The calendar said April, and so did the numbing cold as Brien McMahon High School's baseball team edged Stamford High School, 6-4, on Friday at Stamford. The atmosphere, though, seemed like mid-May to Stamford coach Fred Kelley as his team battled back from a 4-0 deficit before falling in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference game.
"I think McMahon is one of the top teams in the league,'' Kelley said. "Their shortstop (Bryan Daniello) is one of the best around. The way we battled — it felt like it was a playoff game."
Stamford (0-2) showed plenty of fight behind pitcher Tom McIntosh. The Black Knights fell into a 4-0 hole after 2 ½ innings before erupting for three in the third and one in the fourth.
McMahon's Joe Cox led off the sixth with a booming double to left-center. McIntosh fanned the next two hitters and induced James Restivo to hit a soft groundball to second. Zach Lyman mishandled it, then compounded the error by throwing wildly to first as Cox raced home with the go-ahead run. McMahon tacked on a run in the seventh. Bryan Daniello pitched 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief for the Senators (2-0). He also got out of a two-on, two-out jam in the sixth. Alex Petridis got the win.
McIntosh pitched well after the Senators touched him for two runs in the first and single tallies in the second and third. Two of the runs were unearned, and several grounders took wicked hops that bounced past infielders for hits in the first inning. "He deserved a better fate,'' Kelley said.
The Black Knights showed some encouraging signs at the plate. Jeff Cooper and Bryan Polonia, the eighth and ninth hitters, combined for four hits, two runs scored and RBI. Brandon Docimo ripped a two-run double, and Nick Palumbo also doubled. Mike Beldotti had a sacrifice fly, and Stamford had nine hits on the day.
"It was a great effort,'' Kelley said. "I'm proud of the kids. We just need to clean up a few little details, and we'll be OK. We made some mistakes at critical times, and that hurt us. You can't do that against a good team like McMahon."
Stamford returns to action Saturday for a non-league game against New London. It returns to FCIAC play Monday against Trumbull.
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