The Blue Wave baseball team defeated the Norwalk Bears 11-1 in five innings in the regular season finale at Darien High School, clinching a top four seed and a quarterfinal home game for the FCIAC playoffs.
“We like being home on the turf. We feel like we have an advantage here,” said Darien head coach Mike Scott.
Norwalk (8-12 overall, 7-9 FCIAC) got on the board in the first inning but could do nothing after that against Darien (14-6, 11-5) and starting pitcher James Louis.
“We’ve been struggling all year. We’re very young. We are playing two freshman and three sophomores,” said Norwalk head coach Pete Tucci. “A lot of the time we are overmatched.”
Louis threw five innings, allowing one run on three hits. He walked two and struck out five, picking up his first win of the season on the mound (1-2).
“He settled in (after the first inning),” Scott said. “He found his groove. He actually got better as the game went on. Couldn’t have asked for anything more out of him.”
The Bears run came on an RBI double to right field by Marco Montiero.
“We only have a few kids who can hit varsity pitching. Unless the other team helps us by walking us and stuff like that, we are in trouble,” said Tucci.
After Norwalk took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Darien came right back in the bottom of the inning.
Justin Jordan and Henry Williams opened the game with back-to-back doubles to tie the game before a Mac McLean single gave the Blue Wave a 2-1 lead. Another run came in on an error.
“Our guys were up to the challenge, they responded,” said Scott.
The Blue Wave added another run in the second on an RBI single by Williams to go on top 4-1.
After being held off the scoreboard in the third, Darien broke the game open in the fourth. A double steal brought Jordan home from third and RBI singles from McLean and Max Gasvoda gave the Blue Wave a 7-1 lead after four.
“Our guys did a good job hitting the ball today,” said Scott.
Darien would finish the game off by scoring four times in the fifth. Sean O’Malley had a bases-loaded RBI single to put Darien up 8-1. Arthur Xanthos followed up with a two-run single of his own. The game ended on an RBI single by Gasvoda.
Norwalk was hurt by their defense, as they committed three errors, leading to four of the Blue Wave runs.
“That’s high school baseball. The other team makes mistakes and you take advantage of it,” said Scott.
Norwalk will now wait for the Class LL state tournament to begin, while Darien will play in the FCIAC quarterfinals at a date and time to be announced.
The quarterfinals were originally scheduled for Friday, May 18, but with many games still being played following the week’s rainouts and school closures, the tournament is now slated to begin on Monday, May 21. Darien’s opponent, and the time of their quarterfinal game, are yet to be determined.
“Our season means nothing. Now it’s a one game season and we just have to go out and play whoever is in front of us and lay it all on the table,” said Scott.
Darien 11, Norwalk 1 (5 innings)
Thursday, May 17, at Darien HS
Norwalk 1-0-0-0-0 1 run, 2 hits, 3 errors
Darien 3-1-0-3-4 11 runs, 13 hits, 1 error
James Louis – W, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Justin Jordan – 2-for-3, 2B, BB, 3 runs
Henry Williams – 2-for-4, 2B, 2 runs, 2 RBIs
Max Gasvoda – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs
Marco Montiero – 2B, BB, 1 RBI
Kyle Gordon – 1B