The Brien McMahon High School baseball team must have been thinking about Yogi Berra's famous miscue, "Baseball is 90 percent half-mental." Trailing 5-1 early against Fairfield Warde on Friday, the Senators mounted a comeback thanks in large part to some good, clean, and most importantly, loud cheering.
The McMahon players stood and rooted for their teammates with each pitch for the rest of the game. Slowly, but surely, the Senators chipped away at the Warde lead, finally getting to the clearly rattled Warde starter, Dan Warren.
Jamie Restivo singled to tie the game in the fourth and Chris Holomakoff's RBI groundout gave McMahon the lead for good in the fifth. It all capped a season-defining, 6-5, come-from-behind victory for the Senators.
"We're a team this year. In past years we had good players, but we did it for ourselves and not the team," McMahon starter Aleko Petridis said. "I'm not so sure we come back from 5-1 the last couple years. We really believe anything can happen in seven innings."
Petridis more than made up for his shaky start, finishing 2-for-3 and driving in three runners at the plate. McMahon had someone warming up in the bullpen for nearly the entire game, but Petridis settled down to keep his team in the game and pitched five-plus solid innings. After the Senators' lefty got through his rough patch, he retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.
Bryan Daniello collected the final five outs in relief to pick up the save. Ronnie Sherman made a fantastic ranging play up the middle at short, firing to first for the final out of the game.
"I've been trying to get my guys up on the bench like they did for years. I've never seen anything like that on this team before," McMahon head coach John Cross said. "It was all positive. It wasn't derogatory at all and it changed the game."
McMahon (9-2, 8-2 FCIAC) now has a firm grip on first place in the FCIAC Central division. The Senators continue a three-game home stand when they host Trumbull on Monday at 4 p.m.
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