Trumbull advances to Babe Ruth Regional semifinal
Michael Brown pitched a two-hitter to lead his Trumbull to a 3-1 victory over Plymouth (Mass.) in the 14 Year Old Babe Ruth New England Regional Tournament in Norwalk on Monday night.
Manager Mike Buswell's Trumbull team (2-1) will now play host Norwalk (3-0) in the semifinals on Tuesday.
First pitch at Brien McMahon High is 7 p.m.
Keene (N.H.) will play North Providence (R.I.) in the 4 p.m. semifinal.
The title game is scheduled for Wednesday in Norwalk at 1 p.m.
Brown silenced Plymouth’s bats with a wicked breaking ball that enticed 11 ground-ball outs.
He struck out five, walked one, and retired nine straight batters to end the game.
Grayson DeFelice hit a first-pitch double to the fence in left field off Plymouth starter Matt Murphy to score Bryan Kraus, who had singled with one out, in the bottom of the first inning.
Plymouth, which had lost 9-7 to North Providence, defeated Brattleboro (Vt.) 2-1 and dropped a 6-4 decision to Norwalk, tied the game in the top of the fourth inning.
With one out, Tommy Sullivan worked Brown for his only walk.
Jack Ligouri, Trumbull’s third baseman, made his second stellar play in the frame for the second out.
Bradley Blasberg then dropped a single into no man’s land behind Ligouri, shortstop Jack Wallace and oncoming right-fielder Justin Delaney. Sullivan, running on contact, scored easily.
Trumbull catcher Dylan Moran ended the inning by throwing out Blasberg looking to steal third.
Trumbull put together a two-run rally in the home fourth, and it took a pair of two-out, two-strike base hits to get the job done.
Brown singled off Plymouth relief pitcher Kyle Keating to open the stanza.
A hard-throwing lefty, Keating set down the next two batters around Brown’s steal of second base.
Down in the count 0-2, Wallace worked it even and then slugged the seventh pitch he saw into the alley in left-center field to plate Delaney.
Kraus brought Wallace home with an RBI single to left on a 1-2 pitch.
Delaney walked, and with the runners moving with Moran at the plate, Plymouth catcher Bryan Tetler threw a strike to Alex Stec covering third to retire the side.
Outstanding defensive play, befitting regional qualifiers, was seen from both sides.
If a Gold Glove was to be presented, however, Trumbull second baseman Johnny Bova was the head-over-heels winner.
Tetler, leading off the Plymouth sixth, drove the ball between first and second.
Bova made a full-out dive in shallow right field. With no time to right himself, in one motion Bova rolled over and threw to first.
DeFelice made a fine stretch to nip the hard-running Tetler.
Bova and Ligouri each had four assists.
Nolan Parker had the first hit for Plymouth, a sharp grounder deep into the hole at shortstop.
Wallace made the stop and throw, not nearly in time to beat the fleet-footed Parker.
Ligouri and Delaney also had hits.