GREENWICH, Conn. -- The Greenwich Cannons were staring elimination in the face in the Senior Legion Connecticut state tournament , and they rose to the occasion. Instead of overusing their ace, Ryan Carr, they went with the youngest member of their pitching staff, Dylan Callahan, to take on Zone 4 rival Trumbull.
Callahan was nothing short of brilliant, pitching seven innings and allowing only one run on three hits. Only six balls left the infield off Callahan as Greenwich eliminated Trumbull, 8-1, to stay alive in the Senior Legion state tournament.
Callahan said it meant a lot that head coach Mike Abate had the confidence to go with him in such an important game. "I was really excited to get the ball because I didn't want this to be any of the older guys' last game," Callahan said. "I just threw strikes and let the defense do the work."
Third baseman Kevin Collins provided all the offense Greenwich would need, driving in a pair with a two-out double in the bottom of the first inning. Andrew Van Eyk drove in Greenwich's third run of the day in the fifth.
Rain came in the top of the eighth, leading to a 90-minute delay. It lasted just 20 minutes, but came down so hard the grounds crew had to almost completely resurface the infield.
The Greenwich bats must have gotten anxious during that delay, as the Cannons exploded for five more runs in the bottom of the eighth on four hits and three walks. Brendan Hardin earned the save in relief of Callahan, pitching a perfect eighth and ninth.
"We needed somebody to take care of some innings for us. Dylan really stepped it up for us today," Abate said. "He probably could have went the whole way if it wasn't for the rain delay. I think it sets our staff up now to have a strong run the rest of the way and hopefully into the finals."
Greenwich must survive two more games in the losers bracket before reaching the finals to take on Norwalk. The Cannons take on defending state champion Branford on Wednesday at 3:30 in Bristol.
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