Baseball: Trumbull Eagles blank St. Joseph, 9-0
As the temperatures have heated up, so has the play of the Trumbull High baseball team.
The Eagles rolled to their fourth straight win, a 9-0 handling of town rival St. Joseph on a very warm, but windy Wednesday afternoon.
Trumbull rapped out nine hits and scored runs in four of the seven innings, but the winners relied heavily on starting and winning pitcher Ben Fero who brought his record to 3-0.
Fero hopes to do some more damage against FCIAC and Class LL state tournament competition before he heads off to Division I Stony Brook University in the fall.
Mixing a good curve ball with a fastball that has velocity in the upper 80 miles per-hour range, Fero allowed only five hits while striking out five and issuing one walk. He threw 102 pitches before exiting in the seventh. Evan Warner finished up.
"Today were able to combine timely hitting, with good pitching and some fair defense," said Trumbull coach Phil Pacelli, whose team recorded its eighth win and qualified for the LL tourney against six losses. "We're typically a team that plays well once the weather gets warm. I don't know why. It just works out that way."
Trumbull got three runs in the first inning off of the Cadets' starter, Ben Talbot (1-2), who had control problems over the first two innings where he needed 64 pitches.
The Eagles sent eight batters to the plate in the opening inning, getting RBI hits from Kevin Bruggeman, Chris Briganti and Jake Teixeira.
They added a run in the second and three more in the sixth off reliever Trent Price before adding a pair in the ninth off of Connor Murphy.
Brian Hance and Bruggeman had two hits apiece. Briganti had three hits, all singles. He scored twice, as did Beau DeMelo. Chris Brown and Bruggeman had two RBI each.
It was the pitching efforts of Fero and Warner that kept the Cadets' bats silent.
"We've only given up one run (in the first inning of a 11-1 Monday win over Greenwich) in our last 21 innings,"Pacelli said. "Every time we send Ben to the mound we know that we're giving ourselves a pretty good chance to win."
St. Joe's had five hits, but stranded nine runner. They left two runners on base in the first, fourth and seventh innings.
"We knew that runs would be tough to come by with Fero on the mound," said St. Joe's coach Jim Chaves. "We had our chances early, but we were never able to get the big hit."
After he got by the first two innings, Talbot was able to settle in, throw strikes and get batters out. He needed only 33 pitches to hurl three scoreless innings (the third, fourth and fifth).
"This was a 4-0 game up until the sixth," said Chaves, whose team has a 9-4 record and has already qualified for the Class M state tournament. "Our relievers didn't get it done."
Meanwhile, Fero managed to get outs even though his count was high.
"I had never pitched against them before today," Fero said. "I was excited about getting the start. We seem to be a second half team and my teammates gave me great run support. You can't ask for more than that."
Jake DeLeo had two hits. Jim Evans, Hadyn Gourley and Owen Horne had a hit apiece.
"We expect to be there at the end," Chaves said. "This was not a good day for us."