WILTON — They have scored 39 runs over their past four games, while yielding only six. Yes, the Greenwich baseball team is on some kind of roll, much to the dismay of the opposition.
One game after hard-throwing righthander Miles Langhorne produced a dominant pitching performance against St. Joseph, sophomore righty Nathan Jones pitched five scoreless innings and the Cardinals’ bats remained red hot.
Effectively mixing his pitches, Jones allowed only two hits and teammate Jack Zola hit a two-run home run and drove in four for Greenwich, which cruised to a 10-0 six-inning win over host Wilton.
With their fourth straight victory, the Cardinals raised their record to 6-1 heading into Friday’s home game against Westhill.
“I’m very impressed with the way we’re putting the three facets of the game together every game,” Greenwich first-year coach Adrian Arango said. “We’re deep, I have guys coming off the bench getting hits and making plays in the field, so that’s a luxury we’re going to have.”
Greenwich totaled 11 hits, but didn’t need many to support Jones, who upped his record on the mound to 3-0.
“Today I had all three pitches working,” Jones said. “I was able to manipulate all three for strikes.”
Jones induced a good number of swings and misses with his change-up and impressively spotted his fastball. He credited senior catcher Felipe Echeto for his performance behind the plate.
“I’m really happy about how Felipe called the game,” Jones said. “A lot of credit goes to him and our defense, it was great today, behind me and I was able to execute all my pitches.”
Wilton managed just two hits – a pair of third-inning singles by Ian Kineon and Ryan Van Heyst. Lefthander Nevin Belanger got the start on the mound for the Warriors and was relieved by Kinean. Wilton’s pitchers weren’t helped by the team committing three errors.
“The pitchers over all did a pretty good job,” Wilton coach Tim Eagen said. “But we preach, you’ve got to give a team three outs per inning and we gave them four and five outs. They are a good hitting team to start with. You have to make the basic plays.”
Stringing hits together, Greenwich struck for five runs in the second inning. Senior first baseman Cage Lasley singled to start the inning and advanced to third on Christian Mingione’s double. Zola followed by lining a two-run single to centerfield, giving Greenwich a 2-0 lead.
Auggie Bancroft drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and Rya Perez knocked in a run with a force out, with a second run scoring on a wild throw to first base, making it 5-0.
Zola, one of Greenwich’s leading run-producers, hit a two-run homer over the leftfield fence in the third inning and the Cards added three more runs in the sixth inning on Marc Thiebeault’s RBI single and Perez’s two-run double.
“Coach was just saying to go on the first pitch and he threw me one inside and the second pitch I just poked it out there,” Zola said of his home run. “The first inning we always start off a little slow, that seems to be the theme, but the second inning was big. We got the pitch count up and fortunately, we were able to put up some hits.”
While Greenwich prospered with runners in scoring position, Wilton couldn’t get the big hit when it got men on base.
“When we had runners in scoring position, we struck out,” Eagen said. “Our big thing right now is when the bleeding starts, we can’t stop it and that’s what we have to do to get over the hump. We’re 5-3 and I told them out there we feel like we’re 0-8 right now and that’s mental more than physical.”
Jones registered nine strikeouts and issued two walks. Tommy Healey closed out the game, pitching one scoreless inning of relief.
“Nathan has really stepped up for a sophomore, he’s 3-0 now,” Arango said. “He’s pounding the zone, he’s working hard. Every opportunity we are giving him, he keeps stepping up to the occasion.”
Greenwich is averaging more than eight runs through its first seven contests.
“They hit when they had to and put the ball in play, which is when good things happen,” Eagen said of Greenwich. “Give their pitcher credit, he stayed around the plate and he threw strikes. They deserved to win today.”