Even on road, with coaches on leave, Ridgefield shows Stamford why it's No. 1
They will be taking the show on the road for the foreseeable future.
However, a bus ride to Stamford did nothing to deter the Ridgefield High baseball team Wednesday.
The Tigers showed exactly why they are currently the No. 1 ranked team in the latest GameTimeCT state baseball poll as they rolled to an efficient 6-3 triumph over Stamford High.
The win improved Ridgefield to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the FCIAC.
“We aren’t phased by playing on the road,” said Ridgefield senior Joe Pastore. “We take it as an opportunity to get our offense going early. Our philosophy is very simple. Get an early lead and let our pitching take over.”
The Tigers thrived despite having three coaches, including head coach Paul Fabbri, on administrative leave in the aftermath of the ill-advised fire to dry their home diamond last Saturday.
Junior varsity coach Mike Scarlett is serving as interim varsity head coach as the fire investigation continues.
“This is a great group of kids I’ve coached since their youth baseball days,” Scarlett said. “They are focused. We were 4-0 in our non-league games and they wanted to keep things going now that we’re into FCIAC league contests.”
With the wind blowing out, Ridgefield did damage with the long ball Wednesday.
Senior Sean Livingstone clubbed a three-run homer to highlight a four-run second inning explosion. Pastore led off the fifth by smacking a solo homer that knocked Stamford starter and loser Jay Lockwood from the contest.
“Hitting homers is always fun. I got a 3-and-0 fastball my first at-bat and I missed it. I missed a fastball again in my second at-bat,” recounted Pastore, who was 3-for-4 on the afternoon. “My third at-bat, the count went to 2-and-0 and I was looking for the fastball away and this time I got it.”
The 4-0 lead after two innings allowed the Ridgefield pitchers to settle in.
Righthander Keenan Briggs (3-0) threw 76 pitches in four innings. He surrendered two runs in the top of the fourth before retiring the next three batters with the bases loaded to limit Stamford's rally.
“We sat back a bit at the plate. We took too many pitches in hitters’ counts,” said Stamford coach Rit Lacomis. “We had the same situation last Monday against Trumbull and didn’t get extra runs then either. We are still asking ourselves ‘Who is going to get that big hit?’ ”
The Tigers stretched their lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth on Johnny Briody's RBI single.
Righthander Jack Bohrer entered in the fifth and gave Ridgefield two innings of relief. He allowed one run but struck out five.
Closer Matt Colucci fanned two in a scoreless seventh to get the save.
“The Ridgefield pitchers pound the zone. They challenge you. They force you to be a hitter,” Stamford’s Lacomis said. “Their hitters are energized. They never get cheated on any swing at the plate. And their defense is clean. They are No. 1 in the state for good reason.”
Notes: Because the game was originally scheduled to be played in Ridgefield, the Tigers were still considered the home team.