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Staples Holds Off Greenwich

Staples’ pitching staff consists of more than David Speer and Jimmy Sikorski. Thursday, junior Rob Gau stepped up in the biggest spot of his career and pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings to lead Staples to a 2-1 victory over Greenwich in a key Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference baseball game.

Gau fanned six and walked five before giving way to Speer, who survived a shaky seventh inning for the save. The win gives Staples (16-1 overall, 14-1 FCIAC) a two-game lead in the loss column in the race for the top seed in the upcoming FCIAC playoffs.

“This is what Rob Gau does,’’ Staples coach Jack McFarland said. “He didn’t give up a lot of hits, but he made a lot of pitches and walked some batters.” Gau seemed to get stronger as the game went along, but left after 100 pitches with two on and two out in the fifth. “I have pretty good stamina, but I think it was the right decision to bring in David,’’ Gau said.

Greenwich left 12 runners on base, including the bases-loaded three times. The Cardinals also missed a chance to score in the first inning when Yuta Okazaki was thrown out on an attempted steal of home by first baseman Colin McCarthy. “That’s the best defense our infield has played all year,’’ Gau said.

Staples had just four hits, two by Grant Moss. Staples scored an unearned run in the fourth on a fielding error and another unearned run in the sixth on a Greenwich throwing error. Greenwich pitcher Ryan Carr fanned seven and walked three over six strong innings.

Greenwich scored in the seventh, helped by a throwing error by Speer. The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out, but Speer struck out Andrew Van Eyck and induced Ryan Brennan to hit into a fielder’s choice to shortstop to end the game.

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