baseball McLean, Fay lead Darien past Norwalk in season finale
NORWALK — The Darien baseball team had already secured a spot in the upcoming FCIAC playoffs but had not been hitting well the past couple of weeks, losing four of six heading into the season finale against Norwalk.
That changed in a big way Wednesday, with the Blue Wave smacking around 13 hits en route to an 11-4 win over Norwalk at Nathan Hale Middle School.
“We’ve been cold with our offense lately. To get things rolling heading into the playoffs is huge. Hopefully, we can keep this going” Darien senior left fielder Glen Fay said. “(Mac McLean) has been great all year long. He has consistently been getting on, drawing walks, getting hits. He has found a way on base all year. Then the kids behind him, Henry (Williams), Liam (McLaughlin) they do a great job of getting him in.”
Fay is another of the batters behind McLean and he did his part driving in runs. Fay was 4-for-4 with a two-run home run and three RBIs.
Williams and McLaughlin each drove in two runs and McLean scored twice.
Darien (12-8, 11-5 FCIAC) is currently the No. 5 sed in the FCIAC playoffs but could move up to as high as No. 3 if teams ahead of it lose.
Norwalk (10-10, 8-8) entered the game in the No. 8 spot but after the loss would need Bridgeport Central to upset McMahon later in the day for the Bears to sneak in.
Norwalk began the season 2-7, making the fact that it was in position to make the playoffs somewhat improbable.
“I’m very proud of them because we started 2-7 and the crazy part is, we had the tougher part of our schedule in front of us,” Norwalk coach Pete Tucci said. “We have five sophomores starting and they grew up. They played like they should play. We’re always going to score some runs but we only had one kid who consistently threw strikes. Maybe we can make a run in states.”
Darien went up 1-0 in the first.
In the second, McLean roped a single to right-center, scoring two runs.
The Blue Wave added another in the third on an RBI single to left by Fay.
Norwalk got two back in the bottom of the third on a home run to left field by Jack Arnold.
Darien would then bust the game open, scoring five times in the fourth, capped by Fay’s home run, and two more times in the fifth.
Norwalk scored twice in the bottom of the fifth on run-scoring hits by Mike Boyian and Jake Dumas.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Mac McLean, Darien. The leadoff hitter reached base five times with four hits and a walk. He scored two and drove in two.
“If you’re looking to end the season with some momentum, hopefully we did that today,” Darien coach Mike Scott said. “The offense has been slacking the last few games and it was nice to see the bats wake up a little. (McLean) has been our spark all year and if he goes, we all go. To me, he’s the best player in the FCIAC nobody has heard of.”
DARIEN 11, NORWALK 4
DARIEN 121 520 0—11 13 1
NORWALK 002 020 0—4 7 0
Records: D—12-8, 11-5 FCIAC; N—10-10, 8-8 FCIAC.
Batteries: D—Tim Bellingham (W), Trace Florio (5), Karson Drake (7) and Ben Olson; N—Jake Dumas (L), Alistair Morin (3), Brandon Frederique (4), Ethan Platt (5) and Jaden Echeverria