Andrew Warde High School's well-balanced baseball team finished runnerup to Norwalk for the Fairfield County Interscholastic Conference baseball championship in 1961. However, the Crimson Eagles were victorious while Norwalk was eliminated in the opening round of the CIAC Class A championship tournament on this date 51 years ago.
Coach Bob Jackson's Warde squad advanced to the tourney semi-finals with an impressive 2-0 victory over Milford's higher-rated Metropolitan Bridgeport Conference champions as Dick Bernard, who remained unbeaten since the baseball season opened, hurled a two-hit shutout to earn his ninth straight victory in a pitching duel with the Indians' Ricky Grich at Quigley Stadium in West Haven.
The Crimson Eagles, ranked seventh among the eight teams which qualified for the Class A title competition, backed Bernard with a nine-hit attack and tallied single runs in the fourth and sixth innings to defeat the third-ranked Milford team. It was the 17th victory in 21 games for the Fairfield squad, and just the fourth setback in 19 contests for Coach Ray Stoviak's Indians.
Outfielders Mike Siavrakas and Larry Gill connected for two hits each to lead Warde's attack against the veteran Grich, but it was rightfielder Tom Dardina and third baseman Frank Chimelewski who drove in the two runs for the Eagles with extra base hits in the June 12, 1961 contest.
It was a scoreless game until the fourth inning. Grich walked Gill with one out and when Chimelewski hit a grounder down the third base line, both runners were safe when the throw to second base for the attempted force out was too late. One out later, Dardina smacked a double down the left field line to score Gill with Warde's first run.
Tom Cody, Milford's rightfielder, made a fine catch of a long drive by Joe Magdon to open Warde's sxith inning, but Gill singled and Chimelewski bounced a triple off the fence in left-centerfield to bring home the Eagles' second run.
Both of Milford's hits off Bernard were bloop singles by third baseman Art Bungerford in the first and sixth innings. Although both hits were preceded by walks to Vic Nelson, the Indians were unable to capitalize. Warde's second baseman Hank Bahe made a poor throw following Hungarford's first single, but catcher Joe Vige threw out Nelson trying to advance to third base. In the sixth inning, both Nelson and Hungarford were picked off first base on throws by Vige and Bernard.
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