Ridgefield rallies to edge Norwalk, snap four-game slide

When Norwalk scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 4-1 lead Friday afternoon at Ciuccoli Field, the Ridgefield High baseball team was in danger of losing its fifth straight game.

But the Tigers answered with their own four-spot in the bottom of the inning to go ahead, 5-4.

Making his second relief appearance of the season, junior left-hander Alex Price then kept Norwalk scoreless in the top of the seventh to secure a significant victory for Ridgefield. In addition to ending their four-game slide, the Tigers (13-5 overall, 10-4 FCIAC) also clinched a berth in the eight-team conference playoffs, which start next Friday.

Ridgefield starter Collin Lowe held the Bears scoreless through the first five innings. Norwalk's Logan Raymond was nearly as good, limiting the Tigers to a single run in the fourth inning.

But the visitors broke through in the top of the sixth. Eddie McCabe's RBI triple tied the score at 1-1, and Kyle Mossop's single gave Norwalk a 2-1 lead. An error, a wild pitch, a single, and another error followed, putting the Bears ahead, 4-1.

With one out and runners on the corners, the next batter grounded to first baseman Pete Columbia, who threw home to catcher Ben Cohen for an out at the plate. A lineout then ended the Norwalk rally.

Ridgefield's response in the bottom of the inning began with one out, when Matt Colin was hit by a pitch. John Thrasher doubled to put runners on second and third, and Jake Artzt delivered a two-run single to get the Tigers within 4-3.

After a groundout, Colin Motill doubled to left field tie the score. Matt Stamatis then came through with a single to center that scored Motill with the go-ahead run.

Price replaced Lowe in the top of the seventh and retired the first two batters before allowing a single to McCabe. McCabe stole second to get into scoring position, but Price then struck out Mossop to end the game.

"A lot of things went well for us today," said Ridgefield head coach Paul Fabbri. "Matt Stamatis with the game-winning hit was great, and he continues to be clutch."

Notes: Lowe picked up the victory, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out eight.

Price, who is 5-0 as a starter, earned his second save with one scoreless inning in relief of Lowe. Price allowed one hit and struck out a batter.

Thrasher had two hits (single, double) for Ridgefield. Tony Macchia, Dan Ignatowich, Motill, Artzt, Cohen, and Stamatis added one hit apiece.

Norwalk, which entered the game tied with Ridgefield and Wilton for fourth place in the FCIAC standings, dropped to 11-7 overall and 9-5 in the conference.

Press Sports Reporter Chris Sacchi contributed to this story.