Fairfield Prep tops ND-West Haven to reach SCC baseball semifinals
By Pat Pickens, CT Post, May 21, 2013
FAIRFIELD -- Pitching, defense and timely hitting led the Fairfield Prep baseball team against Notre Dame-West Haven, yet again. And because of that, Prep is moving on in the SCC tournament.
Kyle Mollo scattered nine hits over five-plus innings, and the third-seeded Jesuits hung on for a 4-3 win over the sixth-seeded Green Knights in Tuesday's SCC quarterfinals at Alumni Diamond. Chris Collins had two hits and scored two runs, and Kevin Stone's third-inning two-out, two-RBI double helped Prep (15-6) advance to Thursday's conference semifinals at West Haven's Quigley Stadium against Amity at 4. "We got big hits in key spots," Prep coach Rudy Mauritz said. "We're happy to win today, and we're happy to be putting the uniform on again Thursday."
Notre Dame pitcher Greg Zullo scattered eight hits, struck out six and allowed four runs over six innings, despite dealing with a hamstring injury. "He pitched well enough to win," ND coach Lou Kessler said. "He's banged up, I hope he's all right." The Green Knights (13-8) stranded nine and fell to Prep for the fourth straight time and third time this year.
"It's one of those years with them," Kessler said. "They're good. They can do a lot of different things." Tied 2-2 with two outs in the third and Collins and Joe Ganim on, Stone roped a line drive to the gap in left, scoring the two and putting Prep ahead for good. "I was just trying to put a good swing on a good pitch," Stone said. "After I looked in the dugout, everyone was pumped."
ND answered with a run in the fourth but stranded two after Mollo struck out Griffin Garabedian looking to end the frame. "I was just mixing speeds and getting ahead with the fastball," Mollo said. After Mollo surrendered a leadoff single to Zach Ardito in the sixth, senior David Gerics came in and retired six of the seven batters he faced to pick up a save.
Prep's first three batters singled in the first, with Ganim scoring on Shawn Blake's RBI hit. Collins scored after Zullo induced Stone to ground into a double play. The Jesuits led 2-0 after 1. ND got those runs back in the third, socking four hits. Zullo's one-out, two-RBI single tied the score. The Green Knights loaded the bases with two outs, but Mollo forced Brian Gargiulo to fly to center field to end the frame.
"We had a shot of knocking them out right there," Kessler said. "And it didn't happen."
ND-WEST HAVEN...............002 100 0--3 10 2
FAIRFIELD PREP................202 000 X--4 9 2
Records: ND-West Haven 13-8, Fairfield Prep 15-6. Batteries: NDWH--Greg Zullo (L) and Aiden Burton; FP--Kyle Mollo (W, 4-1), David Gerics (6, S, 1) and Jake Berry.