Kochiss, D'Ascenzo comebine for shutout in Ludlowe's win over Westhill
FAIRFIELD -- Wednesday's contest certainly was not the crispest the Fairfield Ludlowe High School baseball team has played all year.
But for the Falcons, winning is all that counts.
Ludlowe pitchers Mike Kochiss and Victor D'Ascenzo combined for a shutout, allowing just five hits in Ludlowe's 4-0 win over Westhill on Wednesday at Kiwanis Field.
"Our pitchers made big pitches in big spots today," Ludlowe coach Keith O'Rourke said. "It was a good effort overall."
Arman's RBI single in the second drove in Kevin Hickey, putting Ludlowe ahead for good.
"It felt good," Arman said. "I was down in the count and battled back and drove a pitch up the middle."
The Falcons stole five bases, but had a runner picked off third, and two runners caught stealing, including a failed suicide squeeze. Ludlowe also committed two defensive errors.
"We can improve in some areas," Kochiss said. "But a win is a win."
The Vikings were bitten by poor base running and troublesome clutch hitting. Westhill left 10 men on base and had three runners picked off, including two at second base with no outs. Westhill also had a runner struck with a batted ball with none out that damaged a threat in the seventh inning.
"It's not a recipe to win, especially against a team like Ludlowe," Mulvany said. "You can't give away outs and we did a handful of times today."
The Vikings also had a runner cut down at the plate to end the third inning. Piechel singled to center, but Ludlowe center fielder Charlie Meder's strike home nabbed Brandon Curto for the final out with the Falcons leading 1-0.
"That changed the whole complexion of the game," Mulvany said. "If we had scored, maybe we put them on their heels a little bit. It was a big swing their way."
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Kochiss singled and stole second, catcher Mike Poudrier singled Kochiss to third, then stole second. D'Ascenzo's RBI groundout gave Ludlowe a 2-0 lead.
The Falcons added a run in the fifth when D'Ascenzo's RBI single scored Meder. Howell's triple over Curto's head in center field capped the Falcons' scoring.
Kochiss struck out two while walking five in four-plus innings. The junior starter walked the first two batters in the game, but settled in after that, allowing just three hits. He departed after allowing back to back base runners to leadoff the fifth.
"I had trouble finding my arm slot at times," Kochiss said. "But I fought through it and helped my team win."
D'Ascenzo entered and induced Brian Pollack to pop up his bunt attempt. The pitcher caught it, then fired to second for a double play. After walking a batter and allowing Oakes to single to load the bases, D'Ascenzo picked off Oakes to end the inning.
"I felt comfortable in that spot with (D'Ascenzo)," O'Rourke said. "We groomed him for that role last year and he had some success."
D'Ascenzo allowed just two hits in three innings, earning his second consecutive save.
"He's been great out of the pen," O'Rourke said. "Hopefully he just takes that success for the rest of the season."
WESTHILL 000 000 0-- 0 4 2
LUDLOWE 011 011 x-- 4 9 2
Records: W-- 4-2, FL-- 5-3; Batteries: W-- Andrew Oakes (L, 1-1) and Ronny Jackson, FL-- Mike Kochis (W, 1-2), Victor D'Ascenzo (Save, 2) and Mike Poudrier; Triples: FL-- Tommy Howell.