State power Amity tops Ridgefield baseball team, 8-5

Over the last five years, Amity has established itself as the best high school baseball program in Connecticut. The Spartans won four straight Class LL state titles before losing to Staples in last year's championship game.

On Saturday afternoon, Ridgefield went on the road to get a first-hand experience.

Scoring runs in five of its six at-bats, Amity defeated the Tigers, 8-5, in Woodbridge.

The loss was the first of the young season for Ridgefield, which is now 2-1 overall. After dropping its season opener to Cheshire, Amity evened its record at 1-1.

Amity scored one run in the bottom of the first inning and two more in the bottom of the second to go ahead, 3-0. The Spartans added a single run in the fourth inning, three runs in the fifth inning, and one run in the sixth inning to stretch their lead to 8-0.

Ridgefield scored its five runs in the top of the seventh before Amity closed out the victory.

The Tigers got three of their six hits during the seventh-inning rally. Jake Artzt led off with a single, and walks to Quinn McDonald and Ty Fujitani loaded the bases. Nick Cullinan (single), Matt Stamatis (fielder's choice) and Pete Columbia (single) delivered three straight RBIs to make it 8-3.

With two outs, Joey Pastore then hit a fly ball to center that was dropped, allowing Stamatis and Columbia to score. But Pastore was thrown out in a rundown on the play to end the game.

Artzt started for Ridgefield and pitched three innings, allowing three unearned runs on three hits while walking one batter and striking out two.

Keenan Briggs, Michael Heller, Matt Colucci, and James McCann all pitched in relief, with McCann getting two strikeouts.

Cullinan and Columbia each had two hits for the Tigers, with Joe Pastore and Artzt adding one hit apiece.

Starter John Lumpinski pitched six innings to get the win for Amity. He allowed two runs on five hits, walked five, and struck out five.

Quinn Burke and Sebastian Formica each had two hits for Amity, while Lumpinski scored three runs and Jonathan McNelis had three RBIs.

Notes: The game was part of the FCIAC-SCC challenge, pitting Ridgefield and other teams from the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference against opponents from the Southern Connecticut Conference.

Ridgefield plays its home opener on Monday at 4 p.m. against Trumbull at Ciuccoli Field at the old high school.