Ridgefield baseball with early season statement win over No. 5 Fairfield Prep

RIDGEFIELD — Despite returning many players from a team that reached the Class LL quarterfinals last season, the Ridgefield Tigers were on the outside, looking in to the GameTimeCT preseason Top 10 poll.

The Tigers opened the season against No. 5 Fairfield Prep and quickly let the baseball world know that they will be a team to be feared this season.

Behind a dominate performance by senior Andrew Castelluccio and big hits, the Tigers shutout Fairfield Prep 9-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Castelluccio walked the first batter of the game and then was locked in.

“After that he was in total control,” Ridgefield coach Mike Scarlett said. “He’s been playing with a lot of confidence through tryouts and early practices.

“He really made a statement today.”

The senior threw five innings and allowed three hits.

“He’s a great kid, great arm and disgusting stuff,” Ridgefield senior shortstop Matthew Bucciero said. “I am not surprised with how well he pitched.”

In the cold weather, Castelluccio adapted well and worked himself out of a jam in the fifth inning, when the Jesuits put runners on second and third.

“It was just confidence,” he said. “Just believing in myself and believing in my stuff, just figuring that I am going to go out there and get outs and trust my team.”

The St. John’s University commit kept the Fairfield Prep batters off balance during his five innings, inducing easy flyball outs to go with three strikeouts.

“I just think he has a really good mix of pitches,” Fairfield Prep coach Rudy Mauritz said. “He made a couple of really good knee-high fastballs strikes in key situations, which were great pitches, that we need to be better prepared to make swings on those pitches.”

With Castelluccio in control, the Tigers bats went to work scoring multiple runs in three of the first four innings.

In the bottom of the first, after Aidan Stern walked to open the inning, Bucciero took a pitch the other way, sending it over the right-centerfield fence for a two-run home run.

Stern followed up with a home run in the third inning.

“(It’s) super nice (getting run support early),” Castelluccio said. “Matty hit an absolute bomb, just continuing what he did last year.

“It means everything, gives you that extra confidence and push.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Matthew Bucciero, Ridgefield: The shortstop helped turn a double play in the first inning and then went to work at the plate going 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and three runs scored.

QUOTABLE

“You can’t ask for much more than what we got today. Fairfield Prep is really good team, who is strong every year and to come out and get a jump on them, it helps these guys build their confidence. You can’t ask for anymore, it’s a great start to the year.” — Ridgefield coach Mike Scarlett

pete.paguaga@hearstmediact.com; @PetePaguaga

RIDGEFIELD 9, FAIRFIELD PREP 0

FAIRFIELD PREP000 000 0 — 0 4 1

RIDGEFIELD203 400 — 9 10 1

Batteries: FP — Grady Golier, Kyle Baudouin (3), Jack Martin (4), Ryan Oshinskie (4) and Jack Arcamone. R — Andrew Castelluccio, Ben Cherico (6) and Aidan Stern.

2B: FP — Jim Aselta. R — Myles Gythfeldt. HR: R — Matthew Bucciero, Aidan Stern.

Records: Ridgefield 1-0, Fairfield Prep 0-1