Loss to Warde ends Ridgefield's FCIAC hopes

With its scoring struggles continuing, the Ridgefield High baseball team fell to Fairfield Warde, 2-1, on Wednesday in Fairfield.

The loss — Ridgefield's third straight and fifth in six games — was costly, ending the Tigers' chances of making the eight-team FCIAC playoffs.

Ridgefield, which plays its final regular-season game Thursday at Westhill, has qualified for the Class LL state tournament.

Junior right-hander Matt DeLuca suffered his first loss of the year despite allowing only two runs (one earned) on four hits over four innings. He walked three batters and struck out two.

Warde went ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the third and then added another run in the bottom of the fourth.

Ridgefield (11-8 overall, 7-8 FCIAC) got its lone run in the top of the seventh. Johnny Briody bunted for a single and stole second before scoring on Joey Pastore's two-out RBI single. Warde pitcher Alex Wiggetman struck out the next batter to end the game.

A lack of clutch hitting hurt the Tigers, who stranded two runners in the first, second, and third innings and left the bases loaded in the fourth inning — an inning in which two Ridgefield runners were thrown out on the bases, including one at home plate.

Three Warde pitchers limited the Tigers to one run on five hits (all singles). Nick Cullinan, Cole Blackwell, DeLuca, Briody, and Pastore each had a hit for Ridgefield.

The Tigers also drew six walks — two each for Thomas Gioffre and Matt Lavorgna — and had one batter reach on an error and another on a hit-by-pitch.

Keenan Briggs relieved DeLuca and pitched two scoreless innings. Briggs yielded two hits while walking one batter and striking out another.