Pickens' Perspective: Fairfield Ludlowe's big inning could be key for later
Published 1:04 am, Friday, April 9, 2010
When I was talking with Ludlowe baseball coach Keith O'Rourke for the Fairfield Citizen Spring Sports Preview, he told me that his offense would be good and that the Falcons would be great as long as their pitching held up.
If Wednesday wasn't a microcosm of that, I don't know what is.
Ludlowe allowed five runs in the first two innings to Notre Dame. Ludlowe's defense made two errors in the first inning, and starting pitcher Kevin Lambert walked three in the second.
Even though it was the first game of the season, things were looking bleak. If the Falcons were going to get smoked by Notre Dame in the season's first game, what would they do against the extremely difficult FCIAC?
Ludlowe forcefully answered that question in its fourth inning.
10 runs, 10 hits, 16 batters, three forced Notre Dame errors, a walk, a productive out, and the Falcons were all of a sudden ahead in a laugher.
The Falcons' offense did it so quickly that ND starter Christian Hock could not have known what even hit him. Ludlowe's first six batters reached before Hock could even get pulled. By then the score was 6-5 and Ludlowe was not even close to being done.
Billy Malone, who was the only batter in the inning to not record a hit, drove in one with an RBI groundout, but Ludlowe's next three batters singled to make the game 10-5. After Steve Guasco grounded out, Tyler Bulkeley walked and the man of the day, Alex Wright, singled in another run to put Ludlowe up 11-5. Nick Rossomando's walk capped the inning.
"It was good to come out of that slump," Nagy said.
Ludlowe also learned a thing or two from that inning, like that this backup outfielder Wright they have is pretty good. The junior replaced Brad Burton and ended up with a hit and a walk in the inning and scored a run. Wright ended up 2-3 with a pair of runs scored.
"He was ready," Ludlowe Head Coach Keith O'Rourke said. "He did a great job...He was in the middle of a lot of stuff.
"He'll be playing again."
The big fourth inning settled down starter Kevin Lambert. Lambert was on the ropes for a while in the beginning, throwing 46 pitches in the first two innings. Lambert closed his final three innings with 34 pitches, including a five pitch third and a 12 pitch fourth.
The old saying in baseball is "momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher", but in high school baseball an inning like the fourth can be momentum for days and weeks to come, especially since it came in the first game. Ludlowe now knows that it is never out of a game. Five runs is a big deficit, but the Falcons turned that around in one inning.
"I think we have the capability to do it," O'Rourke said. "We have some kids that can flat out hit.
"It is a luxury to know that we have the potential to that on any given inning."
The rest of the FCIAC should take notice as well. Ludlowe has not even been an FCIAC finalist in the past three years, but Ludlowe has proven that it certainly has the offense to compete in 2010. Watching Ludlowe this year may be a long and trying ordeal, but if nothing else, it'll be entertaining.
Just like Wednesday was.