The Staples High School baseball team lived to play on Wednesday but only because Mother Nature extended its season by 24 hours. The number two seeded Wreckers, who set a school record with 18 wins in the regular season, dropped their Class LL state tournament opening round game to Hamden, 7-3.
The 31st seeded Hamden Green Dragons jumped out to a 5-1 lead on Tuesday thanks to a monster home run by leftfielder Jordan Teague. Play was suspended when the skies opened after the top of the fourth. The delay seemed to refocus Staples briefly when freshman Bryan Terzian roped a clutch two-run double in the bottom of the fourth after play resumed on Wednesday, cutting the lead to 5-3.
The pivotal moment came in the bottom of the fifth when the Wreckers had men on first and second with only one out. FCIAC player of the year Jack Hennessy was gunned down at third on a double steal, essentially killing the rally. Hamden pitcher Pete Scott silenced the Staples bats for the final two innings.
"Jack has the green light," Staples Head Coach Jack McFarland said of the critical play. "I thought he got a great jump, but they made the play on us." Junior pitcher Rob Gau did all he could to keep his team in the game, but struggled with his control in the 6th allowing two runs that proved to be the backbreaker.
Despite the crushing defeat, McFarland is optimistic about the team's future. "All three of our outfielders are back. Our shortstop is back. Rob Gau is back. Some of the guys on the bench you didn't see are very good baseball players," he said. "The seniors have left the program in a very good spot."
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