Baseball: Trumbull defeats Westport in states
Peter Rousso was the third relief pitcher called upon by Trumbull Post 141 in its American Legion state tournament baseball game with Westport on Sunday.
And like his predecessors, Russo got the job done. No. 10 seeded Trumbull defeated No. 18 Westport 4-3 to advance to play second-seeded Stamford in a best-of-three series beginning Wednesday at Cubeta Stadium.
The winner will play in the Southern Division Final Fo
ur Tournament set for Palmer Field in Middletown.
“Pitching has been a major reason for our success this season,” Trumbull manager Brett Conners said. “I’ve coached Pete since he was ten years old. He knows what is expected. We got solid pitching today.”
With Trumbull leading 4-2, Rousso came on to pitch with a run in and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning.
A righthander, Rousso never let the ball out of the inning. A pop up to Frank LaPegna at shortstop was followed by a run-scoring fielder’s choice, with LaPegna going to Kris DiCcoco covering third for the second out.
DiCocco then gloved Sean Clarke’s roller to third and stepped on the bag.
Post 141 got on the board in the bottom of the fouth inning off Westport starter Sam Arciola.
DiCocco singled inside the third base bag with one out and Chris O’Brien ripped a double to deep right to put two runners in scoring position.
Dino DiGirolamo was robbed of a base hit on Zach Azadian’s outstanding full-out catch in left field, but was credited with an RBI as DiCocco tagged up and scored easily.
Trumbull doubled its lead in the fifth after Simon Whiteman greeted relief pitcher Dan Ewert with an infeld single.
Ewert, a righthander, and Whiteman, a nuisance on the base paths, played cat-and-mouse over the 90 yards of real estate between first and second.
Six throw-overs and one fly-ball out later, Whiteman got the look he needed and stole second.
Zach Sagar hammered an RBI single through the hole into right field and Whiteman slid in around the throw home to make it 2-0.
Frank Puglia, who improved to 6-1 on the season, got the start and the secret to the lefthander’s success was putting the first two outs in the book in each of the seven-plus innings he pitched.
Westport stranded runners in the second (walk), third (infield error), fourth (infield single) and sixth (clean single).
Puglia, who struck out six, set down the first two batters in the seventh before he lost the strike zone and four straight walks plated a run.
Gaetano Ciambriello came on in relief and struck out Dan Call to leave the bags full.
In the eighth, a pair of hard-hit balls in the infield went for base hits, as Westport doubled its total in the game to four.
Two walks brought the score to 4-2 and Matt Fasoli came in from right field to pitch. He struck out Elliott Poulley to strand three runners.
Trumbull added two runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Sagar and Matt Fasoli each singled and DiCocco sacrificed them both up a base.
Westport brought in Justin Gallanty to pitch and chose to intentionally walk O’Brien, but a catcher’s balk (he stepped out to receive the pitch before it left Gallanty’s hand) brought Sagar home for a 3-1 lead.
O’Brien then hit an RBI singled inside the first base bag to take the score to 4-1.
Westport’s Azadian opened the ninth with a bunt single. Three walks later, Conners called on Rousso and he got the job done.