Baseball: Trumbull slugs way to nine inning win

Andrew Lojko pitched into the ninth inning in the season-opening victory. — Andy Hutchison photo
Andrew Lojko pitched into the ninth inning in the season-opening victory. — Andy Hutchison photo

Down two runs with two outs in the seventh inning, Trumbull High's baseball team rallied before coming away with a 5-4 nine-inning victory over Bunnell in the season opener.

Jack Lynch, who had three of the Eagles' 10 hits, ripped a go-ahead double in the ninth. Robert Olah had reached on an error and DeRubeis moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.

The game was moved to Trumbull because of field conditions in Stratford, but Bunnell was the home team despite playing on the Eagles' grass.

Tony Socci smacked a game-tying two-run single, and took second on the throw, to even the score at 4-4.

Dustin Siqueira and Andrew Lojko had singles to begin the frame, before a double play put the Bulldogs within one out of earning the victory. Vin DeRubeis walked and Jack Lynch was hit by a pitch to load the bases and set the stage for Socci's clutch hit.

"We showed a lot of heart by tying it up there in the seventh and I'm happy we pulled it off in the end," Trumbull coach Phil Pacelli said.

Trumbull led 2-0 until the Bulldogs struck for three runs in the fifth and a run in the sixth.

Lojko, who retired the first 12 batters he faced, pitched into the ninth before Lynch came on in relief to get the last out. Lojko struck out six, and allowed five hits and two earned runs. He walked three.

"I didn't have my best stuff but the defense picked me up on a lot of plays," said Lojko, downplaying his effort.”

Pacelli, who applauded Lojko's work on the mound, said the pitcher averaged about 11 tosses per inning through the first several innings.

Siqueira had two singles, a walk, and runs scored from the leadoff position. Danny Ruchalski and Angelo Tuccinardi had hits.

Both Bunnell and Trumbull had limited opportunities to prepare for the season as mid-March snow and rain late in preseason kept the teams indoors for much of preseason. "It was their first time on the field and our third time on the field," Pacelli said.

Matt Cerino had a double, a single, scored a run and had two RBI for the Bulldogs. Jayson Katz had two of Bunnell’s five hits, including a double, and scored two runs. Tyler Cartagena had a double and an RBI. Angelo Giannitelli had a hit and scored a run.

Tyler Vancho pitched five solid innings in his start, allowing a pair of runs on five hits, striking out three, and walking three.

"You give 'em an inch and they'll take it on you," Bunnell coach Sean Mignone said of the Eagles, adding that they are a strong team.