GREENWICH, Conn. In a season with few pitchers stepping up and dominating the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, Greenwich High has some of the sparkling exceptions. The Cardinals entered the season boasting one of the best pitching staffs in the league and were set to feast on the supposedly weakened hitting from the new composite bats.
Although the expected statewide drop off in offense has been overblown, Greenwich's dominance on the mound has not. Boasting a minuscule team earned run average of 1.14, the Cardinals are unbeaten through 11 games.
Casey Gaynor (4-0, 1.22 ERA, committed to Elon University) and Dylan Callahan (2-0, 1.87 ERA, committed to Trinity College) have been the "1 and 1A" Greenwich has hoped for, anchoring one of the best staffs in the state. Both seniors have fastballs that sit consistently in the high 80s (Gaynor has cracked 90 mph) and the duo has combined for 33 strikeouts in 31 innings.
We love it. We know when I or Dylan or our No. 3 starter [Ryan Marks] steps on the mound we have a good chance to win, Gaynor said. And we have [Kyle Dunster] the all-time Greenwich saves leader shutting the door for us, so we feel really comfortable out there.
Though Gaynor and Callahan were expected to carry Greenwichs staff, their supporting cast has wildly exceeded expectations.
Fire-balling sophomore Dunster has yet to allow a run this season out of the bullpen, picking up four saves so far. Dunsters numbers include 14 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched, with opponents hitting a measly .079 off him.
Mariano Rivera eat your heart out.
Kyle takes a lot of pressure off of us because we know we dont have to go seven innings, Callahan said. Hes done a great job, especially as a sophomore.
Lost in the headline-grabbing starts of Gaynor and Callahan and Dunsters perfection out of the pen, is Marks. The left-handed junior has surpassed expectations and matched Gaynor and Callahan in just about every category. In three starts, Marks has a 1-0 record with a 1.31 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched.
The staff will be tested in the second half of the season, however. The Cardinals have games against league powerhouses Staples and St. Joseph and defending conference champion Danbury looms on the horizon.
Before the season began, Greenwich manager Mike Mora said he didnt expect to go undefeated this year. But if the Cardinals keep pitching like they have been, they just might defy those expectations.
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