Darien-New Canaan rides Meadows' gem Previte's slam past Norwalk

DARIEN -- Early this season, Darien-New Canaan Senior Legion head coach John Miceli has seen his ballclub struggle to put all the pieces together on a consistent basis.

However, those fortunes changed slightly on Tuesday.

Right-hander Peter Meadows pitched a four-hit shutout and center fielder Bryan Previte provided the offense by smacking a rare inside-the-park grand slam as Darien-New Canaan topped Norwalk 5-0 at Darien High School for its second straight win.

Darien-New Canaan improved to 4-11 on the season, while Norwalk, the defending state champion, lost for the third time in the last four games to fall to 5-7 overall.

"We've played competitive games. We've just been missing the big hit in the key spot and we got that today," Miceli said. "We got a great outing on the mound."

After walking the leadoff batter, shortstop Mike Parlanti, Meadows peppered the strike zone with a steady stream of fastballs and sharp-breaking curveballs and needed just 95 pitches to complete the gem.

"I was just trying to mix it up a little bit. I came with the fastball early and then (tried to) be up in the count so I could throw my curve really whenever I wanted," said Meadows, who retired 11 out of the final 12 batters following a fourth-inning single by right fielder Matt Ederle.

In the second inning, Meadows got all the run support he needed when Previte's hit with two outs and the bases loaded sliced toward the right-field line and out of the reach of a diving Ederle. As the ball rolled toward the fence, Previte rounded the bases and eventually slid into home safely, just ahead of a relay throw.

"I knew it was going to be a base hit. I knew it was going to get down. I saw him lay out for it and I thought he might've had a chance to catch it, and then it got by him," Previte said. "I was thinking at least a triple."

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Previte's home run stood as the lone hit in the four-run inning as Darien-New Canaan capitalized on a pair of walks against right-hander Gareth Fancher and a two-out fielding error at first base.

"It was a bad inning by us, mentally and physically," Norwalk head coach Chris Brown said. "I don't like getting on kids because of physical errors, but mental errors, they've got to be there for that."

Fancher limited Darien-New Canaan to just four hits and struck out four over six innings, but two fielding errors behind him led to five unearned runs.

That was just part of another frustrating afternoon on the baseball diamond for Norwalk, which has now run into a mini slump with the bats. Norwalk has plated just one run in the last two games after combining for 18 runs in a double header against Ridgefield last Saturday.

Meadows recorded eight strikeouts (seven from the fourth inning on) and walked just one.

"He threw strikes. When you go against a kid that throws strikes and you're not hitting, that happens sometimes," Brown said. "We're going to take some more swings in practice and we're going to have to keep swinging--keep getting after it. Turn the page and move onto the next one."

dbonjour@scni.com; 203-330-6289; twitter.com/DougBonjour


NORWALK 000 000 0--0 4 2

DARIEN-NEW CANAAN 140 000 x--5 4 1

Records: Norwalk 5-7; Darien-New Canaan 4-11.

Batteries: N--Gareth Fancher (L) and Danny Diaz. D--Peter Meadows (W) and Kevin Love.

Home runs: D--Bryan Previte.