Greenwich Cannons edge Ridgefield with two-run seventh inning

Luc Thiebault, left, and Christopher Genaro helped key the Greenwich Cannons’ 4-3 comeback victory against Ridgefield on Monday Night in Senior American Legion baseball action.

Luc Thiebault, left, and Christopher Genaro helped key the Greenwich Cannons’ 4-3 comeback victory against Ridgefield on Monday Night in Senior American Legion baseball action.

David Fierro /Hearst Connecticut Media

GREENWICH — Trailing Ridgefield by one run in the bottom of the seventh inning, gave Greenwich another opportunity to work its late-inning magic.

And the Cannons came through in the clutch again, completing their second comeback in as many days.

Down to their last strike, Greenwich rallied for two runs to post a 4-3 win over Ridgefield Post 78 in a Senior American Legion baseball game Monday evening at Greenwich High School.

The Cannons, who scored a pair of runs in the seventh inning to edge Trumbull on Sunday, improved their record to 14-9 with the victory. With one regular season game remaining, the Cannons have clinched a spot in the postseason, which commences on Saturday, with the sectional round of the state tournament.

“Between yesterday (Sunday) and tonight, these kids are finding ways to win,” said Greenwich coach Mike Abate, whose squad will be on the road in Saturday’s sectional playoff game against an opponent yet to be determined. “We are doing little things late in the game. I love what they are doing and how resilient they are.”

The state tournament pairings will be announced later in the week.

Down 3-2, the Cannons received a positive start to their seventh inning thanks to outfielder Ben Nash, who lined a single to left center field off Ridgefield right-hander John McLoughlin.

After McLoughlin retired the next two batters, Spencer Pierce drew a walk. Outfielder Luc Thiebault stepped to the plate and with two strikes on him, grounded a single between first and second base into right field, scoring Nash with the tying run.

Shortstop Christopher Genaro, the leadoff hitter, followed by reaching base on an infield error to the right side, allowing Pierce to score the game-winning run.

“It’s definitely good to get momentum going for the playoffs,” Genaro said. “We’re already in, but we are playing for seeding now. We are battling for these wins in the late innings.”

McLoughlin pitched a complete game for Ridgefield (11-13) striking out for, while holding the Cannons scoreless the first five innings.

“He pitched an absolute gem,” Ridgefield coach John Macchia said. “He has the heart of a lion and he just went and did his thing the whole game. John was on top of his game.”

Thiebault showed poise in going to the opposite field in delivering his game-tying single off McLoughlin, who displayed a solid fastball and an effective curve ball and off-speed pitch.

“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Thiebault said. “I was called upon to hit, because we got some kids down, so I just tried to put the ball in play with two strikes. I got two hits last night (Sunday), so I felt confident coming into today’s game.”

The visitors took a 2-0 lead, scoring a pair of runs off Greenwich right-hander Alex Roath in the top of the first inning. Roath settled down thereafter and kept it a 2-0 game until Ridgefield added a run in the fifth inning. Kory Nossan’s double to right center field brought home McLouglin, who led off the inning with a single off Roath.

Zach Alza, a right-hander, relieved Roath to start the sixth inning and pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win.

The Cannons closed to within 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pierce reached on an error, Thiebault walked and Genaro singled, loading the bases with no outs against McLoughlin. Catcher Hunter Gruenstrass grounded into a double play, which scored Pierce, making it 3-1. The second run of the inning came when first baseman Kyle Woodring reached base on an infield error.

“Their pitcher was good,” Genaro said. “He kept us off balance and had a good curve ball. I just tried to stay back, think fastball and adjust when the curve ball came.”

Said Abate: “We faced him (McLoughlin) early in the season and he did the same thing. He spots his fastball and he has that slower curve that was keeping our hitters off balance. But these guys know how to make adjustments.”

Ridgefield needs to win its final regular season game to keep its chances of qualifying for the postseason alive. Greenwich has one regular season game left, before moving on to the playoffs.

“After back-to-back walk-off wins, we are heading in a great direction,” Thiebault said.