Trumbull defeats Stamford, 5-0

Facing a crafty, left-handed pitcher on a day without any wind can be a tough enough assignment.

Trying to do it when those sudden blasts of air are slashing at you is another story.

The Trumbull baseball team found a way to handle both situations Monday in posting a 5-0 FCIAC home win over Stamford, which improved the team’s overall record to 7-2. One game shy of the halfway point in the regular season, the Eagles are within a game of qualifying for the state tournament.

Carrying a tenuous 1-0 lead into the fifth inning, the Eagles exploded for four runs, three coming on designated hitter Avery Santos’ double to deep left center.

That pretty much put the game away against Stamford’s Derek Kronkowski, who mixed his pitches well but served up a steady amount nasty curveballs to keep the Trumbull hitters guessing.

“It took me three at-bats to figure him out,” said Santos, who usually sees duty on the mound as a reliever but got the call to DH for the first time on Monday. “He repeated his fastball down and in and the second time was I able to get my bat around it. I knew it was hit very well.”

The ball that Santos hit keep going on its way to left center and was well over the head of the Black Knights’ Kenny Wright, a speedy outfielder.

Santos’ drive scored Casey Mack (single), James DeNomme (single) and Willy Velez (walk). DeNomme drove in the inning’s other run. Chris Masi scored from third on DeNomme’s base hit.

In all, Trumbull got five of its 12 hits in the inning after leaving five runners on base in the preceding two frames.

“We’re getting good defense and good pitching along with key hits,” said Trumbull coach Phil Pacelli. “It’s made the difference in our season.”

The winners got their other run in third, taking a 1-0 lead when Brandon Liscinsky raced home after an error by Stamford first baseman Tyler Kane.

Carl Johnson opened with a single and was erased on a fielder’s choice. Liscinsky moved up a base when Luke Waldek singled to right. After Jake Levison (two hits for the game) struck out, Masi hit a hard groundball just inside the bag at third. Stamford’s James Mattimore handled the ball and threw late to first. When the ball got by Kane, Liscinsky took off for the plate.

Trumbull’s starting and winning pitcher Colin Keyes (3-0) went six innings before being replaced by Gerard Spiegel.

Keyes pitched a four-hitter. Along the way, he struck out seven while allowing one walk and hitting one batter.

“My last two starts have been very good,” said Keyes, whose used a fastball-changeup combo. “Sometimes I have problems getting by the first inning. Today when it went well, I started to think that I’ve have a decent game.”

Keyes said he knew that the wind was blowing, but he didn’t let it distract him.

“I’ve seen it a lot worse out here,” he said, “especially earlier in the season.”

DeNomme, Masi, Levison and Johnson all contributed a pair of hits.

“Our defense has been solid all season long,” Pacelli said. “And anytime you can beat a Stamford team it’s a good day.

“I liked what Avery did today. Considering the fact that he hadn’t been a designated hitter before and was put in a pressure spot, he handled it well.”

The loss dropped Stamford to 3-6.

Meanwhile, the Eagles will be off until Friday when they play at Brien McMahon (4-6) in Norwalk. A home game against St. Joseph’s that had been scheduled for Wednesday was moved to May 4 and will be played at Bridgeport’s Harbor Yard.