HUDSON — Fivay carries one of the strongest infields in Pasco County, and it played an integral role in Tuesday’s 4-0 victory against Class 5A, District 8 rival Ridgewood.
The Falcons’ defense finished with three double plays and turned eight ground balls, making pitcher Jared Mattos’ job easier.
“(Andrew) Meyer and AJ (Suriano) were huge up the middle,” Fivay assistant coach Matt Hayes said. “Defense and pitching is going to win us a lot of games.”
With one on and no outs in the second, Ridgewood’s Adam Arrowood hit a sharp liner to Meyer, who stepped on second and threw a laser to first for the double play. The Rams’ Tyler Vito reached on a single, but catcher Ryan Mettler threw him out attempting to steal second.
Mattos got into trouble during the fourth, giving up consecutive singles with no outs. Ridgewood’s Robert McCabe struck out swinging and Robert Anderson hit a ball directly to Suriano, who turned a 4-6-3 double play.
“My infield backed me up greatly with the three double plays,” said Mattos, who went 61/3 innings with five strikeouts on 84 pitches. “We’re just trying to get the hitting going because the defense is playing great right now and the pitching’s good.”
Mike Faulkner got Fivay (9-4, 7-3) going with an RBI double to leftfield in the fourth. The floodgates opened in the sixth after Patrick Flammia scored Meyer on an RBI single and Faulkner on a Ridgewood throwing error. Flammia eventually crossed home on an RBI single by Ronnie Aldrich.
Ridgewood (6-3, 6-2) threatened with one out and a runner in scoring position during the top of the seventh. Flammia earned the save by striking out Vito and getting Joey Macaluso to fly out to centerfield.
“It feels good because coming off of last season I couldn’t play due to a hurt arm, so it feels good to come out here and do my job as the closer,” Flammia said.