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Staples Stuns Ludlowe in 7th Inning Burst

Finally, there was baseball on Thursday. After three straight days of rainouts and a scramble to reschedule, Staples High School reminded everyone why it will be one of the toughest teams to beat when the postseason begins next week.

With Staples trailing by two in the top of the seventh, Ludlowe starter Dylan Grande quickly retired the first two Wreckers. That's when Staples finally came alive at the plate.

Grande was a strike away from putting away Colin McCarthy, but the Wreckers first baseman fought off a tough pitch into center field to cut the game to 6-5. On the very next pitch, shortstop Tyler Jacobs crushed a ball to the left-center gap, plating the tying and go-ahead runs.

Staples was far from done as Ryan Burke capped the amazing two-out rally with a two-run bomb over the left field fence. Ludlowe was retired in order in the bottom of the inning and Staples pulled out a stunning 10-6 victory.

"We never quit fighting. We knew we could come alive at the plate and it was only a matter of time," Jacobs said. "It doesn't mean that much, but a come-from-behind win means a lot mentally and gives us momentum."

After staking out an early 4-0 lead, the explosive Wreckers offense fell quiet for most of the afternoon. In the bottom of the third, Ludlowe tagged Staples starter Erik Sawyer for five runs off four consecutive hits. Center fielder Ryan Moore provided the go-ahead two-run double. Ludlowe added an insurance run on a wild pitch with the bases loaded, but failed to do any more damage.

Staples got its first four runs in a far less dramatic manner, with Brendan Bernstein and Chris LaMotta collecting RBI groundouts and Ben Lipper knocking in a run on a sacrifice fly. Eight different Wreckers drove in at least one run on the afternoon.

"I was anxious to win. I didn't want us to go down with two outs," Burke said. "Our offense has been explosive all season long and we have the ability to come back whenever and score as many times as we want."

Staples has already clinched an FCIAC playoff spot and can lock up the two-seed with a win Friday or a McMahon loss Saturday. Staples will take on another team fighting for its playoff life when it travels to Greenwich at 4 p.m. for its regular-season finale.

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest MSC sports coverage.

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