WALLINGFORD — The Wallingford Post 187 Cardinals were eliminated from the American Legion Regional Qualifying Tournament on Thursday night, losing to the Greenwich Cannons 5-1 at Pat Wall Field.
After warming up in the rain for a while, both teams were ready to play ball as the game began 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. With scattered lightning and thunderstorms forecasted for the evening, there was concern whether or not this game would get off the ground.
It did, but that was perhaps the only thing that went as planned Thursday for the Cards.
Wallingford head coach Chris Bishop didn’t think that the weather was a factor in the game’s outcome.
“No, I don’t think so; our guys were just a little flat-footed,” Bishop said. “We came out, we didn’t have the energy we normally have, and it is what it is.”
Nothing was going to rain on Greenwich’s parade. The Cannons came out strong and had a great game in the on-and-off rain.
To begin the game, Greenwich loaded the bases with no outs. Luckily for starting pitcher Todd Grammatico and the Cardinals, they allowed only one run in the first inning.
The Cardinals would have no luck getting on base, though, and Greenwich led 1-0 after the first inning.
Greenwich got on the scoreboard again in the second inning, parlaying a two-out double with a couple of wild pitches for a 2-0 lead.
The Cannons scored two more runs in the third inning to extend their lead to 4-0. Wallingford, meanwhile, struggled offensively, accumulating just four hits by the end of the fifth inning.
“A lot with pitch selection, guys swinging early in the count when they shouldn’t be, not looking for pitches to drive, and then just swinging at pitches he’s making instead of pitches that we want,” Bishop said when asked about their hitting struggles.
The Cannons continued to collect timely hits. A RBI single pushed the lead to 5-0 in the top of the sixth.
Wallingford finally get some momentum going in the bottom half as as Aidan Weir drove Zach Blest home with a RBI single to make the score 5-1.
That score, though, wouldn’t change. Wallingford got only one hitter on base in the seventh inning.
With the win, Greenwich advances to Friday’s final four at Muzzy Field. The Cannons take on NCL, the lone unbeaten team left in the doubule-elimination tournament thanks to a 7-2 win Thursday over Meriden.
Meriden faces Fairfield at 4 p.m. Greenwich and NCL follow at 7.
Wallingford awaits its seeding for the state tournament that opens next week.