Long day ends with Greenwich senior Cannons victorious over Montville

The Greenwich Cannons senior American Legion baseball team logged some heavily miles Tuesday, but in the end, it was well worth it.

Greenwich started the day bright and early at Stamford’s Cubeta Field, competing against Milford in a battle of 2-0 teams.


Although the Cannons had plenty of chances, they fell to Milford, 2-0.

That meant the Cannons quickly hopped in their cars and traveled upstate to Bristol’s Muzzy Field for a game that got underway at 3:30 p.m.

Sure they were tired, but staring pitcher Kyle Dunster and the rest of the Cannons didn’t show any fatigue on the field.

Scoring three times in the second inning and three more runs in the eighth, the Greenwich senior legion team eliminated Montville from the tournament in the afternoon game, 6-0.

“It was tough and it probably would have been easier to pack it in, but good teams face adversity and this was one of those things,” Greenwich head coach Mike Abate said. “We lost earlier in the day and had to come up here to play a very good team in Montville. These guys showed they wanted to rebound.”

Greenwich was able to stay patient with Montville’s pitching and took advantage of fielding mistakes throughout the game.

In the bottom of the second, Ryan Hardin led off with a walk and Matt Tate, who was taking the place of Taylor Olmstead, who was injured during the morning game against Milford, was hit by a pitch. Up next was Ryota Okazaki, who drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases.

Matt Pruner stepped to the plate and drew another walk, however during his at bat, the Montville pitcher uncorked a wild pitch, which moved all runners over a base and plated Hardin for the 1-0 lead.

With the bases once again loaded and one out, Dylan Callahan drew another four-pitch walk that forced home Okazaki and gave Greenwich a 2-0 lead.

Montville replaced their starter with Zach Lutzen and Brendon Hardin greeted him with an RBI single to left field that made the score 3-0.

“The first game really deflated us because we were winning during the top of the eighth and were losing in the bottom of the eighth,” Montville head coach Mitchell Furber said. “Once we lost that game, things went down from there. In the loser’s bracket game, it’s important to score first. Our backs were already against the wall and then they score three runs on us. That took all the momentum away from us. Usually this team could flip the switch, but today the light bulb went out.”

Lutzen kept Greenwich at bay until the eighth, when Michael McKeon came in for relief, however he didn’t last too long.

Tate led off the inning with a booming double over the center fielder’s head and advanced to third on a wild pitch during Okazaki’s at bat. Okazaki drew a walk, as did Pruner, to load the bases and that was all for McKeon.

Greenwich was able to get three runs in the inning when both Stephen Monick and Callahan each drew walks to force in runs. Cameron Fennell made the score 6-0 on a sacrifice fly to left.

“We knew that four or five days into the tournament and everybody’s pitching is starting to go down,” Abate said. “You have to find a way and not make errors and capitalize on theirs. They walked somebody and we made it hurt.”

Dunster, who usually is Greenwich’s reliever, was asked to start and pitched a gem, going all nine innings and giving up only two hits, while striking out seven and walking four.

“I don’t look at Kyle as a fourth starter,” Abate said. “He’s more of a reliever guy that had to start today and he did a great job. Whether it was the fourth game or first game, he stepped up like a started should.”

“Everything felt good for me and things worked out,” said Dunster, who was a starter on the junior legion team but a reliever on the senior squad. “I had a lot of rest, so today coming out I had everything going. There’s always a little bit of pressure, but I knew that it was a must-win. It’s really important to keep your pitch count down and get ahead. Every pitch counts.”

With the victory, Greenwich advanced and will be back at Muzzy Field tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.

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