DARIEN — Today’s game at Darien did not fall under the must-win category for the Trumbull baseball team.
But it was the rung below on the urgency ladder, and the Eagles treated it in that manner.
In the latest chapter in what became a nice end-of-year rivalry last spring, Trumbull twice overcame deficits and then pushed a run across in the 8th inning for a 5-4 win over the Blue Wave in a rematch of the FCIAC championship. The Eagles rode a gutty complete-game performance from Ben Fero (1-1), who overcame a shaky start, allowing just one run over the final five innings and six hits over all.
“I thought we did a good job with all the raucous that we cause and scrapping away,” Fero said. “We definitely don’t want to fall too far behind in the standings. I think we’re going to start rolling. I think we’re going to make good changes and be a pretty good team.”
Trumbull stopped a three-game losing streak after an opening-day win. All of its games have been decided by three or fewer runs; two by just a single run.
“A big win for us today,” Trumbull coach Phil Pacelli said. “We haven’t been playing great, but not bad. We haven’t been playing bad but not good enough to win, A couple of mistakes here and there have been the difference in the losses that we had, but this one feels good. You can’t dig a big hole in this league. It’s hard to win these FCIAC games. You saw it here today. We had to scrap back from down 3-0. We kept scrapping, kept scrapping and got it done in the end.”
Danny Ruchalski led off the 8th with a single, was sacrificed to second by Tyler Zikias and alertly scored the winning run on a fielding error.
Fero retired 14 of the final 17 batters he faced. He yielded a home run in the fifth to Peter Marren that gave the Blue Wave (2-3) a 4-3 lead, and twice picked off runners.
“I was just trying to make every pitch,” Fero said. “I made that one mistake against the No. 2 batter and he hit one pretty far. Everything else I was just trying to keep us in the game and let our offense take the lead, and they did.”
The two teams met three times in a 15-day stretch at the end of last year. Trumbull won the regular-season meeting, the Blue Wave won the FCIAC title with a 3-2 decision in eight innings, and then the Eagles had a 5-4 win in the second round of the state tournament.
“It has been good the last three or four times against these guys, and it is the way it has been, back and forth,” Darien coach Mike Scott said. “Just try to outduel one another and today they had just enough to get us.”
The Blue Wave jumped out to a 3-0 lead after three innings in today’s game. Marren had an RBI single in the first inning. He reached on a two-out error in the third and scored on Casey Brown’s double. Brown went to third on a base hit by Sean O’Malley and then scored on a wild pitch.
The Eagles tied the game with three runs in the fourth, when they had half of their 10 hits. Robert Olah had a two-run single and Trumbull got the tying score on an error. Darien threw a runner out at the plate to prevent further damage.
“At that point we lost the zone a little bit,” Scott said. “Credit them, they made us pay for it. Ideally when you have a three-run lead you want to make it stand.”
Trumbull tied the game for a second time in the sixth when Tony Socci doubled and Dustin Siqueira singled.
Fero then closed down the game.
“That was a big performance out of Ben today,” Pacelli said. “He got better as the game went on. We needed him to stop the bleeding today and he did.”