Stamford Senior Legion was the top team this summer in Zone IV and Post 3 continued their fine play with a 7-1 victory over Trumbull Post 141 in the second game of a best-of-three series sweep at Cubeta Field on Thursday.
“Stamford’s pitching staff is as good as advertized,” Trumbull manager Brett Conners said. “They have horse after horse to throw at you. We gave it our best, but they were the better team the last two games...and in the regular season as well.”
Stamford, the second seed in the Southern Division, will take a 26-3 record into the state tournament quarterfinals to be played beginning Saturday at Palmer Field in Middletown. The top four teams in the Northern and Southern Divisions will play inhouse semifinals with the winners meeting for the title.
Trumbull, the 10th seed, was tied for second with Greenwich (19-8) behind Stamford in the regular season. They finished 20-10 and five of the losses were to Post 3.
Trumbull needing a win to force a third game, came out swinging against Stamford righthander Peter Horn in the bottom of the first (Post 141 was the home team).
Justin Waldek beat out an infield single with one out, went to second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball.
Zach Sagar walked to put runners on the corners for Matt Fasoli, who lined an RBI single to right.
Horn got out of the jam with a strikeout and an unassisted putout on a grounder to the right side.
Trumbull would garner only two more hits the rest of the way.
Stamford, meanwhile, was beng turned back by Post 141 starter Frank Puglia for as long as possible.
Puglia, who pitched Trumbull past Westport on Sunday,  walked two in the first inning and stranded both runners.
Post 3 tied the game in the second when Luke Dawson singled inside the first base bag with two outs to score Shawn Urbano, who had led off the frame with a single,
A walk loaded the bases before Puglia retired Kevin Stone on a fly ball to Simon Whiteman in center.
Stamford came into the series with a team ERA of just over one run allowed per game. With wins of 5-1 and 7-1 it cemented its claim to having the deepest pitching staff in the area.
Cris Ruiz behind the plate helps Post 3, as he controlled Trumbull’s running game by throwing out three runners in the two games.
Frank LaPegna singled to right center field with two outs in the Trumbull second, but was thrown out trying to steal.
Puglia stranded his sixth run in three innings in a scoreless third, and Trumbull had a chance to take the lead in the home third.
Waldek gave the ball a good ride into the gap for the second out. Sagar walked before Fasoli ripped a ball to deep right-center where it was tracked down by Dawson.
Stamford took a 3-1 lead in the fourth and only one of the runs was unearned.
Johnny Spoto doubled to lead things off, and after a sacrifice bunt, and infield error left runners on first and third, Randy Polonia and Stone had consecutive run-scoring singles. A pair of outfield flies left two runners on base.
Dino DiGirolamo walked with two out in the fourth for Post 141, but was picked off first by Horn
Gaetano Ciambriello came on to pitch for Trumbull in the fifth and the lefthander got of a two-man on jam with a strikeout and a liner to DiGirolamo at second.
Whiteman accounted for Trumbull’s fourth and last hit of the game with an infield single with two out in the fifth. Ruiz threw him out stealing.
Stamford scored three runs in the sixth on three hits, two walks and a sacrifice fly, before Peter Rousso came on to pitch and stopped the bleeding.
Trumbull went in order in the sixth, with Fasoli sending Dawson on even a longer run to make the catch.
Rousso was as tough through the next two frames, before Dawson hit a solo home run over the fence with two outs in the ninth to make it a 7-1 final.