Fairfield County (CT) MSBL
Westport Cardinals 14, Newton Outlaws 5
left to right: Billy Taylor, Brendan Taylor, Livio Sanchez, Jeff Lange, Matt Bartolomei, Dave Casale, Bill Thornton, John Oppenheimer, Josh Garey, Steve Anagnostou, Griff Anthony. Bottom row left to right: Lars Anderson, Steve "Doc"
Parsons, Kerri Moody,Brett Gardner, Nick Grasso, Mike Lasko, Oliver Van Zant.
'Anagnostou, Taylor, Anthony Carry Load on the Bump'
Submitted by Bill Thornton, Cardinals manager
The Westport Cardinals are the 2016 Fairfield County (CT) MSBL Champions. For the Cardinals it was a hard fought season, well deserved and pretty impressive considering the way last season ended losing in the finals to Monroe. No matter what sport, what level, what age, it is not easy to make back to the finals and certainly never easy to win it all,
The Season: The Cards played well enough to take the second spot in the division. With our ace Matt Bartolomei on the DL for the bulk of the season we gutted it out with some phenomenal performances by Steve Anagnostou and Brendan Taylor. The rotations was also bolstered by lefty new comer Griff Anthony who picked up six wins on the season.
The Cards defense was a huge part of our pitching success. They turned two triple plays this season with Nick Grasso on the hot corner, Oliver Van Zant in the hole, Lars Anderson at second and Kerri Moody keeping the whole thing together at first. The outfield was well patrolled by the veteran experience of Brett Gardner, Steve Anganostou and Mike Lasko. All three spots were well backed up by John Oppenhimner. The all important catching duty was maintained by the Taylor brothers: Brendan backed up by the vet Billy. The brothers would be the game closing battery multiple times through out the season.
Our bats went from red hot to luke warm to frigid then to white hot. As the playoff approached we started to figure it out. Everyone contributed up and down the line. When the top was cold the the bottom carried us. Steve,Ollie, Lars, Brendan, Nick, Kerri and Mike were the tip of the spear accruing some gaudy stats. The bench picked them up on those days when the spear was dull. Game winners were had by veteran guys off the bench. Dave Casale would show us how to hit when we were down. Livio Sanchez provided a game winning double in what proved to be a huge win. Billy Taylor contributed a late inning home run in the playoffs with Josh Garey showing the same heroics the following game. Even the manager Bill Thornton got in on the act with a home run in a win versus our division rival. Brett Garner and Jeff Lange were also in the mix with timely hits and good ABs. Also not to be forgotten is Steve "Doc" Parsons. Steve has been pitching with the Cardinals since the early 90s and a huge part of this team. Also would say former manager Jeff Carroll had a lot to do with this squad as well. Other guys who contributed big time when available were Dan Clauson and Mike Cannon.The post season:
gathered 69 hits, 10 of them doubles, one triple and three home runs scoring a total of 54 runs in seven games. The pitching was heroic to say the least. Barto
coming off the DL to have a bitter loss handed to him only to come back the next game for a 4-hit shutout. Aggie
throwing bookends of the championship series earning him self the co-MVP
with Brendan Taylor
who did not yield a run in the playoffs. When down we were never really down and when up there was no beating us. Tenacious to the end, battling every inning every batter every pitch. The arms were backed up by some amazing defense. All seven post season games had standouts and standout plays. Too many to log here. It was really a top ten play reel.