Trumbull 14U Babe Ruth team onto World Series
Trumbull Babe Ruth’s 14U baseball team is headed to the World Series.
Head coach Mike Buswell’s ballclub held off a gutsy comeback by Hingham-Hull (Mass.) to capture the New England Regional Tournament title with a 4-2 victory at the Trumbull High varsity field on Wednesday night.
“The toughest decision for a baseball coach is when to ride a guy out or when to give a new guy a look….Sometimes maybe more than I should I rely on a starter to win or lose a game,” Buswell said. “Sam (West) was throwing well, his pitch count was down. Give credit to them (Hingham-Hull), you knew they were going to fight and you knew they were going to get hits.”
West pounced on a bouncer up the first base line with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning. He wasted no time tossing the ball to Ryan Teixeira at first base to give Trumbull the title.
“The (4-0) lead was great,” West said of Trumbull’s advantage after five innings. “We always knew we couldn’t be on our heels.
"We had to stay on our toes and I knew that they had great hitters. Late in the game I was giving everything I could. I wasn’t going to let my teammates down. The adrenalin was crazy...Blocking all the fans out, everyone was cheering.”
Jake Becker opened the seventh with Hingham-Hull’s fourth hit.
After Brandon Buda fielded Timmy Wagner’s and got a force out on pinch-runner Drew Kenn at second, Brady Cashman beat out an infield single up the third base line to put the tying runs on base.
Max Iorio lined a solid single to center to load the bases.
West enticed Joe Sylvester to fly out to Matt Bagley in right field, not deep enough to risk an out at the plate.
That brought up Luke Linnehan, Hingham-Hull’s most dangerous hitter.
He had singled in the middle of Hingham-Hull’s two-run rally in the sixth.
This time, West got him to hit on top of the ball and made the play.
“Trumbull put on a great tournament, it was well run and great to be a part of it,” Hingham-Hull head coach Rick Iorio said. “We won a ton of games...It’s baseball, we would have liked to have won, but it didn’t work that way.”
Trumbull stretched its 1-0 lead in the fifth.
Jake Gruttadauria walked on a 3-2 pitch. Ray Leonzi looked to sacrifice, but was safe at first when the ball was misplayed.
Jack Allen’s bunt rolled dead on the grass up the third base line and Trumbull had loaded the bases.
Jackson Vicente’s sacrifice fly brought home one run.
Brandon Buda emptied the bases with a two-run double to the base of the fence in left field.
Hingham-Hull right-hander Joe Sylvester got the next two outs, but the Eastern Massachusetts champions were chasing a four-run deficit.
Hingham-Hull had the game’s first threat in the second inning.
A pair of infield errors around a strikeout put two runners aboard.
Becker hit a shot up the middle, which was fielded by Allen. The second baseman stepped on the bag and fired the ball to first for the inning-ending double play.
Trumbull, which won all six games, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
Dralle singled off the top of Sylvester’s glove to open the frame.
Gruttadauria was squaring to bunt, when he was hit by a pitch.
Sylvester got a strikeout, before Allen singled up the middle.
Dralle scored, but Hingham-Hull center fielder Max Iorio threw Gruttadauria out going to third with Linnehan making the tag.
West left two more runners on base in the third.
Wagner led off with a walk before Leonzi in center field tracked down a pair of fly balls.
Sylvester singled, but West got a roller to Teixeira at first.
Sylvester got out of a jam of his own in the Trumbull fourth.
Teixeira singled with one out and West was hit by pitch.
Harry Peters turned a grounder into a force out at third, and Sylvester took a comebacker for the third out.
West had set down six straight batters, before Max Iorio reached on Trumbull’s third infield error to open the sixth.
Sylvester had an infield hit and Linnehan a base hit to center to load the bases for Matt Lahiff, who brought a run home with a sacrifice fly.
The runners advanced on the play and Sylvester scored when Buda at third wisely decided to give the run for the second out in the inning.
Buda followed with an outstanding play on Andrew Joffe’s ball to the left side to leave a runner at third.
Hingham-Hull finished the postseason at 13-2. They were 5-0 at Regionals before the finals.
“He was the kid we wanted on the mound and he came through,” Diorio said of Sylvester, who went the distance and threw 80 pitches. “Overall, he was the kid we wanted on the mound...You would have to beat our best. We had a nice run, but life doesn’t always give you want. Trumbull is a good team. We’ll be back next year.”
Trumbull will take a few days off, according to Buswell, then start practicing for the trip to Glen Falls (Va.) for the World Series that begins on Aug. 10 and runs through Aug. 17.