FAIRFIELD -- Coming into Tuesday's Class S second-round baseball playoff game, Notre Dame-Fairfield coach Bill Mazzucco admittedly didn't know much about his team's opponent, Morgan.
In fact, he said that he didn't know anything.
"We really didn't know what we were in for," Mazzucco said.
As it turns out, the Morgan Huskies can do a lot of things well. They made every defensive play, posted some timely hitting and got a complete-game, three-hit shutout from their No. 2 starter, Jared Spainer, and eliminated the Lancers 6-0 in a dominating performance at Fabbri Field.
"Our conference is very underrated," said Morgan coach John Litevich, whose team improved to 12-10 on the season. "The Shoreline Conference is a very, very good conference. You'll see that a lot of our teams are winning. We have a very good conference and I don't think people really understand that."
If the Lancers didn't know before, they certainly know now. Spainer didn't strike out a single batter but instead induced 11 fly outs, got eight ground outs and also got two terrific plays from third baseman Greg Lee, who dove headlong to his left to catch a liner off the bat of Brendan Barger in the second, and second baseman Gary Forbes, who leaped high to steal a base hit away from Spencer Bassett in the first.
"We hit it deep, we just couldn't get it to hit the ground," said Mazzucco, whose team finished the season 19-6 and included their first SWC championship. "We couldn't get the bats going. We couldn't get the ball to drop."
Morgan took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Jake Mastroianni hammered a leadoff double off the top of the center-field fence. After Lancers starter Dillon Stimpson struck out the next two Huskies, Jake Ward singled home Mastroianni to make it 1-0. Ward then stole second and scored when Alex Lipka singled to right.
"When you're on the road, you always want to put pressure on the other team and try to take them off their game," Litevich said. "We're always looking to try and scratch across a couple early."
Meanwhile, the Lancers, who scored nine runs in the SWC championship win over Pomperaug on Thursday and then put 10 runs on the board against Wamago in its Class S opener on Monday, managed just singles from Kevin Bortnick in the second, Matt Coppola in the sixth and a double from Bassett in the fourth.
"They obviously hit the ball and put the ball in play, so I just had to hit my spots and limit them," Spainer said. "I don't think I got a strikeout but I was able to keep them on the ground and pop them up."
Morgan added three runs in the fourth on a couple of Lancers' throwing errors and clutch RBI singles from Dylan Ketch and Spainer. The Huskies capped the scoring in the sixth with another RBI single from Ketch.
"I told them not to give up but the other team over there, he pitched very well and they hit very well," Mazzucco said. "We had an outstanding year. When we got together at the beginning we didn't know what to expect from a lot of these juniors and they were all fantastic. The seniors did their jobs, too."Read Full Article
Class S second round
MORGAN 200 301 0--6 7 0
ND-FAIRFIELD 000 000 0--0 3 3
Records: Morgan 12-10, Notre Dame-Fairfield 19-6. Batteries: M -- Jared Spainer (W) and Dylan Ketch; ND -- Dillon Stimpson (L), Andrew Goldstein (7) and Matt Lasky