RYE – George Kirby picked up right where he left off in Rye’s season opener on Friday.
Coming off of a storybook season in which he went 10-0 as a sophomore to lead the Garnets to their first section title in 30 years, the hard-throwing right-hander began his junior campaign with a three-hit, 10-strikeout performance in a 4-0 win over Tappan Zee at Disbrow Park.
“My arm felt great today,” Kirby said. “I was pumping a little bit in the first inning.”
Kirby’s fastball sat at 87-88 mph early in the game, touching 90 a couple of times in the first inning. He moved it in-and-out and up-and-down, overwhelming the Dutchmen (3-2) hitters at times.
“He was spotting his fastball,” Tappan Zee coach Mark Stanford said. “He wasn’t just throwing it and trying to muscle up. He could locate a little bit, and that makes it even tougher to hit a guy like that. I thought we had a couple of guys that had good at-bats, and then we had a lot of guys that swung defensively. A good pitcher can put you on your heels like that.”
While Kirby was putting up zeros, TZ starter John Daly matched him for the first four innings.
Rye got a runner to third with less than two outs in the second and fourth innings, but Daly came up with big outs in both situations to keep the game scoreless.
“There’s definitely some frustration, but we just have to put it behind us,” said Rye left fielder Mat Bruno, who went 3 for 3 with a double. “We have to focus on the next inning in the field and don’t drag our heads.”
“I just have to keep dealing. I know our guys will eventually hit the ball,” Kirby said. “It was a matter of time before we got the bats going, and then that gives me more confidence.”
The Garnets finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth.
Back-to-back singles from Tim DeGraw and Tim Hale sparked the rally, with DeGraw scoring when Hale’s single was bobbled in center field. Hale scored on the Dutchmen’s second error, and then Bruno made it 3-0 with an RBI single.
“We made a few mistakes, and Rye being a good team is going to capitalize on that,” Stanford said. “But I thought (Daly) battled all day long.”
Best of the rest: Enzo Stefanoni tossed a five-hitter with eight strikeouts in Rye Country Day’s 2-0 win over visiting Hamden Hall. He also had a sac fly, with Erik Hansen stealing home for the second run. … Sophomores Krishan Weber went 3 for 5 with two doubles and three RBI and Dylan Harrigan went 2 for 4 with two doubles and three RBI in Edgemont’s 15-5 win over Palisade Prep at Fleming Field.