Baseball Beats Rival Westhill 8–2

Rob Gau '11 started strong for the Wreckers, only allowing Westhill to score two runs in the five innings he pitched. | Photo by Eric Essagof '12

On Monday, April 18, a cold overcast spring day, the Boys Varsity Baseball team won big against Westhill High School. The last time these two teams met, Westhill beat Staples in the FCIAC playoffs, which made this victory particularly sweet.

“We really came into this game with a bad taste in our mouths,” Brendan Bernstein ’11 said. “It felt good to win this one.”

Rob Gau ’11, the starting pitcher, started off strong in the first inning with two strikeouts. The Staples offense picked up quickly after, scoring four runs, setting the offensive pace for the rest of the game.
Gau did not stay perfect all game. While only allowing two hits, he let up multiple walks. A combination of great Staples defense and a failure of the Westhill offense to take advantage of walks kept the Staples lead strong.

After five innings, Jimmy Kopack ’12 came into to relieve Gau. Kopack was able to maintain the lead into the last two innings of the game. Gau is credited with the win, while Kopack gets the hold.

Ben Lipper ’11, a team captain and centerfielder, was a standout offensive player, stealing three bases. Tyler Jacobs ’11, another team captain and shortstop, also played an impressive game. He had a single, a leadoff double, and a two run home run. This gave him a total of three runs and three RBI’s.

This win is even more impressive considering the pitching staff that Staples batters were up against. The Westhill pitchers mainly threw knuckleballs and off-speed pitches.

“It’s always tough to bat against a knuckleballer, since you rarely see that in this league,” Mike McGowan, Wreckers catcher, said. “But I think we made the right adjustments.”

With this win, Staples advances to 7-0, while Westhill falls to 2-5. Staples is ranked no. 1 in Connecticut according to the most recent Hartford Courant poll.