Warde blasts Stamford on opening day
The Fairfield Warde baseball team got everything it wanted in its opening game against Stamford on Wednesday.
"I couldn't ask for a better start to the season," Warde coach Mark Caron said.
Warde's James Neamonitis had three hits and drove in three runs on a triple in the fourth inning, breaking the game open for the Mustangs, turning a 4-1 Warde lead into a 7-1 advantage.
"I just wanted to get a hit to get those runs in," Neamonitis said. "He threw me a pitch I could rip."
Lopez allowed seven runs on eight hits in four innings. However, two of those runs were unearned thanks to errors.
"We kicked around some balls and it came back to bite us," Stamford coach Fred Kelley said.
A Michael Garcia single up the middle to gave Warde a 3-0 lead before Dario Pugliano stole home on a double steal to give Warde a 4-0 lead.
"Our strength is our speed," Caron said. "We demonstrated that today."
Stamford responded in the top of the third with its only run of the game. Bryan Polonia socked a one-out double and scored when Brandon Docimo tripled him in.
But Docimo failed to score, and Warde broke it open in the fourth when Joe Bartolomeo and Pugliano singled. Devon Lofton put a sacrifice opportunity down, which Lopez threw wildly at first, scoring Bartolomeo.
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"Teams maybe didn't practice as much bunt defense as they would later in the year, so we figured we'd play small ball," Caron said.
Neamonitis followed with the triple to give the Mustangs a 7-1 advantage.
That was more than enough for Goven, who struck out three, and faced just 26 batters in seven innings. Caron was more than pleased with the outing, considering Warde will play Thursday and Friday.
"I don't think we had one complete game last year," Caron said. "To start the season with a complete game when we have three games in three days is huge."
Goven was especially pleased by his team's defensive effort. Warde did not make an error in the game.
"I had a great defense to back me up," Goven said. "It gives me the feeling that even if they hit it, we'll get those outs."