Baseball: Trumbull Juniors advance in state tournament

Rickey Mariani threw five shutout innings at visiting Orange, Trumbull Post 141 scored five runs in its first at bat, and Brandon Buda knocked in a key insurance run in a Junior American Legion State Tournament elimination game on Friday night.

“Rickey pitched five phenomenal innings,” Trumbull head coach Matt Renzoni said after the 6-4 win sent Post 141 on to Greenwich for the Pod F title on Sunday at 1 p.m. “He has been our go-to guy all season. He gets key strikeouts, but likes to use his defense.”

First baseman Ryan Teixeira made the biggest defense play for Trumbull.

Orange loaded the bases with one out in the top of the third.

Sebastian Holt ripped a line drive headed toward right field.

Teixeira caught the ball, then beat Jacob Crow back to the first base bag for an inning-ending double play.

Trumbull sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning.

Chase Dralle had the only hit in the frame, but four walks, a hit batter and a pair of Orange errors brought a handful of runs home.

Matt Delaney and Matt Bagley had RBIs.

Trumbull, 14-7 in the regular season, left Christian VanZyl (walk) and Mark Vozzella (hit by pitch) on base in the third.

Teixeira was hit by a pitch in the fourth.

VanZyl singled with one out in the fifth, but any rally was short-circuited by fine plays by Delsanto at third and Ranini at first.

Mariani gave up a leadoff double to Luke Hauser to start the game, but struck out the next three batters.

He retired six in a row, before Caleb Marcin singled to start the third.

After a strikeout, two infield errors loaded the bases. That’s when Teixeira made his twin killing.

Matteo Delsanto reached base on an infield error with one down in the fourth, but Teixeira made a fine catch on a foul ball off the bat of Owen Leszczak.

Marcin worked the only walk issued by Mariani to begin the fifth. Delaney threw him out attempting to steal, with Kevin Flewelling making the tag.

Hauser then  singled up the middle, despite a fine backhand stop by Flewelling. He was stranded on a ground out to first.

Manager Nick Mirto’s Orange squad came out swinging a good bat in the sixth.

Holt doubled to deep right-center to get things started.

Jack Ranini dropped a single into left and Delsanto scissored a hit up the middle to make it 5-1.

Mariani registered his fifth strikeout, but Ryan Nuzzo singled to put three runners back on base.

Marcin was the only batter to solve Teixeira, as he lined an RBI single off his glove and up the first base line.

Sam West came on in relief.

C.J. Parkin, who pitched no-hit, no-run ball for five-plus innings, singled to drive home Ranini.

Hauser was hit by a pitch and Orange had closed within 5-4.

West put the second out in the book on strikes, and then got a ground ball out to Flewelling at second to strand three runners.

Trumbull slowed the momentum shift in the bottom of the sixth.

Tim Seymour walked, went to second on a passed ball, and took third after Parkin’s great play off the mound on a chopper up the third base line.

Buda drove a 2-2 pitch into left center field to give Trumbull a two-run lead.

“Our hitting has been spotty at times, but that was a big hit by Brandon,” said Renzoni, who is assisted by Nicholas Moreira.

“Tonight, we got the job done as a team.”

Orange brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh when Delsanto singled with one.

The go-ahead run reached on an error, but Flewelling made a collision impacted catch on a ball hit behind second base to end the game.

Trumbull team members are Jack Allen, Matt Bagley, Brandon Buda, Ryan Carroll, Matt Delaney, Chase Dralle, Kevin Flewelling, Andrew Harvey, Eric Harvey, Rickey Mariani, Tim Seymour, Ryan Teixeira, Christian VanZyl, Mark Vozzella, John Welch and Sam West.