Babe Ruth: Trumbull 13s win state title in seventh inning
Trumbull scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat Norwalk, 5-3, and earn the 13U Babe Ruth state title at Brien McMahon Field in Norwalk on Saturday.
Trumbull advances to the Babe Ruth Regional Tournament to be held July 21-30 in Westfield (Mass.).
“I’m so proud of the team coming out of the loser’s bracket and beating a good team like Norwalk,” said Trumbull manager Tim Tvardzik.
“Norwalk is a baseball town with a lot of talent. I told the guys the challenge (of going to Regionals) was right in front of them. I told them to prepare to play seven innings because that is what it takes in most title games.”
Grayson DeFelice’s two-run double capped the winning rally that countered Norwalk’s two-run sixth that had tied the game.
Ken Martin opened the decisive frame with an eight-pitch walk off Norwalk right-hander Vance Ward.
Winning pitcher Justin Delaney was hit by a pitch, before Johnny Bova’s sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position.
Martin scored, when with the infield playing in, he beat the throw home on Jack Ligouri’s grounder to the right side.
Ligouri went to second unimpeded and DeFelice then drove the ball to deep left-center to plate a pair.
“Johnny put down a major bunt to get the inning really going,” DeFelice said. “Ward is a good ballplayer and shut us down the first time we played (Trumbull’s only loss). He is a real good thrower, but I was able to get the bat on a fastball.”
Trumbull took a 1-0 lead in its first at bat.
Luke Masiuk led off with a double to left field and Dylan Moran singled with one out to put runners on the corners.
Martin then hustled on his grounder to shortstop, as he beat the double play attempt and Masiuk scored.
Trumbull made it 2-0 with a two-out rally in the fifth.
Masiuk singled to left and scored when Jack Wallace hustled his no-doubt two-bagger into an RBI triple.
Delaney retired the first six batters, before giving up a leadoff single in the third. The runner advanced no further.
“Justin was pitching on two days rest,” Tvardzik said. “If he gave us three innings that would be great, if he gave us four innings that would be great...He threw strikes (into the seventh) and really competed.”
With two outs in the fourth, the right-handed Delaney issued his first walk but got an inning-ending pop up to Wallace at shortstop.
He hit a batter to open the fifth, but Moran made a great throw to Wallace covering second on an attempted steal attempt to take the juice out of the inning.
Norwalk broke through in the sixth when a pair of infield errors bracketed a double.
Delaney got a strikeout to keep the game tied.
Delaney retired the first batter in the seventh, before leaving after his pitch count reached 97.
Masiuk came on in relief.
After a single and a walk brought the tying run to the plate, Masiuk got out of trouble with a pop fly to Wallace and a foul out to Moran.
“I focused on throwing strikes and letting my defense makes plays,” Delaney said. “When they tied the game, coach said to come back and get after it and that’s what we did.
"Having Dylan as our catcher is huge. He is our go-to guy and we are confident we can throw any pitch and he’ll take care of it.”