Peter Cross denies Darien Legion

The Fairfield Post 143 Senior Legion baseball team put it all together, defeating Darien 7-2 at Kiwanis Field on June 16 for its first win this summer, after losing three one-run games.
Tim Moran led Fairfield at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Jack Whiting went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Pete Cross was stellar on the mound for Post 143, throwing seven innings of one-run ball.
“This is our first game where we actually played well as a team; offensively, defensively and pitching,” said Fairfield coach Sars Ford.
“The first three games they just weren’t quite gelling yet. We were just missing a couple pieces.
“Today we put it together pretty good. They’re happy, I’m happy and hopefully we’ll put a little run together now.”
Darien struck first with one run in the opening frame. Bryan Previte led off with a single, but was then thrown out at second on Drew Dirwin’s grounder to short.
With one out and a man at first, Brian Moran hit a bloop single to left-center, scoring Dirwin from second to give Darien a 1-0 lead.
Post 143 answered in the bottom of the first. Whiting led off with a single and then stole second. Two batters later, Moran drove in Whiting with a booming triple to deep center to tie the game at 1.
With Moran at third, Steve Brunetti hit an RBI single to give Fairfield the lead.
Fairfield tacked on three more runs in the second inning, starting with walks from Jackson Rotondo and Joe Naspo.
Whiting bunt singled, fielded by the pitcher who went to third and over threw the base, allowing Rotondo and Naspo to score.
Two batters later, Moran drove in Whiting with an RBI single to give Fairfield a 5-1 lead.
“That helps a lot,” Ford said. “It makes them chase us instead of us chasing the other team.
It gives us a little more swagger at the plate. When we score first, we get a little confidence and it carries out on the field.”
Darien got one back in the top of the third when Previte led off with a triple and Brian Moran drove him in with an RBI double.
Cross then forced Sam Gillespie to ground out to the mound and Forese to ground to short to end the inning.
With a three-run lead, Cross continued to work into and out of jams.
In the fifth, Cross allowed Jeff Chen a leadoff single followed by a walk to Previte. He then struck out Dirwin and Moran and got Forese to ground out to end inning.
In the top of the sixth, Darien loaded the bases with no outs with two walks and a single.
Cross then induced three consecutive ground outs, two resulting in force outs with Rotundo at second and Naspo at third getting the assists on throws home to Brunetti.
Then, Dirwin grounded to Cross who tossed it to first to get out of the inning unscathed.
Post 143 tacked on two more runs in bottom of the sixth with two walks from Rotondo and Naspo, who later both came home during Pete Detrik’s at-bat on passed balls.
Cross worked himself into the same jam in the top of the seventh when two walks and a single and then struck out Andrew Maley and Bobby Fitzpatrick and got Mike Keshin to fly out to right to seal the win.
“Pete was asking to close the game, he wanted to finish it and he did the job,” Ford said. “He made quality pitches when he was supposed to.
“He pitched our first game and came up on the short end in a close game in extra innings and he pitched well again today. We’re looking for good things from him this year.”
Fairfield visits Trumbull High for a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
Easton Redding Legion visits Kiwanis Field on Sunday at 5:30.

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