Ludlowe rips Stamford, qualifies for states
FAIRFIELD — After losing seven of its first eight games to open the season, the Ludlowe baseball team had just two options: give up or fight.
They chose the latter.
Thanks to a three-game winning streak and seven wins in their last 11 games, the Falcons not only put that terrible start behind them, but on Monday, they qualified for the state tournament, thanks to a 10-2 victory over Stamford at Kiwanis Field. They also put themselves in a position to qualify for the FCIAC tournament depending on what happens in Ludlowe’s season finale against McMahon on Wednesday.
“Today, just well-rounded hitting the ball,” Francese said. “When you get timely hits with runners in scoring position, good things happen.”
Two-out singles in the first by Matt Landry and Chris Howell, a hit batsman and a based-loaded walk to Dan Paglialunga gave Ludlowe a 1-0 lead in the first and the Falcons added four runs in the second as Gutierrez and John McMillian singled and Bernstein brought them both home with a triple to right to make it 3-0. Bernstein scored on a double by Mike Ghiorzi, who went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out for a 5-0 Falcons lead.
That five-run cushion was more than enough for Kubel, who struck out seven and only allowed one runner to get as far as third base.
“It seems lately, when we get down just one run we have a hard time battling back,” Stamford coach Rit Lacomis said. “We’ve scored three runs in our last four games. We’re just not getting it done. We’re trying too hard to make things happen. I’d like to see us not swing for home runs and rather just put the ball in play.”
An RBI single from Gutierrez made it 6-0 in the third, an RBI single from Howell upped that to 7-0 in the fourth and an RBI single from Bernstein and a sacrifice fly from Ghiorzi made it 9-0 in the fifth. Another sacrifice fly in the sixth from Conor Cronin gave Ludlowe a 10-0 lead.
“My curve ball was really good today, along with my fastball,” Kubel said. “I was able to place it where I wanted to. I left it up a little bit but … hitters three through six I was really able to hone in (on the strike zone).”
A single and three Ludlowe errors in the seventh gave Stamford two runs.
“Our pitching has been great, timely hitting and our defense is coming around, there’s still work there to be done, but the pitching …” Francese said. “Kubel has been tremendous over the last week and a half. Other guys have also been stepping up for us as well and we’ve been getting the big hits when we have the runners on.”
After the game, the Falcons celebrated their seniors, knowing that there is still some more baseball to play.
LUDLOWE 10, STAMFORD 2
STAMFORD 000 000 2 — 2 5 2
LUDLOWE 141 121 X — 10 13 3
Records: Stamford (9-10, 6-9 FCIAC); Ludlowe (8-11, 8-7 FCIAC)
Batteries: Stamford — Lucas Beldotti (L), Brad Papp (3) and Nico Kydes; Ludlowe — Matt Kubel (W), Eddie Magi (7) and CJ Hanrahan
Highlights: Stamford — Danny Collazo had three hits and scored a run. Chris Clemmenson and Mark Serricchio had the other hits for the Black Knights. Ludlowe — Mike Bernstein had three hits, including a triple, had three RBI and scored two runs. Mike Ghiorzi had a double and two RBI, Chris Howell had two hits and an RBI, Sean Gutierrez had three hits, scored twice and had an RBI.