GREENWICH, Conn. What seemed like a surefire win in the fifth inning turned into a nail-biting finish by the seventh for the Greenwich Senior Legion team. Ranked fifth overall out of 30 teams in the American Legion Connecticut state tournament , the Cannons survived a last-gasp effort by Bethel to win their opening game of the postseason in Middletown, 7-6.
Dylan Callahan came on in relief of Brian Schutzman, hoping to close the door on Bethel. He inherited a bases loaded, one-out jam. A bloop single and a walk put the tying run on third, but Callahan struck out Bethel's John Sorice to end the game.
Greenwich jumped out to an early 5-0 lead thanks in large part to six walks allowed by Bethel starter Kyle Wilcox in just more than an inning pitched. Wilcox walked in a pair of runs with the bases loaded. Ryan Brennan slapped a two-run single in the bottom of the second to chase the Bethel starter from the game.
Bethel fared much better with its bullpen, as Greenwich failed to collect another hit until the fifth inning. The walks were crucial for Greenwich, because Bethel outhit Greenwich, 8-4. Taylor Olmstead hit what turned out to be the game-winning two-run double in the fifth, driving in Brennan and Kevin Collins.
Ryan Carr started strong on the mound for Greenwich, striking out the side in the first. He labored in the sweltering heat, though, and was lifted in the fourth after allowing three runs. Brian Schutzman pitched an inning of relief but could not close the book on Bethel. He handed that duty to Callahan.
Greenwich takes on 13-seed Southington in the winners' bracket Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Middletown. Fairfield County rivals Norwalk, Trumbull and Stamford also advanced into the winners' bracket.
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