Greenwich Senior Babe Ruth falls to Newtown in state tourney, 8-3

Greenwich Senior Babe Ruth’s Dean Gerardi throws a pitch during the first inning of Tuesday’s game against Newtown. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Greenwich Senior Babe Ruth’s Dean Gerardi throws a pitch during the first inning of Tuesday’s game against Newtown. — Paul Silverfarb photo

The Greenwich Senior Babe Ruth All-Star Team ran into a roadblock in its quest to compete in the 16 to 18-year-old Regional Tournament.

Competing in the winner’s bracket final against Newtown, Greenwich was unable to solve the pitching of Dan Poetl, as Newtown was able to tally a big third inning and come away with the 8-3 victory over Greenwich Tuesday afternoon in East Lyme.

“On our team we really harp on defense and we had a couple of errors on the base path,” Greenwich head coach Steve DeRosa said. “I tell these guys all the time that the No. 1 thing in baseball is locking it down on defense and capitalizing on mistakes. Today Newtown was able to do that on us, unfortunately. It didn’t help that they had a great pitcher back there.”

Newtown scored four times in the third inning and that was more than enough for Poetl, who dominated Greenwich and finished with 16 strikeouts.

“We put it out of reach in the third, but the best thing that happened to us today was that our pitcher was spot on,” Newtown head coach Jeff Romeo said. “He pitched an unbelievable game. It was a great performance and some outstanding defense behind him. We expected what we got from Greenwich in the end and I thought we were going to get that throughout the whole game, but when you have a pitcher that was on like that, it limited their opportunities.”

A good sign for Poetl was that he was able to strike out the side in the first two innings. He also struck out the side in the sixth inning and had two strikeouts in the fourth inning.

“He’s our No. 3 starter and he was on today,” Romeo said. “When you pound the strike zone like that, good things happen. He was getting all the pitches over, whether it was a two-seam, four-seam or curveball. Everything was going over the plate and he was in a groove.”

Greenwich had a chance in the first inning to strike first, as Eddie Meizels connected on a triple over the Newtown right fielder’s head. However Poetl struck out the next batter to end the threat.

In the top of the second, Newtown struck first, as Reid Schmidt launched a triple over the right fielder’s head and Poetl helped his own cause by hitting a grounder to short that drove home Schmidt for the 1-0 lead.

Newtown broke the game open in the third inning, scoring four times. After Mike Daubert drew a walk and stole second, Brandon Cooper connected on a double down the right field line that plated Daubert and Cooper took third on the throw home.

A single by Pat Mullins made the score 3-0 and after Alex Lapinski singled and Alex Roche drew a walk, Schmidt hit a sac fly to center that plated Mullins for the 4-0 lead. A single by Poetl to center plated Lapinski for the 5-0 advantage.

“Advancing to the championship game was something that we’ve been working for,” Romeo said. “We lost in the finals to Stamford last year and it was really painful. We had to take the rest of the summer off and the wait the whole year to get back here. We’re looking for redemption by winning the state championship.”

Greenwich had a chance to cut into the lead in the bottom of the third, as Tyler Phillips reached base on an error, stole second and third. However with two outs, Phillips was picked off third and tagged out in the rundown for the final out.

After Newtown scored again in the top of the fourth on a single by Cooper and two errors by the Greenwich defense, Greenwich had another chance in the bottom of the fifth.

Pat Callahan hit a missile over the center fielder’s head with one out for a double. After an error by the Newtown shortstop let Jesse Hupal reach base and moved Callahan to third, Greenwich ran into trouble, as Hupal was caught stealing and another strikeout by Newtown’s Poetl ended the inning.

After Newtown plated two more runs in the top of the seventh, Greenwich was able to plate three runs in the bottom of the inning.

Trailing 8-0, Meizels started the inning with a leadoff double to center and came around to score when Erick Stohlenhoff laced a single to right field. With one out, Stohlenhoff stole second during Hupal’s at bat.

During that at bat, Hupal connected on a single down the left field line. Stohlenhoff rounded third and came home to cut the deficit to 8-2. After Hupal reached second on a wild pitch, Greenwich starting pitcher Dean Gerardi smacked a single over the outstretched glove of the Newtown second baseman and drove home Hupal to make the score 8-3.

“We had opportunities today, but we were unable to capitalize on them today,” DeRosa said. “I think we were more relaxed in last inning and that’s why we were able to score those runs and do what we needed to do. After Newtown jumped on us early, I think it got into our heads a bit. That happens, but I was happy how we were able to string together a bunch of hits at the end. Unfortunately it was a little too late.”

With the loss, Greenwich fell to the loser’s bracket final, where they need to win tomorrow in order to advance in the double-elimination tournament. On the other side of the coin, Newtown advanced to the championship game, to be played on Friday.

Either way, Newtown will advance to the regional tournament. If Greenwich wins tomorrow afternoon, they will also advance to the regional tournament, as the top two teams in the state tournament automatically move on.

Despite the loss, DeRosa was thrilled with the way Greenwich started the tournament, beating rival Stamford in a 4-3 nail-biter.
“Beating Stamford was huge for us,” DeRosa said. “They’ve been beating us for a long time and on that day we came out focus and capitalized on their mistakes. We pulled it out and told them in practice that the road to the state championship goes through Stamford and Newtown. We were able to beat Stamford. Newtown is a good team, but they are beatable.”

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress