Deutsch, Staples shut down Ridgefield
In the fourth and fifth innings, Ridgefield hit a few hard lines drives for outs against Staples pitcher Alex Deutsch.
After the third out off a ball smoked, Deutsch began mixing in first-pitch breaking balls.
The Tigers did not hit many balls hard from that point forward.
Deutsch was masterful, allowing just a first-inning single in tossing a complete-game shutout as No. 2 Staples defeated No. 9 Ridgefield, 2-0, Friday afternoon in Westport.
Ridgefield's only baserunner was Colin LaCoille, who singled with one out in the top of the first. But Deutsch then got Nick Cullinan to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Deutsch retired the Tigers (10-5 overall) in order in the next six innings, striking out five batters.
Staples, meanwhile, scored both of its runs in the bottom of the first.
Zack Zobel singled and Harry Azadian walked ahead of Adam Petro, who scored both runners on a double to the fence in centerfield.
Staples (13-2) loaded the bases in the second inning but wasn't able to push across any more runs.
The Wreckers were held in check by Ridgefield relief pitcher Jack Costello, who allowed just two hits over five innings after replacing starter Luke Barrientos.
He was aided by strong defense, including a diving play by third baseman Matt DeLuca in the second inning with the bases loaded. DeLuca dove for the ball down the line, stepped on third for one out, and fired across to first for the double play.
“(Costello) was masterful against a team that swings the bat really well like that. That team is legitimately a top-five team in the state,” Ridgefield coach Paul Fabbri said about Staples. “It was pretty impressive stuff from a senior and he has probably earned a start, next week. That is DeLuca’s first game at third base and he did nice job there to get us out of the jam.”