WOODBURY – The Woodbury Baseball & Softball U11 baseball team used solid defense and timely first-inning hitting to beat Fairfield American 8-4 Saturday.
Woodbury sent 14 batters to the plate in a 7-run first inning, but Manager Peter Bartoli did critique his team for taking the foot off the gas after.
“It’s been a little bit of a challenge for this team,” Bartoli said. “They just put up a fast start and then they kind of take a break and the level of intensity drops. Something we’re working on as a team is trying to sustain their focus and effort all 6 innings, but they’re 11.”
Fairfield American scored a run in the first, but Woodbury came firing back in their half of the inning.
Ben Faraci singled and scored second, and Will Bartoli singled him in to tie the game. Matt Palumbo walked, and Nick Rose singled to bring in Will Bartoli.
Braden Purser-Eber then singled to score Palumbo, and T.J. Brighthaupt followed with a single to score Rose. Brayden Altieri walked to load the bases, and Dylan Bambino walked in Purser-Eber to gave Woodbury a 5-1 lead.
Brighthaupt scored on a passed ball, and Altieri stole home to make it a 7-1 game.
Woodbury scored its final run in the fourth inning. Ryan Dandeneau walked, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and came home on a sacrifice by Faraci.
Peter Bartoli said he was impressed with the work on the mound by Altieri, Bambino and Will Bartoli, as well as the team’s defense.
Purser-Eber made a diving catch in left field to end the Fairfield half of the second. Faraci threw out a Fairfield runner at third from center field to end a Fairfield threat in the third.
And with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth, and the potential tying run at the plate, Bambino played a short hop at shortstop and threw the Fairfield runner at first to end the inning.
“Defensively we were in really strong form today,” Peter Bartoli said. “We made 5 errors the last time we played Fairfield American.”
Woodbury raised its record to 8-4 with the win, and Peter Bartoli said that’s around where he expected his team to be at the midway point of the season. The manager said this is a team that historically has won a lot, but the competition keeps getting better.
“Because we’re a small town, we have to do every little thing right,” Peter Bartoli said. “We don’t have a lineup filled with big kids who are going to hit home runs every time they are up.”