The Spartans played the Lamar Texans in the first round of the playoffs. Over consecutive days at Cy Ridge High School, the two evenly matched teams played three games with the winning margin never being greater than two runs. In the end, the Texans were able to push across the deciding run in extra innings to move on to the second round of the playoffs. Their season over earlier than expected, the 2023 Spartans end the year at 23-9 and as one of the winningest teams in Stratford baseball history.
Spartans 2 - Texans 0:
The playoffs are a new season where a team’s fate is decided week to week. A good start is important, and the Spartans did just that in Game #1. With an excellent performance by Thomas Cloud on the mound, a couple of well-placed hits and an error-free game, the boys rolled to a 2-0 victory on Thursday. Cloud’s complete game shutout (7IP/3H/0R/0BB/6K) kept the Texans off balance throughout the evening. Paxton Terveen (2H/2RBI) paced the offense with Alex Skoutelakis and Maddox Garnero adding the other hits to round out the attack.
Spartans 3 - Texans 4:
On Friday, another close game transpired. The Texans took the early lead with four runs in the first inning, but that would be all they scored on the day. The Spartans began chipping away and down to their final out. They had the tying run on second base. He was stranded there, and the series was tied 1-1 with a winner-take-all game set for Saturday. Terveen delivered another quality outing (6IP/2ER/1BB/4K). Multi-hit games were turned in by John White (3H/2R) and Skoutelakis (2H/RBI). Brecken Menuet, Braxton Wakefield, and Garnero added a hit each.
Spartans 4 - Texans 5 (8 innings):
The teams met for a Saturday afternoon finale to determine who would move on to the second round of the playoffs. Like the first two games, this one was another tight affair, and it would take extra innings to determine the winner. The Lamar squad pushed across the go-ahead in the top of the eighth inning and when the Spartans were unable to answer, they had earned the series victory. Matthew McDuffie got the start and kept SHS in the game early (3.1 IP/4R). He would be followed by Tucker Copeland, who held the Texans scoreless (2.2IP/3H/0R/2K), and then Wakefield, who pitched the final two innings (2IP/1H/1R/1K). The offense ground out five hits with Caden Baker, Luke Rives, Menuet, Wakefield, and White all contributing one each.
We appreciate all of the fans for their support throughout the season and for turning The Backyard into the best venue for watching high school baseball. Special recognition and thanks to Coach Richards and Coach Cusimano for the impact they made on and off the field for this group of young men.