In an early season meeting of unbeaten baseball teams, Ridgefield built a big lead and then withstood Newtown’s comeback to emerge with an 8-6 victory on a windy and cold Thursday afternoon at Governor’s Park.
The Tigers improved to 3-0 with their third straight non-conference win to start the year.
Ridgefield led 6-0 after two innings but Newtown rallied with two runs in both the third and fifth innings to close within 7-4. The Tigers added another run in the bottom of the sixth and then held on for the victory despite two more Newtown runs in the top of the seventh.
The top of the Ridgefield batting order continued its quick-strike ways in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff batter Johnny Briody walked and Matt Restivo followed with a single. Nick Cullinan then doubled deep to centerfield, scoring both runners for a 2-0 lead.
Ridgefield scored four more runs (all unearned) with a two-out rally in the bottom of the second. Colin LaCoille reached on an error and Briody singled to put runners on first and second. Restivo then singled to left and an outfield error on the play allowed two runs to score and Restivo to reach third base.
After Cullinan’s single made it 5-0, Joey Pastore singled and Cole Blackwell reached on another Newtown error to load the bases. Sean Livingstone drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to force home Cullinan and give the Tigers a 6-0 lead.
Newtown answered with three straight hits and a fielder’s choice to score two runs off Ridgefield starter Jack Bohrer in the top of the third.
Pastore’s long solo homer to center field in the bottom of the fourth put the Tigers in front 7-2 heading into the final three innings.
Luke Barrientos relieved Boher in the top of the fifth, but Newtown used a combination of two hits, two walks, an RBI groundout, and a passed ball to score two runs and cut Ridgefield’s lead to 7-4. Matt Colucci relieved Barrientos and got the final out with the bases loaded.
The Tigers scored their final run in the bottom of the fifth without the aid of a hit. Livingstone walked and pinch runner Alex Hanna advanced to second on a passed ball. Hanna went to third on Thomas Gioffre’s sacrifice bunt and then scored on Matt Lavorgna’s sacrifice fly.
Colucci kept Newtown scoreless in the top of the sixth and retired the first two batters in the top of the seventh. But a walk, a single, and a double made it 8-6 and brought the tying run to the plate. Colucci then got a flyout to Barrientos in center field to end the game.
Making his first varsity start, Bohrer pitched four innings to get the victory. He allowed two runs on five hits while walking one batter and striking out five.
Cullinan, Pastore, Restivo, and LaCoille each had two hits for the Tigers.