Baseball: Trumbull High holds off St. Joseph, 4-3

Sam Montalvo slides safely into third base as St. Joseph's Charlie Pagliarini waits for the throw. — Bill Bloxsom photo
Sam Montalvo slides safely into third base as St. Joseph's Charlie Pagliarini waits for the throw. — Bill Bloxsom photo

It was an FCIAC baseball game played between town rivals and that meant there had to be drama before all was said and done when Trumbull High took on visiting St. Joseph on Wednesday night.

“It played out as it should have,” Trumbull coach Phil Pacelli said after his Eagles’ 4-3 win. “This is a rivalry game so no lead is really safe.”

Trumbull took a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning behind a two-run rally in the second, a Tony Socci solo home run in the fourth, and an RBI double from Vinny DeRubeis in the fifth.

Eagle starter Andrew Lojko had allowed only two hits through six inning, and only a run in the second inning.

Stephen Paolini went first-pitch hunting in the seventh and singled to right field.

Jimmy Evans then hammered a long double to dead center to bring the tying run to the plate.

Ryan Roberto came on in relief and put the first out in the book on strikes.

Neil Velasquez rescued the rally when he drilled a two-run single up the middle,

After a wild pitch put Velasquez in scoring position, Roberto retired Al Paolozzi on a fly ball to center and then ended the game with a strikeout.

“Andrew wiggled out of some jams early, settled down and threw up a bunch of zeroes on the scoreboard, which is what we were looking for,” Pacelli said. “Ryan Roberto came in and got us out of the jam in the last inning, which was a nice performance from him.”

Cadet coach Jim Chaves had no trouble pointing to his main concern.

“I thought the first few innings we could have scratched out two of three runs,” he said after the Cadets stranded five men on base in the first two frames. “We didn’t get the hits...He (Lojko) made some pitches and unfortunately that came back to bite us in the end.

St. Joseph put two men on base in the first and loaded the bags in the second, including a base hit from Thomas Montelli.

Paolini walked on a 3-2 pitch to force home a run, before Lojko got Evans to ground out to Sam Montalvo at second.

Trumbull took the lead on Paolizzi in the home third.

Montalvo walked with one out and Lojko and DeRubeis drew free passes with two outs.

Tyler Zikias’ infield single to the left side brought Montalvo home to tie the game.

Robert Olah then walked to give Trumbull the lead, before Paolizzi enticed a comebacker to leave the bases loaded.

There was no doubt about the Eagles next run — as Socci blasted a long home run over the fence in left leading off the fourth.

Lojko walked to start the fifth and DeRubeis promptly doubled him home.

Mike D’Agostino came on in relief and retired six straight batters, three on strikes.

"We got the lead and then tacked on those needed runs on Tony’s homer and Vinny’s big double,” Pacelli said. “Andrew pitches to contact because we have a tremendous defense and we made some plays tonight."

St. Joseph threatened in the third on Charlie Pagliarini’s leadoff double, but could advance him no further.

Evans doubled to center with one out in the fifth and Pagliarini walked, but Lojko got out of trouble with a pop up to Jack Lynch at third base and a strikeout.

“We’re playing about seven sophomores….We’re feeling for it and having a tough time finding out how to close out games,” Chaves said. “We’re in a rut right now, but we’ll get back after it tomorrow (Wilton). Winning can cure a lot of things.”

St. Joseph    010 000 2        3       8      0

Trumbull     002 110  X       4       4      0

SJ- Al Paolozzi (L), Mike D'Agostino (5) and Zach Dunkel

T- Andrew Lojko (W), Ryan Roberto (7,S) and Kevin Bruggeman

SJ- Jim Evans had 2 doubles.

T- Tony Socci hit a solo home run. Vinny DeRubeis had an RBI double.

SJ- 5-7, 3-6 FCIAC

T- 6-8 5-5 FCIAC