Williams’ Walk-Off Winner Lifts Greenwich Over Trumbull 4-3
A walk-off RBI single off the bat of Greenwich High’s Paul Williams was the difference between the host Cardinals and the visiting Trumbull Golden Eagles in Monday’s matchup that went down to the wire.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Williams slapped a single over the head of Trumbull’s second baseman to bring in the winning run for the Cardinals. Greenwich improved to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in conference play with the win as Trumbull drops to 5-4,4-3.
“The whole time I was thinking fastball, but I wanted to wait for my pitch too,” said Williams, moments after being mobbed by his teammates at first base. “I was fortunate to get a ball on the first pitch. I knew he would come back with a few fastballs. I sat back, relaxed, took a deep breath and really tried to enjoy the moment.”
Williams’ heroics wouldn’t have been possible if Trumbull hadn’t tied the game at three in the top of the seventh inning to force the Cardinals to finish the bottom half of the inning.
The Eagles were down to their last strike before Kris DiCaccio belted an RBI double that nearly cleared the right field fence to bring in the tying run.
Trumbull stuck with Joe Nemchek on the mound for all seven innings, but the lefty gave up two hits and walked two (one intentionally) in the final half inning of the game.
“I knew going in that their pitcher is excellent,” said GHS head coach Bob Lutz. “We played well again, gave ourselves a chance to win and the kids delivered.”
Colin Kelly reached base on a single in the seventh inning and Ryan King would draw a walk to put two on. After the runners advanced on a stolen base, Trumbull elected to intentionally walk Kevin Woodring to bring Williams to the plate with the bases loaded.
Williams flipped the script on Trumbull’s strategy for an out at any base by putting the ball just out of the infielder’s reach on the game clinching bloop single
“Kevin has been with us for three years and they know who he is,” said Lutz following the win. “Paul stepped up, that’s why he’s in the 5-hole in our lineup.”
On the rubber for the Cardinals was Anthony Ferraro who threw for 5.1 innings and struck out four while only giving up two runs. An RBI-double from Robert Olah in the first inning would be the only damage done until Ferraro was pulled in the sixth inning for Brett Collins.
Coming into the game with the bases loaded and one out, Collins surrendered just one run in the inning to get the Cardinals out of a tough jam.
But the Eagles weren’t done quite yet. The Cardinals were unable to get a run across in the bottom of the sixth inning and left the door open just enough for a late rally.
Leadoff hitter Dustin Siqueira, who went 3-for-3 with three singles and a run, was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Danny Ruchalski laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to second base and it would be DiCaccio who delivered the game tying hit.
The Trumbull rally would set the stage for Williams to come through in the clutch and gives Greenwich a much needed morale boost after losing a one-run game to Southington on Saturday.
“This game is huge for us,” said Williams. Our team played well together for seven innings. Everyone contributed to this win so it’s very fulfilling.”
A nine-batter fourth inning would break open the game for the Cardinals, as Marco Pastore highlighted the inning coming back from an 0-2 count to force a full 3-2 count and then driving a ball to the outfield for an RBI single to give Greenwich a 2-1 lead. Glenn Saperstein then provided another run with an infield single.
Woodring finished with a single on a 1-for-2 day at the plate with two walks and Erik Mini went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.
For Trumbull, Olah hit a pair of singles in the loss and Vinny DeRubeis knocked in an RBI single in the sixth inning.
“Both of my arms did a great job,” said Lutz. “Anthony got high in the pitch count, so Brett came in with the bases loaded and one out. He gives up one single and we still get out of there with the lead. I thought with two outs he struck out a second guy there in the seventh inning. To the batter’s credit, he got a hit there.”
“But we didn’t fold, we kept fighting. Paul Williams stepped up big with the base hit.”
Greenwich hosts Norwalk on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. before hitting the road for a three-game road trip against FCIAC foes in Fairfield Warde, Stamford and Bridgeport Central.