Junior American Legion: Greenwich Red 13, Greenwich Blue 1 Red stings the Blue’s
GREENWICH — The Greenwich Cannons American Legion program chose Saturday for its inaugural Greenwich Youth Baseball Day celebration and rightly so, since its two Junior teams played each other in the morning in a key, late-season matchup.
One of the few American Legion programs in the state with two Junior squads, the Cannons showed its depth, as both teams displayed their stellar skills in the field and at the plate.
Yet the Cannons’ 17-and-under Junior American Legion Red team showed why it’s near the top of the Zone 4 standings and primed for a strong postseason push.
With Miles Langhorne pounding the strike zone and each batter contributing, the Cannons’ Red team cruised to a 13-1 win over the Cannons’ Blue team at Greenwich High School.
The victory raised Greenwich Red’srecord to 16-4 overall. They are in second place behind Stamford in the eight-team Zone 4 standings. Greenwich’s Blue squad has a 9-8 mark. Both Cannons teams have clinched spots in the American Legion state tournament, which begins on July 23.
Langhorne, a right-hander, allowed only two hits and struck out four to earn the win. Outfielder Jake Mondschein collected four RBI, while outfielder Harrison Feinberg, infielder Nicholas Alonzi and infielder Spencer Pierce each drove in two runs for the victors.
“Miles is one of the best pitchers in the state in the 17-under league and he is our number-one guy,” Cannons Red coach Phil Tarantino said. “We’re playing for a number one seed in the state, so he needed that performance. They beat us earlier in the year and he was awesome today.”
Having command of his pitches aided Langhorne.
“I had a good feel for my fastball, which was up in the mid-80’s, which helped me out a lot,” Langhorne said. “I had a good feel for my curve ball, which I struck a few guys out with and I got a few ground balls. I issued a few walks, which I need to get down. My approach was to get ground balls, get outs, hustle through the innings and get us back in there and hit.”
Second baseman Sean Pratley had two hits and two runs scored, Mondschein went 2 for 3 with a double and four RBI, shortstop Christopher Genaro had one hit, two runs scored and an RBI and Harrison Feinberg registered two hits, two runs scored and two RBI. Alonzi added two hits and two RBI, while Jake Feinberg had one hit and an RBI for the Cannons’ Red squad, which recorded 12 hits.
“Throughout the lineup we have hitters, 1-9,” Mondschein said. “We have a saying called ‘I owe you’, where if one guy gets out, the next guy picks him up. If one guy has a bad game, another guy will pick him up, no matter where they are in the lineup.”
Owen Bass, a right-hander, got the start on the mound for Greenwich’s Blue team and retired the first six batters he faced before the Red team scored four times in the bottom of the third inning.
Alonzi reached on a bunt single, Pratley singled to left field and Genaro was hit by a Bass pitch to load the bases with one out. A two-run, infield single by Harrison Feinberg gave the Cannons (Red) a 2-0 third-inning lead. Mondschein doubled his team’s lead by delivering a two-run single to right center field.
Alonzi’s two-run double and Genaro’s sacrifice fly increased the Cannons’ Red squad’s advantage to 7-0 in the fourth inning. Greenwich Blue scored its lone run off Langhorne in the bottom of the fourth inning. Bass doubled to center field and after Adrian Arnaboldi walked, Bass scored on a throwing error, while he was attempting to steal third base.
Wyatt Kane had Greenwich Blue’s other hit.
“He (Langhorne) was their No. 1 pitcher and he’s one of the better pitchers in the whole zone,” Cannons Blue coach Scott Giorgi said. “He has a really good fastball, plus a good off-speed pitch. He was tough. We knew we were going to have to make every play behind our pitcher. We did that for a couple of innings, but then we slipped a little bit.”
Bass pitched four innings before being replaced by John McGrath in the fifth inning. Toby Hirsch pitched in the sixth inning for the Blue team. Mondschein and Pierce each knocked in a pair of runs, while Langhorne and Jake Feinberg drove in a run apiece in the sixth inning in the winning effort.
“It’s really a confidence-booster when you go into a game knowing all nine hitters can have a good day,” Mondschein said. “When you have Miles on the mound, you always know you are going to have a good day.”
Said Langhorne: “We are excited for the playoffs. It’s been a great ride and we are jelling as a team. Hopefully, we can continue our momentum at states.”
Including Saturday’s game, the teams faced each other three times this season, with the Red team going 2-1.
“We are 9-8 and we have clinched a spot in the playoffs, so with us being a young team, I’m pretty happy with that,” Giorgi said.
GREENWICH YOUTH BASEBALL DAY
Following the game, members of the Greenwich Cannons American Legion baseball teams and its coaches conducted a baseball clinic for youngsters.
“The Cannons are trying to become more involved with the town program, so they chose to do this clinic and have Cannon day,” Tarantino said. “We are trying to start a 13-under team and we are trying to promote our program and to get the town more involved. We’re one of the only teams in the state with two 17-U teams, so we have a really good program right now.”
Numerous members of Greenwich American Legion Post 29 attended the event, which included a barbeque for all.