Eagles earn chance against Warde in states
Trumbull High did all the things it needed to do to reach a record third straight FCIAC baseball championship game.
Fairfield Warde did all the things necessary at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard on Saturday, May 30, to emerge as the titleholder for the first time ever.
“We got a lot of breaks, had a lot of good things happen for us to get to three straight title games,” Trumbull High head coach Phil Pacelli said after Warde won a 4-0 decision. “You need those breaks, those bounces, those calls and we didn’t get them today. Warde played well and deserved to win.”
Trumbull will get another shot at Warde after both teams captured Class LL second-round games on Tuesday.
The 10th-seeded Eagles defeated seventh-seeded Xavier High, the SCC champion, 5-3, in Middletown, while No. 15 Warde knocked off No. 2 Staples of Westport, 11-8.
Trumbull (16-6) will host Warde (14-8) on Friday at 3:30.
Trumbull defeated the 23rd-seeded Westhill of Stamford, 3-2 in 10 innings, on Mat DeRienzo’s RBI double in the first round on Monday.
In the FCIAC final, Warde scored three runs, one earned, in the top of the second inning and spent the rest of the game making dazzling defensive plays to keep the Eagles off the board.
“We only had four hits, but I thought we swung the bats well,” Pacelli said. “We hit the ball right at people and they made the plays. They were diving all over the place and making plays.”
Warde shortstop Dakota DeJordy’s baseball instincts kicked in to halt Trumbull chance to put together a big inning. With runners on first and second and two outs in the second inning, third baseman Zach Weinstein dove to his left to knock down Connor Broderick’s drive.
Zach Sagar rounded third base too far, and Weinstein tossed to DeJordy covering the bag. Caught off base, Sagar was tagged out in a rundown to leave Trumbull’s leadoff hitter Liam Moore waiting in the batter’s box.
Weinstein added to his day by catching Avery Santos’ stinging liner just off the ground with a runners on the corner in the third and stepping on bag to end the Eagles’ third.
With one out in the sixth, Weinstein dove to his left to snare Santos’ ball headed down the line. The junior scrambled to his feet and threw a dart to Reece Mainscalco at first to beat Santos by a heart beat.
In the Trumbull first, with a runner on third and two outs, Warde catcher Anthony Miller blocked a 1-2 pitch from going to the backstop. On the next pitch, starting pitcher Hunter Hewitt retired Santos on a grounder to Nick Nardone playing second.
Hewitt got the start and the left-handed senior pitched five-plus innings of shutout ball en route to being named game MVP. He was relieved by Nardone with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning and the junior right-hander kept the Eagles off the board the rest of the way.
At the plate for Warde, no one came up bigger than Tommy Luckner, who stepped in against Trumbull ace Colin Keyes with runners on the corners and an unearned run in with two out in the top of the second. Luckner promptly tripled into the right-field corner to boost the advantage to 3-0.