One Big Inning Helps Stamford Legion To Key Series Sweep

Stamford Legion shortstop Randy Polonia fields a ball during Thursday night's game. (Photo: Mark Conrad)
Stamford Legion shortstop Randy Polonia fields a ball during Thursday night’s game. (Photo: Mark Conrad)

By Hayley Tafuro

STAMFORD — Just when it looked like game three of the Stamford Legion versus Darien/New Canaan series was going down to the wire, Stamford came up with a huge sixth inning at Cubeta Stadium on Thursday night to win, 6-1, and move to 10-1 on its season.

After a quiet start from Darien/New Canaan, Stamford got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning after catcher Cris Ruiz singled to centerfield to bring Kevin Stone home.

“It was situational hitting, and I wanted to get the run in to put us on top,” Ruiz said. “I just went up to the plate thinking, alright let’s just try to drive it up the middle or the other way.”

Stamford tacked on another run in the bottom of the third after Stone doubled right down the leftfield line. Anthony Frangiose showed his stuff batting cleanup as he proceeded to double, making it a 2-0 game.

Darien/New Canaan’s Matt Toth slides safely into second base as Stamford shortstop Randy Polonia doesn’t get the throw in time. (Photo: Mark Conrad)
Darien/New Canaan’s Matt Toth slides safely into second base as Stamford shortstop Randy Polonia doesn’t get the throw in time. (Photo: Mark Conrad)

Darien/New Canaan answered in the top of the fourth off of a base hit that landed right in front of centerfielder Luke Dawson. It got Stamford out quickly in a 1-2-3 inning, but accurate fielding from Frangiose and Randy Polonia and a strikeout from Stone kept the score 2-1 heading into the fifth inning.

Stamford had a chance to make something happen in the bottom of the fifth. Stone had another double and Frangiose and Ruiz got on base from walks, but Stamford couldn’t convert with the bases loaded.

Darien/New Canaan shortstop Matt Toth tries to turn a double play. (Photo: Mark Conrad)
Darien/New Canaan shortstop Matt Toth tries to turn a double play. (Photo: Mark Conrad)

However, it exploded in the sixth for four runs after cycling through the lineup. Dawson and third baseman Ryan Lee started things off with walks. Rightfielder Eddie Meizels singled, bringing up Polonia, who brought Dawson home on a base hit. Johnny Spoto came up next and walked, which brought up the first of two pitching changes in the inning for Darien/New Canaan. Stone came up and hit his third double of the game, which brought home Meizels and Polonia and increased the lead to 5-1.

“Basically what we were doing was just hitting not at people,” Stone said. “The whole game we were hitting hard right at people, but we were able to get some to fall, we worked the count and we got guys on base, so it was a good team effort there throughout the lineup.”

Spoto would score the final run of the game.

Billy DeVito came in for the seventh inning to relieve Stone, and Stamford strung together three outs in a row to seal the 6-1 victory and sweep the series with Darien/New Canaan.

“I think we’re feeling good right now,” Ruiz said. “We know we have to go into every game knowing that any team is beatable, and we are beatable. Any team is beatable any other day, and it’s just a matter of showing up that day and being the team on top and whoever hits is going to win the game.”

Darien/New Canaan shortstop Matt Toth dives to field a ground ball during Thursday's game. (Photo: Mark Conrad)
Darien/New Canaan shortstop Matt Toth dives to field a ground ball during Thursday’s game. (Photo: Mark Conrad)

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