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Callahan's Gem Lifts Greenwich to Playoffs

The Greenwich High School baseball team had a tall task ahead of it as it entered the week, needing two wins to clinch an FCIAC playoff spot. The Cardinals pulled out a wild win in extra innings on Friday against Staples for the first win. And it had the perfect person on the mound against Wilton on Saturday to help get the second win.

Dylan Callahan, owner of one of the best fastballs in the state, pitched his best game of the season, scattering four hits and striking out eight in a complete game performance. Callahan also scored the lone run of the game on a booted ball at third, beating Wilton 1-0 and clinching an improbable FCIAC playoff berth.

"I was really excited for this game. I wasn't nervous because I knew my team would pick me up," Callahan said. "I knew it was going to be a close one with two good teams playing each other for a playoff spot. We started 0-4, so this really shows this team has heart."

Callahan escaped the only jam of his outing in the sixth with two men on. The shortstop tagged Wilton's Mike DeSantis, who was trying to advance to third on an infield hit by Evan Roux.

The Wilton centerfielder reached third on a stolen base, but Callahan struck out Ryan Phillips to end the Warriors' only serious threat. Callahan retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh to send his team into a celebration.

"You can't say enough about the heart of this team," Greenwich head coach Mike Mora said. "Seniors down through sophomores have done their job. We don't really have any stars other than Dylan, and we really became a team this week. It's really satisfying."

Wilton ace Paul Merolla was the hard luck loser on the mound for the Warriors, not allowing an earned run. Merolla allowed six hits, struck out four and walked three.

Greenwich will be the seventh or eighth seed in the FCIAC baseball tournamen t, depending on the results of New Canaan's final two games. The conference tournament begins Tuesday at the higher seeded team's field.

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