Darien baseball team wins in walk-off style against Warde

DARIEN -- Senior leadership. That was the theme of Darien's critical 5-4 walk-off victory over the visiting Fairfield Warde Mustangs Friday.

After surrendering a run in the top of the seventh allowing Warde to pull even at 4-4, Andrew Maley stepped to the plate for what would become a seven-pitch at bat against Warde's Reece Maniscalco.

On the seventh pitch with the count full, Maley connected for a sharply hit ground ball off the glove of the Warde second baseman and into center field for the game-winning single, scoring Nick Pettit.

"I was just trying to have a good two-strike approach after getting down pretty early in the count. I just wanted to keep my hands in and I got a pitch I could drive and poked it up the middle," Maley said. "Coming out and grinding this one out is huge for us because we can maybe sneak into (the FCIAC tournament)."

Maley's heroics may not have even been possible had it not been for the clutch hitting of fellow senior captain Carl Stowell, who went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles all of his team's first three RBI.

Perhaps the most crucial of those hits came in the bottom of the fifth, when Stowell came to the plate with two outs and Darien down 2-1 with runners on the corners. Stowell's deep drive scored pinch runner Dylan Carruthers from third and Pettit from first for the 3-2 lead. His first double cut Darien's deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth and his single came one batter ahead of Maley's walk-off knock.

"The way we came back in the last inning is just incredible," Stowell said. "I saw the runners in scoring position and was trying the best I could do put it in play and hopefully get it into the outfield."

"We got down early to a scrappy team. It looked for a while like we were going through the motions and didn't have our `A' game," Darien coach Mike Scott said. "Our pitchers did a great job keeping us in the game and giving our offense and chance to get back in it. So I was really proud of the way the guys fought back today."

Warde took a 2-0 second inning lead when Michael Foley hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly to center and Tommy Luckner hit an RBI single.

Trailing 3-2, Warde pulled even in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Christian Sabella.

Facing a 4-3 deficit and down to their final three outs, the Mustangs again tied the game when Pete Detrik hit a one-out double and scored on an RBI double by Anthony Miller before Darien reliever Liam Naughton got out of the inning with a strikeout.

Both starting pitchers, Warde's Justin Triunfo and Darien's Ames Murray, pitched deep into the game and consistently limited the damage.

Triunfo went five innings while giving up three runs, four hits, two hit batters and striking out two. Murray logged five and a third innings of three-run ball while allowing six hits and a pair of walks and notching one strikeouts.

"It's a game that was decided by a couple plays we didn't make and a few opportunities we didn't cash in on," Warde coach Mark Caron said. "It was a play decided by a couple plays we didn't make and a couple big opportunities we didn't cash in on. They had some opportunities and they made the most of them."

jchik@bcnnew.com; Twitter: @jchik17

Darien 5, Fairfield Warde 4

WARDE020 001 1--4 9 4

DARIEN000 121 1--3 7 3

Records: Fairfield Warde 8-8, 8-6 FCIAC; Darien8-8, 7-7. Batteries: FW--Justin Triunfo, Reece Maniscalco (L) and Anthony Miller; D--Ames Murray, Liam Naughton (W) and Anthony DiMeglio. Highlights: FW--Michael Foley, Tommy Luckner and Christian Sabella all had an RBI single. D--Carl Stowell went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two doubles. Connor Davey went 2-for-3 with an RBI single. Andrew Maley had a walk-off single.