making it 4-1. Mathews’ base hit to left field, brought Lauter home, extending Brunswick’s advantage to 5-1.
“The first ball was outside, then I changed my approach,” Lauter said of his double. “I was thinking fastball, then I got a curve and hit it the other way. Good things happen when you get bat on ball. They’re a good team and they shut us out last time, but we started focusing on small ball and moved runners over. It was a team effort.”
The Hornets took a 1-0 edge in the top of the third inning. Freshman Cameron Maldonado singled, sophomore Danny Carbone walked and with Madonado on third after stealing a base, sophomore catcher Dennis Gamester delivered a sacrifice fly for the game’s first run.
“Games like this are fun, because both teams are competitive and playing at a high level,” Fontana said. “We feel like we are playing well and we are making sure each day that we are doing something to get better.”
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Hyde was consistent throughout in keeping the Bruins in the game until they put runs on the board.
“He (Hyde) did a phenomenal job of keeping them off balance,” Montanez said.
Added Hyde: “I knew the bats would come alive, we just weren’t breaking through. So I knew I had to keep it close and once we did get opportunities, we came through.”
Mathews paced the lineup with two hits and Socci drove in the two key runs in the fifth inning.
Brunswick visits Salisbury School on Thursday, while Hamden Hall plays FAA foe Hopkins.
BRUNSWICK 5, HAMDEN HALL 1
HAMDEN HALL 001 000 0 – 1 6 1
BRUNSWICK 000 32X – 5 7 1
Batteries: HH – Ryan Doherty and Dennis Gamester; B — Jake Hyde (WP), Reed Mascolo (S) and Marc McGuire.