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Monday, September 25 High School Sports

Fairfield Prep comes back, beats Shelton in see-saw SCC ballgame

BRIDGEPORT — Fairfield Prep has been down before. It was down last week, huge. A one-run deficit in their last at-bat wasn’t the end of the world.

The Jesuits put together two runs in the top of the seventh Wednesday night to end a see-saw SCC Oronoque ballgame at Harbor Yard, beating Shelton 11-10 for their sixth win in a row.

“We’re a tough team,” Jesuits infielder Matt Zaffino said. “We don’t freak out in tough spots. We relax and collect.”

Zaffino scored in the top of the sixth after a leadoff hit to cut the Gaels’ lead to 10-9. He drove in the tying run in the seventh ahead of Biaggio Paoletta’s sacrifice fly.

It wasn’t always pretty either way; the teams combined for 10 errors and ran into outs on the bases, particularly the Jesuits (15-4, 8-0).

“You know what, I think the atmosphere tonight created some of that for whatever reason,” Jesuits coach Rudy Mauritz said. “It was good to get that out now rather than next week in the SCC tournament or the week after in the state tournament.”

Will Lucas retired the last three to face him in the bottom of the sixth, and Joe Mancini, with defensive help, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for his sixth save.

“It was a wild game,” said Shelton coach Scott Gura, whose team is 7-11, 3-5. “Those type of games (stick with you) when you come up short. I’ve got to give my guys credit. A seven-win team this year, we’ve played one of the best teams in the state twice to one run.”

The Jesuits beat Shelton 7-6 at home on April 28.

The Jesuits led 2-1 in the fourth Wednesday when the big innings began. Shelton put up five in the bottom of the fourth. The Jesuits answered with six in the top of the fifth, but back came the Gaels with four more. Ryan Murphy’s two-run single put them up 10-8.

Seriously, the Jesuits have been there. Last week. They trailed Foran 9-0 in the first and won 23-12.

“What’s been great about the last couple of weeks is, especially on this winning streak, we’ve been getting contributions up and down the lineup, and then some,” Mauritz said.

That goes for pitching and defense, too, the coach said, like Chris Rotondo’s play to start the seventh.

“I’m primarily an outfielder,” Rotondo said. “Whenever I come into the infield, the ball always seems to come.”

David Wells’ chopper found him at third base, but he picked it up and threw in one motion to get Wells.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Matt Zaffino had two hits in the last two innings for Fairfield Prep, scoring in the sixth and driving in the tying run in the seventh.

YOU’RE OUT OF ORDER

The bottom of the first ended when Fairfield Prep caught Shelton batting out of order.

WHOLE TRIAL OUT OF ORDER

Over five consecutive outs between the bottom of the second and the top of the third, two runners were thrown out at the plate unforced and two runners were picked off at first.

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QUOTABLE

“My guys keep battling. They’re typical Shelton kids. They’re not the biggest, not the strongest, not the fastest, but they grind out there and do the best they can.” —Shelton coach Scott Gura

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.ctnews.com/fornabaio

FAIRFIELD PREP 11, SHELTON 10

FAIRFIELD PREP200 061 2—11 10 5

SHELTON001 540 —10 10 5

Records: Fairfield Prep 15-4, 8-0 SCC Oronoque; Shelton 7-11, 3-5

Batteries: FP—Charlie Hoover, Reed Mascolo (4), Will Lucas (5, W, 2-0), Joe Mancini (7, S, 6) and Dan Fallacaro; S—Will Ciccone, Jafar Vohra (5), Matt Silverstein (6), Justin Barbato (6, L) and Jason DeSio

Michael Fornabaio|Sports Reporter

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