Baseball: Foran rights ship with 10-1 win over Westies

The Foran High baseball team arrived at West Haven’s Piurek Field on Monday night in the midst of a four-game losing streak, one in which the Lions lost those games by a combined margin of seven runs.

With time running out to qualify for postseason play, a big game was needed. Foran found the recipe through an 11-hit attack and by getting six strong innings from right-hander T.J. Stuart in a 10-1 Southern Connecticut Conference win over West Haven.

By bringing their record to 7-10, coach Garrett Walker’s team needs  one more win, over either Cheshire, Lyman Hall or Shelton, to make the Class L state tournament.

A relief specialist, Stuart evened his mark at 2-2 in making only his third start of the year. He gave up an earned run on five hits while striking out five and walking four. Drew Corsi pitched the seventh and recorded a pair of strikeouts.

“T.J. has pretty much been our closer this year, but tonight we knew we had to go with the best and get this win,” Walker said. “He throws in the high 80s and did the job for us.”

Foran struck early against West Haven starter and losing pitcher Shawn Jefferson. The Lions got three runs in the first inning and added two more in the second to take a 5-0 lead into the third.

Brian Wydra had a two-run double to right in the first and lead-off hitter Colin Firmender plated one in the second, where the Westies made two of their game total of six errors.

“We opened the game up early for them with those errors,” said West Haven coach Ron Luneau. “We’re young and these kids have been trying all year long. I thought Shawn (Jefferson) pitched well. We didn’t give him any defensive help.”

Foran scored a run in the fourth inning, before tacking on three more in the fifth and another tally in the sixth.

The Lions got two-hit games from Justin Lanese, Wydra and James Mucciacciaro. Brett Huber reached base three times and scored twice. Bailey Wheeler scored twice and Mucciacciaro was plated three times.

“I know that our record doesn’t show it, but these boys have been playing some good baseball,” Walker added. “We’re competitive and never get blown out. We need one more win to get over the hump. Then we’ll just see what we can do from there.”

The loss dropped West Haven to 3-15 and the Westies will close out their season this week.

“It’s hard to believe that they came into this game as a six-win team,” Luneau said. “Stuart throws the ball hard for them.”

West Haven’s John Cambino had two hits and walked once.