Baseball: Foran tops Stamford in SCC-FCIAC Challenge
STAMFORD — The Foran High School baseball team gained some revenge and pointed its season in the right direction Saturday with an 8-5 road victory over Stamford High School in the SCC-FCIAC Baseball Challenge.
“The SCC-FCIAC Baseball Challenge (17 weekend games between the conferences) is a fun concept,” Foran coach Garrett Walker said. “Stamford beat us at our field last year so we had incentive today.”
Foran (1-1) scored four runs in the chilly first inning and four more runs in the only slightly warmer fourth inning to build an 8-1 cushion.
Stamford (1-1) batted around in the fifth to close to 8-5. But the Black Knights left potential runs on base in the fifth and sixth to fall short.
Although 10 seniors graduated from the squad, the big target of defending Class L baseball champs is squarely on the backs of this year’s Lions.
But the experience and confidence gained from getting in as a No. 32 seed (7-13) on tiebreaker criteria and winning five straight games while scoring at least seven runs in each contest to capture a state title can’t be measured.
“What we learned most of all during the title run was we can ALWAYS fight back,” Foran senior Kevin Lanese said. “Getting the first victory every season is the hardest task. Today’s win takes some of the pressure off. And it shows this group (with just four key returnees) can play.”
Lanese did his part with a three-run homer over the right-center field fence in the first inning.
James Carbone two-out, two-run single keyed the Lions’ four-run fourth inning. They took advantage of three walks, a Stamford error, a stolen base and a wild pitch in the uprising.
Given the early edge, sophomore righthander John Shannon (73 pitches) worked into the fifth inning to earn the triumph. Mark Wooton got the last out in the fifth and one out in the sixth.
Tall righthander Jason Giambra (29 pitches) got the final five outs, including a trio of strikeouts.
“Shannon did well in his first varsity start. The early lead and Lanese’s homer jump-started us,” Walker said. “The kids showed they’re battle-tested.”
The Stamford High squad is a young and interesting group.
Many of the Black Knights have taken bows and curtain calls at the Little League and Babe Ruth level.
Now they have to adjust to high school baseball. Stamford’s potential and higher ceiling should show when the real baseball (warmer) weather finally arrives.
David Collazo collected two hits, two walks and two runs scored while senior tri-captain and cleanup hitter Nico Kydes lashed two hits good for three RBI for the Black Knights.
Andrew Spezzano also had two hits while pitching 31/3innings of scoreless relief.
“Foran swung the bats well. The early lead helped them,” Stamford coach Rit Lacomis said. “We fought back but we hit a lot of balls right at fielders. Our job going forward is to play consistently for all seven innings.”