Trumbull Junior Legion advances with 4-1 win

Just five outs away from falling in its Junior American Legion state tournament opener, fourth-seeded and host Trumbull Post 141 rallied to erase a 1-0 deficit and score four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a 4-1 victory over No. 13 Hamden Post 88 on Monday night.

Pinch hitter Yeury Dilone chopped a high hopper that bounded over third base for a two-run, tie-breaking single, making it a 3-1 game.

Thomas Krois singled to put runners on the corners and Tim Seymour followed with a bloop single to drive in the fourth run.

Peter Autuori, who had singled leading off the sixth, scored the tying run when he beat the throw home on Chaz Stolba’s grounder to third.

Hamden’s coaches pleaded with umpires, claiming interference since the ball was knocked loose when Autuori slid home.

The ball got away, allowing Matt Delaney, who had singled, and Stolba to both move into scoring position.

That set the table for Dilone.

“He delivered,” said manager Bob Buswell, adding that Dilone spent several innings swinging the bat to get ready for a possible chance. “He was prepared.”

And Trumbull, as a team, was ready for a battle to start the postseason.

“Once you get to states, seeding doesn’t matter. Everyone deserves to be there,” said Buswell, adding that Trumbull earned hard-fought wins throughout the regular campaign.

“You’re going to see everyone’s top pitching and you’ve got to be able to grind out games like this,”

Hamden pitcher Frank Niro, who had a six-hit shutout going through five innings, was opposed by Trumbull’s Steve Ioli, who allowed just three hits and one run in five innings of work.

The lone run Hamden scored came on a hit batsman, an infield single and fielder’s choice grounder.

Autuori, who played first base before entering to pitch the final two innings, fielded a grounder threw home to catcher Delaney to cut down Hamden’s chance at a second run.

Delaney had saved a run with a block of a pitch in the dirt and a runner on third with the game still scoreless in the fourth.

“We’re a pitching and defense team,” Buswell said.

Ioli, who throws a fastball and slider, struck out seven batters, including fanning the side in the third inning.

Autuori, a fastball and curveball pitcher, struck out two and allowed one hit in his two innings of work.

Everybody who batted for Trumbull reached base.

Seymour had three singles.

Beau Demelo, Autuori, Ioli, Delaney, Stolba, Eric Harvey and Krois all had singles.

Ryan Vawter walked.

Trumbull advanced to host No. 5 Bethel, a 5-3 winner over No. 12 Danbury, on Wednesday.

The loser of that game was scheduled to play Thursday, with the winner moving on to play Saturday.