Baseball: Simsbury defeats Trumbull, third straight FCIAC win

Trumbull High's Alex Rauso beats the throw from right field on his sharp single in the fourth inning. — Bill Bloxsom photo
Trumbull High's Alex Rauso beats the throw from right field on his sharp single in the fourth inning. — Bill Bloxsom photo

Simsbury High defeated Trumbull High, 1-0, in a Class LL state quarterfinal baseball game at Memorial Field in Simsbury on Saturday.

Neither team, with the exception of which team would advance, expected anything different.

With Simsbury’s Jack Donofrio and Trumbull’s Andrew Lojko throwing the ball well, it was going to come down to which team could first post a run. That would be Simsbury, as the Trojans (16-7) brought a run across the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning to advance to the semifinals, where they will play Fairfield Warde (17-6), a 3-1 victory over Xavier-Middletown.

Simsbury coach Dave Masters had guided his 11th-seeded Trojans to a pair of extra-inning wins over FCIAC foes in the first two rounds of the tourney. He expected more of the same from the 14th-seeded Eagles (17-9).

“Trumbull’s always a good team I knew they were coming,” Masters said. “They beat Darien, and I’m like aagh, third FCIAC team and its Trumbull. My team has become a mystery to me the last three games, like we pounded the baseball that was our strength then now you get to states and its all about pitching and defense.

“I thought he (Lojko) was good, He mixed it up and kept us guessing.Their pitcher comes out and throws a gem, and it’s all about trying capitalize on the little things.”

Lojko had set down seven straight, including his fifth strikeout to open the sixth, when Simsbury struck.

Matt Zikovick tripled off the base of the fence (350 feet) in left field and Griffin Myslow doubled on the next pitch into the left field corner for a 1-0 lead. George Matteo singled and the Trojans had as many hits in the frame as they did in their five previous at bats.

Trumbull stayed in it. Catcher Kris DiCocco threw behind the runner at third on a double steal try and took the return throw from John Lynch for the second out. Lojko put the next out in the book on strikes.

Peter Soja came on to relieve Donofrio in the seventh.

He got a ground out, before Robert Olah singled to center for his second base hit of the game.

Dan Ruchalski walked on a 3-2 pitch to move the tying run to second.

Dustin Siqueira lined a hot shot to third, where Jack Brown snared the low liner and got the force out.

Lojko had last swings, but Soja pitched one in on the handle and popped him up to second.

“Tuesday and Wednesday beating Norwalk and Darien that wasn’t an easy task, but we answered the bell,” Trumbull coach Phil Pacelli said. “We had some threats there, and we couldn’t come up with a timely hit and they did.

“Tremendous effort from Andrew. He’s been like that all year, pitches to contact and our defense plays tough.”