Trumbull secures spot in FCIACs with 3-1 victory

It had all the making of a playoff atmosphere at Trumbull High School on May 19. Under the lights at the THS baseball field during the Eagles’ Senior Night, Greenwich had the stellar fielding and clutch pitching performance that matched Trumbull throughout the game.

However it was Trumbull that was able to muster a few more hits when it mattered most and came away with the 2-1 thriller over the Cardinals.

“We came into this week knowing we needed to get one victory because I think 12 wins would get us in the playoffs and it’s nice to get it tonight,” Trumbull head coach Phil Pacelli said. “I didn’t want to have to go to Wednesday or Friday to have to win to get in. It’s nice to get that out of the way.”

With the victory, the Eagles clinched a spot in the upcoming FCIAC tournament.

It was the pitchers that stole the show. Colin Keyes for Trumbull was lights out. In seven innings of work, Keyes only gave up one hit and one run, while striking out five, walking one and hitting one batter. Keyes threw 81 pitches on the day and landed 52 of them as strikes.

“Colin was one again tremendous for us,” Pacelli said. “He really did a good job and overmatched a lot of their hitters. It was a well-pitched game on both sides. Colin got just enough hitting from us to get the win.”

Not to be outdone was Greenwich senior JT Hintzen, who was also stellar on the mound. In six innings of work, Hintzen gave up only three hits and two earned runs, while striking out six, walking two and hitting four batters. Throwing one less pitch than Keyes, he clocked 80 pitches on the day and had 50 of them strikes.

“I thought it was a really good game,” Greenwich head coach Phil Tarantino said. “Their pitcher was really tough and JT was really tough too. They just got a few more hits than we did tonight. I’m never happy with a loss, but I’m pleased with the way the kids played.”

While both pitchers were firing on all cylinders, it was Trumbull that struck first, scoring one run in the bottom of the third inning.

With one out, Liam Moore started things off when he was hit by a pitch and moved to second when Jake Levison singled to right field.

Keyes was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Avery Santos, who drove home Moore with a slow roller to third.

With two runners still in scoring position, Hintzen settled down and got Matt DeRienzo to strike out to end the threat.

The lead didn’t last long, as Greenwich knotted the game in the top of the fourth inning. Justin Gaccione started the inning by getting hit by a pitch and was replaced by pinch runner Nick Vigliano.

During Hintzen’s at-bat, two passed balls advanced Vigliano to third. After Hintzen drew a walk, Sean Mark connected on a sacrifice fly to center that drove home a sliding Vigliano for the 1-1 tie.

Trumbull got the lead for good in the bottom of the inning.

Yet again the leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch, as Zach Sagar advanced to first. He didn’t stay there long, as Chris Masi stepped up and unloaded a deep shot over the right fielder’s head for an RBI triple and a 2-1 lead.

“The big hit for us was Masi,” Pacelli said. “You put the runner in motion. Sometimes it helps to swing the bat and not think too much about it. Just put the ball in play and good things happen usually.”

Greenwich’s lone hit and best chance at adding runs was in the third inning, when Jonathan Dreher uncorked a double. However that was as far as Dreher would get, as Keyes settled down and got out of the inning unharmed.

With the victory, Trumbull improved to 12-4 in the FCIAC and Greenwich High fell to 9-7.