NEW CANAAN -- Trumbull pitcher Colin Keyes has been on the mound in some of the most important games the Eagles have played the last three seasons, including the FCIAC championship game two years ago, but he immediately placed Tuesday's FCIAC quarterfinal win over New Canaan right up there with any game he has played.
After grinding through seven innings at Mead Park, Keyes was still on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, fielding the final ground ball and under-hand tossing to first base for the last out, capping the Eagles 7-3 come-from behind win over the Rams.
New Canaan (14-7) led 3-1 heading to the seventh before the Eagles busted out for six runs on four hits and one crucial throwing error.
The fact that New Canaan had scored four runs to walk off with a win over the Eagles just a week ago and Keyes felt like he did not have his good stuff on the mound, made this one of his most cherished wins.
"This is right up there, I mean, we were down two runs, top seven and came out with it. I can't explain it," Keyes said. "I didn't have my best stuff, not even close. I really had to grind through it. My off speed pitches, I could not locate them, so, I really had to spot the fastball. You just have to grind innings out."
No. 5 Trumbull (15-6) will now face No. 8 Greenwich at Harbor Yard Wednesday night in the semifinals.
The teams were tied 1-1 in the fourth when New Canaan's Nick Cascione launched a homer un over the 346 sign in right center.
The No. 4 Rams tacked on a run in the sixth on a single by Kane Curtin, but Trumbull would not go quietly in the seventh.
The first two batters walked and the bunt put down between the pitcher and third was thrown down the left-field line by the pitcher, scoring both runners and tying it 3-3.
Liam Moore, Keyes and Avery Santos all drove in runs, expanding the lead.
New Canaan coach Mitch Hoffman says allowing the leadoff man on base in the last inning is a cardinal sin and the Eagles made the Rams pay for it.
"We emphasize we have to get the leadoff and we walked the first guy and walked the second guy," Hoffman said. "Then the pressure is on us even though we had a two-run lead. Unfortunately, it just went that way."
New Canaan starter Dan Rajkowski kept Trumbull under control, allowing just three hits, an unearned run and striking out seven before being lifted with no outs and man on in the sixth.
Trumbull not only moves on to the FCIAC semifinals but quickly erased one of the more painful losses coach Phil Pacelli has endured. Read Full Article
"What a difference a week makes," Pacelli said. "What a crazy win, baseball is a funny game. If you put pressure on the defense, anything can happen. We put together some good at bats against a great pitcher today and once we were able to get him out of there, good things started happening for us."
Trumbull 7, New Canaan 3
TRUMBULL 001 000 6--7 7 1
NEW CANAAN 001 100 0--3 8 2
Records: T -- 15-6; NC -- 14-7
Batteries: T -- Colin Keyes (W) and Carlos Garrido; NC -- Dan Rajkowski, Alex LaPolice (6), Clark Newlove (L, 7) and Zack Smith. Doubles: T -- Keyes; NC -- Smith. Home runs: NC -- Nick Cascione
Highlights: T-- Eagles rallied for 6 runs in seventh inning; Keyes complete game, RBI, run; Jake Levison 3 for 4, run, RBI. NC -- Nick Cascione solo HR, Dan Rajkowski 5 IP, 7 Ks, 3 hits allowed.