Trumbull Senior Legion defeats Stratford, 3-2

Trumbull's Dan Keckler allowed only one hit and struck out 10 batters. — Bill Bloxsom photos
Trumbull's Dan Keckler allowed only one hit and struck out 10 batters. — Bill Bloxsom photos

Round one of Trumbull Post 141’s best-of-three series with host Stratford Post 42 went to the locals in Senior American Legion 19U action at Penders Field in Stratford on Tuesday.

Manager Jack McFarland’s fifth-seeded Trumbull team posted a 3-2 victory over fourth-seeded Stratford. Post 141 will visit Penders Field at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

With a win they advance to the next round at Palmer Field in Middletown. A Stratford victory would force an if game on Wednesday night.

Andrew Lojko had the key hit in Trumbull’s three-run fifth-inning rally for a 3-1 lead.

Danny Ruchalski reached on an error to open the inning. He went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Lojko’s ringing one-out double inside the third base bag.

Stratford got an out at the plate on a bunt attempt, before Dan Cellini walked and Dustin Siqueira was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Vin DeRubeis and Jack Lynch drew bases-loaded walks to force home a pair of runs.

Dan Keckler got the win, as he allowed one run through four innings.

In the Stratford fifth, Zach Dunkel singled and scored on Conor Anstis’ long double to left-center field.

Socci’s strong arm on the relay held Anstis at second, and as the inning played out saved the tying run from crossing the plate.

Keckler got a fly ball out, before a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases.

Lynch came on and got a first-pitch broken-bat grounder to Siqueira at shortstop, and he turned it into a 6-6-3 double play.

“We had to bring in our closer Lynch in that spot and he got the ground-ball,” McFarland said. “The great news in the switch is that Dustin Siqueira moves to shortstop as he’s done all season in that situation so he was familiar with the role. Stratford swings the bats well...These were two evenly matched teams.”

Stratford took a 1-0 lead in the fourth.

Anthony Herman opened the frame with a single and later scored on Adam Wojenski’s hit to center, which Socci turned into a force play at second base.

Lynch retired five consecutive batters before Anstis singled with one out in the seventh.

He was on second when Lynch ended the game with a strikeout.