Fairfield Prep bangs out 22 hits to remain unbeaten at 5-0
Over the opening four games of the season, the Fairfield Prep baseball team has been lighting up the scoreboard like a pinball machine, averaging 10 runs and almost 14 hits a game as the Jesuits raced out of the gates with four straight wins.
On Wednesday against Career, red-hot Prep just added to the totals, banging out 22 hits in a 22-2 romp at Alumni Diamond to improve to 5-0.
"We're off to a good start," Prep coach Rudy Mauritz said. "We've played some solid ball, gotten some good pitching, defense has been pretty good, so ... so far so good but it's crazy, we're a quarter of the way through the season and we still have a long way to go."
Junior Grant Stone (3-0) went six innings, allowing just five hits and striking out six to pick up the victory.
"Grant was good. He got the ball down in the zone. He made them swing the bat," Mauritz said. "He did a good job throwing his off-speed pitches. He's a very bright guy, excellent student of the game and he's got a good idea of what to do out there. I'm happy with what he's done so far."
Eight of the nine Prep starters hit safely, led by junior JR Lopez, who went 4-for-4 with a double and four RBI. Next on the hit parade was senior Simon Whiteman, who went 3-for-4, scored four times, knocked in two runs and stole three bases. Senior first baseman Kevin Stone went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored.
"We're being very aggressive at the plate," Lopez said. "We're just trying to hit the ball hard, use the whole field and put pressure on the defense and use our speed to our advantage on the bases."
Prep's speed led to a four-run first as Jim Colihan and Whiteman opened with singles. On the double steal, Career catcher Mike Caruso's throw sailed down the left field line and both runners scored.
The rout was on.
Three hits, an error, another stolen base and a passed ball led to three more Prep runs in the second and the Jesuits added five more in the third inning and seven in the fourth, sending 12 men to the plate with Kevin Stone's two-run double the big blow. Three Prep runs in the sixth ended the onslaught.
"The guys are squaring it up," Mauritz said. "For these opening games here, we've done a good job of squaring it up. We've got to continue to work at it. We can't get complacent and we have to make adjustments when there are guys on the mound that are getting us off-balance. When we do that, I'll be happy."
A key test comes Friday when the Jesuits face Amity, the defending Class LL champion.
"We're a team on a mission right now," said Lopez. ":We're looking to try and make a deep run."
CAREER 000 020 0--2 5 8
FAIRFIELD PREP 435 703 x--22 22 2
Records: Fairfield Prep 5-0, Career 2-3. Batteries: FP--Grant Stone (W, 3-0), Gaetano Ciambriello (7) and Brett Stevenson, Alex Card (4). C--Alex Bunnell (L), Julio Negron (3), Jamie Puntiel (5), LJ Dewar (6) and Mike Caruso. Highlights: FP--JR Lopez went 4-4 with four RBIs, Kevin Stone went 2-3 with three RBIs, Simon Whiteman went 3-4 with two RBIs, four runs scored and three stolen bases. C--Mike Caruso had two doubles, Angel Mendez had two hits.