It was only fitting that Fieldston prevailed on a strikeout.
Brickner, who made his first start on the hill after battling mononucleosis, struck out Matt Hans with the bases empty in the top of the seventh to secure the win. After the final out, the senior received a shaving cream pie in the face from his teammates for his effort.
“This was a big confidence booster for me,” Brickner said. “It’s my senior year, I really want to pitch well, especially on my first outing.”
Daniel Brickner picked up the win in Fieldston's 4-1 win over Riverdale on Wednesday.
Brickner dazzled with his curveball and only allowed one earned run on four hits in seven innings. He only got stronger as the game went on, striking out six of the final 10 batters he faced and retiring nine straight hitters to close out the win.
“Brickner is our ace,” Fieldston coach Tony Marro said. “He was in the zone today and had great command.”
The win wasn’t easy for Fieldston (6-0, 4-0) as Riverdale (1-4, 1-3) boasted its own ace in Cole Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss was solid throughout, and if not for a rough defensive first inning for Riverdale, the game easily could have gone the other way.
After Will Savage drew a leadoff walk and stole second for the Eagles in the first, Riverdale shortstop Stephen Brand botched a Matt Nunez grounder. Savage scored on the error and Kevin Fich then hit a ball to third that was booted by Tyler Lane and plated Nunez to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Following the errors, Dreyfuss settled down, retiring the next 10 batters in a row. During that stretch, Riverdale scratched a run across in the third inning on an RBI single by Alec Silverman.
Despite leading, Fieldston was actually being no-hit until centerfielder Dawit Heck scorched a base hit to center field to break up the bid in the bottom of the fourth. The ball was misplayed in right field by Charlie Davis, allowing Heck to advance to second. Heck took third on a wild pitch and then scored on a bunt single by Zach Jaffe.
Riverdale tried to claw back, but couldn’t seem to solve Brickner despite getting a great effort out of Dreyfuss. The senior went 5-1/3 innings while allowing four runs, only three earned, striking out four and walking three. Dreyfuss only allowed four hits, but the defensive miscues behind him were too much to overcome.
“I was really happy with the way I pitched,” Dreyfuss said. “I just wish we pulled out with the win. Brickner kept us off balance and we didn’t make the adjustments.”
Hans took over for Dreyfuss in the bottom of the sixth, inheriting two runners with Matt Guzman on third and Jacob Hochberger on first. When Hans went to pick-off Hochberger, Guzman broke for home and slid in safely with Fieldston’s fourth run of the game.
With the win, the Eagles remained all alone atop the Ivy League, a game ahead of five-time champion Poly Prep and Horace Mann.
“We are like a little family here,” Marro said. “Right now, we’re a pretty confident bunch but we still need to make some improvements.”
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