Many had predicted the Norwalk High School baseball team would be among the best in Fairfield County. But with eight games played , the Bears continue to scuffle. Inconsistencies at the plate and downright dreadful fielding have led to a 3-5 record and a frustrated team and head coach.
The latest stumble came Monday, as Norwalk jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Wilton behind ace pitcher James Cooksey. Then it all fell apart as the Bears committed five errors in three innings, leading to four unearned runs. A dominant complete-game performance by Wilton's ace Paul Merolla kept Norwalk in check. The Warriors handed the Bears their fourth loss in five games, 6-4.
"We're looking like Little Leaguers out there the way we're throwing the ball around," an aggravated Norwalk head coach Pete Tucci said. "Cooksey threw fine out there, but we can't figure out how to play this game. If I were a school administrator and saw this team play, I'd fire me on the spot."
Though it may be a bit premature to ask Tucci to step aside, he always gives a no-frills assessment of his team. Norwalk let one slip away again, despite an attempted rally in the bottom of the seventh.
The Bears got the tying run to the plate, but injured captain Kevin Daniele grounded into a double play in a pinch-hit appearance, and Spencer Jacoby popped out to end the game. Merolla was on cruise control for most of the game, retiring 12 Norwalk batters in a row.
Matt Parlanti, the main culprit for Norwalk's defensive struggles Monday with four errors, did all he could at the plate to make up for it. Parlanti was the only Norwalk player to collect two hits.
"We're just not facing adversity well right now," Tucci said. "Errors are part of the game, don't get me wrong. But throwing the ball around or not knowing where to throw it should never happen at this level."
Norwalk will have a tough test Wednesday when it tries to break out of its funk when it hosts undefeated Staples at 4 p.m.
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