Ridgefield beats Enfield, heads to baseball state semis

One more victory and this year's Ridgefield High baseball team will go where no other previous RHS squad has gone.

The state championship game.

With a 9-5 win over 18th-seed Enfield in the Class LL quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Ciuccoli Field, the seventh-seeded Tigers earned a spot in the final four. Ridgefield (20-6 overall) will play a familiar opponent, 11th-seed Staples, in a semifinal contest Tuesday (June 6) at a site and time to be announced.

Staples hung on to edge third-seed Westhill, 12-11, in another quarterfinal on Saturday in Stamford. The Wreckers had a 9-0 lead before Westhill nearly pulled off an unlikely comeback.

After Enfield broke a 4-4 tie with a run in the top of the fifth, Ridgefield responded with a decisive three-run rally in the bottom of the inning.

Pete Columbia had a one-out single for the Tigers, and pinch runner Nick Hanna then stole second base before scoring on Lucas Furneri's double. Matt Stamatis followed with a single to score pinch runner Joe Signorelli and put Ridgefielad ahead, 5-4. With two outs, Quinn McDonald was hit by a pitch and Matt Colin singled to drive in Stamatis.

The Tigers' final two runs came on long balls in the bottom of the sixth. Tony Macchia led off with a solo homer, and, two outs later, Stamatis added another solo shot, extending Ridgefield's lead to 9-5.

With aces Alex Price and Collin Lowe resting, the Tigers received a stellar pitching effort from Colin, the team's regular shortstop. Colin relieved starter John Thrasher with no outs in the top of the second and went the rest of the way, allowing one run on six hits while walking one batter and striking out two.

Enfield took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but Ridgefield tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Macchia had an RBI single and Furneri added an RBI groundout.

After the visitors scored two more runs in the top of the second, Ridgefield got them back again right away. With two outs and the bases empty, Colin slammed a double and scored on Thrasher's single. Thrasher then stole second and came home on Colin Motill's single, squaring the game at 4-4.

Notes: Enfield got a two-out single in the top of the seventh, but Colin retired the next batter on a grounder to Motill at second to end the game.

Thrasher went 3-for-3 for Ridgefield, scoring two runs and driving in one. Macchia, Stamatis, and Colin added two hits apiece, and Furneri, Macchia, and Stamatis each contributed two RBIs.

Staples defeated the Tigers, 2-1, during the regular season. The Wreckers also beat Ridgefield in the first round of last year's Class LL tournament.