NHIAA Baseball: Windham's Faria whiffs 10 in shutout win
PELHAM — There is a sound reason why Ryan Faria continues to garner interest from a number of high-profile New England college baseball programs.
The junior fireballer once again showed just how nasty he can be. Faria was on top of his game from start to finish Wednesday afternoon, limiting Pelham to just a pair of hits while striking out 10 to help lead Windham to a 10-0 mercy-rule six-inning victory.
Faria, a righty, was around the plate throughout, using a steady mix of four-seam and two-seam fastballs to go along with a cutter, curve ball and changeup. No matter what he threw, it proved to be just as effective as the one before and the one after.
“I just felt really good throwing the ball today,” said Faria, “I felt I had really very good control throughout the game and my catcher (Chris Houde) did an outstanding job behind the plate. Now we just have to keep things rolling from here.”
The Jaguars (1-1) gave Faria all the run support he needed in the second inning when they scored a pair of runs. Windham loaded the bases against Pythons starter Matt Poff with two out, when when junior Donovan Hopkins lined a sinking single off the glove of left fielder Diggy Lawson, on a diving attempt, to make it 2-0.
Poff pitched well during his five innings of work. He allowed just four hits and struck out two. The right-hander ran out of gas in the sixth before being lifted in favor of JJ Jepson. The Jaguars then broke the tilt wide open, scoring seven times.
“Matt is only a junior and he has been working very hard,” said Pelham head coach Joe Morin. “He’s been really working on his control and increasing his velocity. I feel he is going to give us a chance to win in every game he pitches. Obviously Faria is a different story in comparison to what we have seen pitching-wise in our first two games.”
With Pelham (1-2) being curtailed at the plate, Windham added a solo run in the fifth. A one out walk to Steve Koza and ensuing wild pitch led to a Houde RBI single.
“This game may look like this was a blowout but Pelham competed well against us through the first four innings,” said Windham first-year coach Leo Gravell. “When you get a dominant performance like the one Ryan gave us today, it is certainly helpful. You can go to the buffet and get whatever you want when he is throwing. Basically anything he wanted to throw for a strike today he was able to do.”
The Pythons’ lone threat to score in the contest came in their half of the second. Jake Kirane drove a Faria changeup into the left-center-field gap for a one-out double. But Faria set down the next two batters to get out of the inning. Kirane was responsible for getting both of Pythons hits.
Poff opened the sixth by issuing back to back doubles by Brandon Dufault and Hopkins to make it 4-0.
A Tommy Costa single ended Poff’s day on the mound. With Jepson in, he was immediately greeted by a Chad Roche RBI single. An error and a wild pitch resulted in two more runs coming across. Moments later, Connor O’Neil drove in two more by blasting a triple to right. O’Neil trotted home a short time later on Hopkins’ single. Hopkins, who bats lead off, finished 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs.
“Every guy on this team can hit,” Faria said. “It is a great thing to have behind you. I think we all have a championship mindset but the focus is to take it one at a time. We are not going to sleep on any team we face.”