17U Junior Legionaires lose to Tri-County in final

Post 141's Christian Van Zyl tags out Tri-County's Josh Wagner in the second inning of Trumbull's first-game win.

Post 141's Christian Van Zyl tags out Tri-County's Josh Wagner in the second inning of Trumbull's first-game win.

Bill Bloxsom / Hearst Connecticut Media

Trumbull Post 141 Junior Legion 17U baseball coach Matt Renzoni was upfront about his club’s strengths and weaknesses this season, before the locals met Tri-Couty in a must-win-two situation at Trumbull High field on Sunday.

“We have five or six pitchers we have counted on all summer,” said Renzoni, whose team went 15-6 in the regular season to tie Stamford for the top spot in Zone 4. “We had one stretch where we played seven games in six days. We needed each of them to get us the 21 outs. Everyone did their job.

“We went to small ball to start the season, with a lot of situational stuff to bring us some runs. Other teams in the Zone caught on and adjusted. We had to start hitting. The (pitching) innings have added up. Bringing runs in has been a problem.”

Trumbull defeated Meriden, 3-1 behind the pitching of Ryan Carroll, in its state tournament Pod F opener last Wednesday. Tri-County then took a 4-0 lead and held off Post 141 by a score of 4-3 on Friday.

That brought about the twin bill on Sunday.

Justin Delaney scattered four hits and struck out seven when Trumbull stayed alive for a spot in the upcoming Super Regionals with a 2-0 victory in game one. Christian Van Zyl knocked in Jack Allen with the first run and Jackson Vincente hustled home on Delaney’s fly ball with the second.

Tri-County's bats came alive with 12 hits in game two, as the Zone 3 representative posted a 10-3 victory. Ground balls, usually a positive, were not a pitcher’s best friend. Trumbull committed six errors; Tri-County five.

Trumbull scored a first-inning run, but stranded five runners in its first two trips to the plate

Chase Dralle singled home Delaney, who had walked, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch in the top of the first. Van Zyl also walked, but a pair of fine defensive plays negated the rally. In the second, Eric Osterberg walked before Ray Vincente singled with one out. Delaney was robbed of extra bases by Tri-County centerfielder Stan Cipkas. Allen bunted his way aboard to load the bases, but strong-armed shortstop Joe Lagasse threw out Van Zyl.

Dylan Hossain came on in relief with one on in the second and the right hander’s pitches proved difficult for Trumbull batters to solve. They couldn’t catch up with his change-of-pace style, that left them wanting for another chance.

Tri-County, meanwhile, scored three runs (two earned) in the home first. Two errors, three hits, a pair of walks and a hit batter fueled a five-run Tri-County rally in the second.

Osterberg singled off Hossain to start the fourth, but he set down the next three batters to make it 6-of-7 retired two on strikes.

Sam West had come on in relief for Carroll midway through the second. He pitched out of a two-man-on jam in the third and struck out two in the fourth, with Jackson Vincente throwing out a runner attempting to steal.

Allen singled in the fifth. He went to second on an error, stole third and scored on Mark Vozzella’s single.

Ray Vincente offset two Trumbull errors in the bottom of the inning. He made the catch in right field and made a great throw to Jackson Vincente, who tagged out the runner for an inning-ending double play.

Ray Vincente had a single between a pair of Tri-County errors in the sixth, when Trumbull made it 8-3 with West scoring the run.

Two errors and a single brought home two Tri-County runs in the home sixth.

Allen and Ray Vincente both had two hits. Dralle, Osterberg and Vozzella had one hit each.

In game one, Jackson Vincente threw out a base runner in the second. In the third, right fielder Ray Vincente made a long run into foul territory for the third out with two runners in scoring position. Osterberg in left field, West at third base and Vozzella at second accounted for multiple outs. Vozzella caught a drive and turned it into a double play to end the sixth. Allen, Jackson Vincente, Van Zyl (RBI) and West had base hits.

Trumbull Post 141 17U team members are Justin Delaney, Jack Allen, Christian Van Zyl, Chase Dralle, Michael Brown, Jackson Vincente, Nick Coclin, Ryan Carroll, Matt Delaney, Mark Vozzella, Eric Osterberg, Nick Tuccinardi, Sam West, Ray Vincente and Andrew Harvey.