WESTPORT, Conn. – For six innings, Greenwich and Staples gritted through six tense innings of baseball to a 2-2 tie. But it all fell apart for Staples when the bullpen imploded in the seventh.
Greenwich sent 16 players to the plate in the top of the seventh, pounding the Staples bullpen for 11 runs. Matt Pruner put the exclamation point on the afternoon with his first varsity home run high over the left field fence. When it was all said and done, Greenwich had turned a tie into a 13-2 blowout of the Wreckers.
The late-game collapse was the third time this season Staples could not support a stellar outing by ace pitcher Jimmy Kopack. In five innings pitched, the Wreckers righty struck out six and did not allow an earned run.
“Jimmy’s had three tough losses, and he pitched great today. But he knows this is the regular season,” Staples manager Jack McFarland said. “All the big stuff is coming up in a couple weeks. Hopefully, one of these days we’ll hit for him.”
Staples clung to a 1-0 lead for four innings and missed several opportunities to build on it. The Wreckers stranded 10 runners and left the bases loaded twice.
Both teams scored off errors in the fifth to pull the game even at 2-2. Greenwich’s Kyle Dunster was perfect out of the bullpen, but Staples went through three relievers before it could stop the bleeding. Greenwich belted eight hits in the seventh, including four singles, three doubles and Pruner’s three-run shot.
“After the game I told the guys there are no trophies on tables and nobody got eliminated today,” McFarland said. “We had plenty of opportunities, but we can’t leave guys on like we did.”
Staples (13-4) has lost two in a row but holds a firm grasp on the four seed in the conference playoff standings. The Wreckers host Ridgefield in their home finale on Monday at 4 p.m.