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Staples Baseball Stunned by New Canaan

With a 4-1 lead and undefeated pitcher Rob Gau on the mound, some people might have thought the Staples High School baseball game Friday afternoon was over. Some of those people, to the chagrin of Wreckers’ coach Jack McFarland, were wearing uniforms for his team.

New Canaan twice stormed back from behind to defeat the Wreckers, 8-7, in a slugfest at Staples. Julian Clarke took the loss in relief of Gau, who surrendered five runs before getting pulled in the fifth. “He just didn’t have his command today,’’ McFarland said.

Staples (9-2, 8-2) suffered its second straight loss. After the Rams nicked Gau for an unearned run in the first, Staples stormed back with three runs. Mike Scott slammed a solo home run to right field. Three batters later, Ryan Jacobs crushed a two-run home run over the left field fence. Scott (three hits, two runs scored, two RBIs) added an RBI single in the second.

New Canaan’s Andrew Casali socked a three-run home run off Gau in the third, and New Canaan took a 5-4 lead. Staples regained the lead in the fourth on Brendan Bernstein’s two-run double to center and Colin McCarthy’s RBI single.

Staples couldn’t hold it, however, as New Canaan struck for a run in the fifth and two in the sixth. Cameron Armstrong’s two-run single off Bryan Terzian put the Rams ahead to stay.

“My message afterward was we need to refocus,’’ McFarland said. “Monday is the beginning of our second half of the season. We have some things we need to clean up. When we were up 4-1, everybody thought this game was over. It’s that kind of stuff that we need to work on.”

Staples also committed four errors, stranded five runners in scoring position and struck out nine times. McFarland talked with his team in the outfield for nearly 20 minutes afterward. “There were errors, we hit a batter with a pitch with a 30 mph curveball, and we didn’t hit in key situations,’’ he said. “That’s not championship baseball. If we want to get to where we want to go, we have to clean it up.”

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