Extra-innings home run grounds Cardinals

Robbie Jones and the New Canaan Rams were down to their final strike, trailing the Greenwich Cardinals after eight long innings of baseball Monday in Mead Park.

Then Cardinal pitcher Connor Langan tried to wipe out Jones with some high cheese and the New Canaan sophomore turned the fastball into a line-drive, walk-off two-run home run to right.

Jones’ shot capped a wild, 8-7 victory that saw New Canaan rally to tie the game with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, and then erase a two-run deficit with three runs in the bottom of the eighth.

The loss was a tough one for Greenwich, which is still just outside the FCIAC playoff bubble with a league record of 6-7 and an overall mark of 7-8. New Canaan, meanwhile, improved to 12-3 overall and 11-2 in the FCIAC while remaining near the top of the conference standings.

Jones’ home run overshadowed what had been a great pitching performance by Greenwich Michael Genaro, who allowed just one run on five hits through the first six innings. His totals were six and one-third innings, 10 hits, five runs, one walk and six strikeouts.

At the plate, Kevin Woodring went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and two RBIs, while Alex LoParco tripled, walked and scored twice. Anthony Ferraro was 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI, and Devin McGrath had a single and two runs scored.

Jones played several roles for New Canaan, as he took over in the leadoff spot and made his first pitching start of the season.

At the plate, Jones was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs, while on the mound, he allowed three runs — one earned — on three hits with four strikeouts in four innings.

Greenwich had an early 3-0 lead after scoring once in the top of the first and twice in the third. After New Canaan got one back in the home half of the fifth, Greenwich added two in the top of the seventh.

Ahead 5-1, Genaro got into trouble in the bottom of the seventh when Burger doubled leading off and later scored on a one-out single by Giusti.

Jones reached on a base hit through the left side, and Levasseur went to the right for another single, plating Giusti to make it a 5-3 game. Jones advanced to third on Levasseur’s hit, with Levasseur moving to second on the throw.

Smith then cashed in both runners with the Rams’ fourth straight hit, a single through the middle, tying the score at 5-5.

Connor Langan relieved Genaro and intentionally walked Giusti before getting Kane Curtin to ground into a pretty, 6-4-3 double play to end the frame.

Alex Loparco got things started for the Cards in the top of the eighth by belting a triple to the trees in deep center He scored on a sacrifice fly by Kelly, and Woodring added an insurance run with a sac fly later in the inning to make it 7-5.

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