Greenwich legion stuns Oakville during today's resumed game, awaits winner of Avon versus RCP

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday, the Greenwich senior Cannons baseball team was not having an afternoon that would like to remember during the American Legion state tournament. They were getting no-hit by Oakville’s Daniel Fein and despite Greenwich’s starting pitcher Bradley Wilpon tossing an effective game, Oakville took a 3-0 lead on a long home run.

Then the rains and lightning game. Three delays and four hours since the start of the contest at Muzzy Field later, the game was postponed, with Greenwich trailing 3-0 and batting with only four innings to fight back.

That’s exactly what the Cannons did, and they came back before Oakville could blink.

Greenwich scored five times in the sixth inning and once more in the seventh to stun Oakville 6-3.

“Their pitcher came out and a couple of errors opened up the door,” Greenwich head coach Mike Abate said. “We got the hits when we needed it today and I thought Dylan’s bunt with runners on first and second kind of got the momentum going our way and the guys came up with hits behind him.”

With the win, the Cannons stay alive in the Connecticut American Legion state tournament and will play the winner of RCP versus Avon, which is currently being played right now. Game time at Muzzy will be at 6:30 p.m.

“Obviously we are frustrated with the whole decision last night,” Oakville head coach Scott Ouellette said. “They had a two-and-a-half hour break, at least, of good weather. So they should have played the game last night. I am very frustrated.”

With new Oakville pitcher Ronald Gombos on the mound, Greenwich’s Matt Pruner got the continuation of the game underway by reaching base on an error by the shortstop and taking second on the play. Up next was Stephen Monick and he drew a walk.

Up next was Dylan Callahan, who laid down a perfectly-placed bunt. The Oakville infielder scooped up the ball but fired high to first. Pruner scored on the play and Monick took third.

A play later, Greenwich cut the deficit to 3-2 when Brendon Hardin laced a single to center field and advanced Monick to third.

After Hardin stole second during Cameron Fennell’s at bat, Fennell smacked a single to right that plated Callahan and knotted the game at 3-3. Taylor Olmstead kept the good times rolling, as he launched a single to right that scored Hardin and gave the Cannons a 4-3 lead.

Greenwich added one more run when Ryan Hardin hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Fennell.

For the first time this season, Greenwich ace third baseman Fennell stepped onto the mound and he did an outstanding job. In three innings of work, Fennell didn’t give up a hit, struck out one batter and only two Oakville batters were able to get a ball that left the infield.

“He’s been begging me that he could pitch, so I told him to go ahead and he comes out and throws strikes,” Abate said. “They see him as our third baseman and were probably thinking that he can’t pitch, but he was getting ahead on his fastball. We knew he could pitch, but he had shoulder problems in the beginning of the season. He really does have great stuff. We’re finding ways to get it done.”

Greenwich scored once more in the seventh. With two outs, Brendon Hardin hit a booming double in the left center field gap and advanced to third when Fennell drilled a hard shot single that the diving shortstop was unable to snag.

During Olmstead’s at bat, the Oakville pitcher uncorked a wild pitch that plated Hardin and gave Greenwich a 6-3 lead.

Wilpon started the game for Greenwich on Wednesday afternoon and fared well.

“I thought he pitched well,” Abate said. “He was getting ahead of hitters. He gave up that little bloop over Monick and a ball took a wicked hop on Matt Tate and that kid that hit is going to hit it, that put it over the wall. Other than that, Bradley was throwing a good game.”

Wilpon’s only rough spot was in the third inning, as he gave up a single to David Cherry and another single to Nicholas Delotto before Garrett Delotto stepped up and unloaded a monster shot that landed beyond the right field fence for the home run and 3-0 lead.

“I think Greenwich was pretty deflated yesterday after that shot,” Ouellette said. “That home run was a bomb. That kid is going to Central next year and it was a motivator for our team.”

During the Wednesday portion of the game, Oakville’s Fein was in complete control. In five innings of work, Fein had Greenwich completely off balance. He struck out the side in the second and third innings and finished with eight strikeouts and no walks in five innings. Fennell and Callahan were the only batters to reach base against Fein and that happened due to two separate Oakville errors.

“He had a no-hitter going and he’s our number one,” Ouellette said. “I don’t know who was behind the decision, but I’m sure Greenwich was involved.”

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