As the final out was put away in Thursday’s matchup between the Greenwich High and Trinity Catholic baseball teams, a shout of “Playoffs!”, came from the home team and their crowd at Cardinal Stadium.
Behind a dominant and efficient performance from starting pitcher Anthony Ferraro, Greenwich (10-3) clinched an FCIAC playoff berth with a 4-1 victory over Trinity Catholic.
Ferraro threw 95 pitches over six innings, while only allowing three hits and striking out six Crusader batters in the win.
“Anthony battled today,” said GHS head coach Phil Tarantino. “What he does is always keep us in the game. Our defense made some plays behind him.”
Trinity Catholic broke the seal of the game with a first-inning run scored on a fielder’s choice, bringing in Trey Donaghue for a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals retaliated with a strong second inning as Mark Sunoo grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Paul Williams to tie the game at one apiece. Following an infield single by Ferraro, Colin Kelly slapped a two-run double to break open the lead to 3-1 for the Cardinals.
“Colin has been hot for the past couple of weeks,” Tarantino said. “If we can ever get in a situation with him up and guys on base, we feel good about our chances. He came through yesterday and today. His hit today was huge and enough for us to win.”
It wasn’t until the fifth inning when the Crusaders threatened to score again, as a pair of walks put runners on the corners with lefty power hitter Dillon Daine in the batter’s box.
As Dom Svrcek led off third base, his Crusader teammate Dan Bernard broke for second base from first, creating simultaneous rundowns across the infield diamond. Svrcek crept closer towards home, but not before the Greenwich infield took notice and threw him out at home to end the top of the fifth and stop the scoring threat.
In the bottom half of the inning, Greenwich extended their lead off the bat of Erik Mini and his RBI single, bringing in Ryan King to score. King went 1-for-2 with a single, a stolen base and a run. Kevin Woodring went 1-for-2 as well with a single and a walk (HBP).
Ferraro was lifted in the seventh and final inning for Aaron Schur, who pitched a perfect inning to earn the save and clinch a spot in the upcoming FCIAC tournament.
“It’s always one of our goals,” Tarantino said of the tournament berth. “It’s always nice to clinch this early. We have a chance to be in a really good spot, in terms of seeding.”
Greenwich plays Brien McMahon Friday at home at 4:00.
“Now, we’re locked into an FCIAC playoff spot so it’s great for the morale,” said Ferraro after the win. “It’s great to have my defense make plays behind me.”