BASEBALL

It wasn’t a, grand, slam. But it was a slam from Casey Brown that finished the game all the same.

Sean O’Malley smacked a double and Brown roared around the bases from first and slid home, coming together heavily with the catcher, then tagging the plate for a 4-3 Wave win over Staples at Darien on Thursday.

The last swing was vintage Sean. Driving the ball to the gap, that’s what he’s known to do.

— Mike Scott

“It was a collision at the plate; it was a bang-bang play,” said Wave coach Mike Scott of the dust-raising seventh inning drama. “The catcher came out to take the throw, Casey slid into him, they collided and the ball got by the catcher. Casey went and touched home plate. That was it.”

It’s Darien's second win in as many games and improves the Wave to 8-4 FCIAC and 9-6 overall.

Staples is 8-4, 9-7.

“It was an exciting back and forth game,” said Scott. “They jumped out early in the first on a miscue by us, and we responded in the fifth.”

Brown’s two-run homer broke it open in the fifth inning.

“It basically landed halfway in the parking lot, in dead center,” said Scott. “He got every piece of that ball. I mean, it was an absolute bomb.”

Staples came back with the lead-off homer to tie it 3-3 in the top of the sixth.

In the seventh inning, Brown reached on a dropped third strike and O’Malley doubled him home.

“We were fortunate to get a win,” said Scott. “It was a great team effort. I’m just proud of the way the guys competed today.”

Peter Marren threw five innings and Jackson Vaught came in to close it out.

“Peter did a great job on the mound,” Scott said. “Really challenging their pitchers for five innings.”

Marren struck out eight and had two walks.

“His pitches were really getting up there, and Jackson came in and did a really nice job himself,” Scott added. “After the first guy he faced, he really settled in and did a great job.”

Vaught came in and was stung with a lead-off homer that tied the game, but then settled in for the win.

“He got six straight outs after that,” Scott said. “It was an exciting finish. We’ve been on the wrong side of a couple of those (types) of games this year, and it was time to be on the right side of one. Really happy with the effort today.”

"This week was a huge week for us especially ending with two wins," said Wave captain Cord Fox, as this victory follows Wednesday's 6-0 win over Ludlowe at Fairfield. "Our pitching has been phenomenal between Henry Williams and Peter Marren as the starters and then Jackson Vaught came in at the end of both games and shut teams down to secure our wins."

Darien scored on a passed ball, with O’Malley getting in, and it was 1-1 in the fourth inning, and the Wave added two in the fifth inning.

O’Malley had two hits, singling as well as hitting the double to win the game.

“Sean had a good game,” Scott said. “He had been down a little bit the last couple of games, struggled just a little bit. And it looks like he finally broke out today.

“The last swing was vintage Sean. Driving the ball to the gap, that’s what he’s known to do. And he got his pitch and put a good swing on it.”

Ethan Ehlers had two hits.

“He’s coming back from a shoulder injury,” said Scott. “He’s doing a real nice job at the plate.”

"We knew that Staples is a very strong team and that we would have to be playing our best baseball," Fox said. "We've developed a little bit of a rivalry with them.

"Peter Marren did a great job as the starting pitcher. Offensively Casey was clutch for us again with a two-run home run to put us up 3-2 and then Sean had a walk off double that Casey was able to score from first on making it 4-3.

"Overall very exciting and a great way to end the week."