Trumbull's Legion season one win short of Super Regionals
Trumbull Post 141 took its third-place finish in Zone 4 and turned its appearance in the Senior American Legion State Tournament into a run that brought them within a win of making the Super Regionals.
“This is a great group of players,” head coach Jack McFarland said of his veteran unit that decided to spend one more summer playing baseball for Trumbull. “To get out of our Zone, which was loaded with talent, to knock out Hamden and then take Southington to the final game, well I’m proud.”
Southington won a 7-2 decision over Trumbull on Thursday night in the final game in Pod E.
That sent Southington, the Zone 3 runners-up, on to the Super Regional, which begins this coming weekend and matches up winners of eight three-team Pods to see which team will represent Connecticut in the Northeast Regional.
Trumbull finished just out of the money with a 3-2 state mark.
Post 141 lost to Southington 5-4 in their opener, then strung together three consecutive wins.
Trumbull defeated Bethel 4-0, Hamden 13-0 and forced Southington to a final contest with a 3-1 victory in an rain-delayed elimination game on Wednesday.
Danny Ruchalski had the tie-breaking two-run base hit in the top of the eighth inning in the must-have first game.
The if game followed, as did more showers.
The game was suspended with Southington leading 2-1 and Trumbull batting with a runner on third and no one out in the bottom of the first inning.
“Southington’s outfield made all the plays,” said, McFarland, who was assisted by Mark Windsor, Bob Sorrentino and Alex Rauso III. “Their pitcher (Ryan) Sheehan was on tonight and that was the story.”
When play continued, the right-handed Sheehan took the hill with Jack Lynch on third base and Vin DeRubeis at the plate facing a 2-2 pitch.
Lynch scored on a throwing error on an attempted pickoff to tie the game.
DeRubeis walked and stole second, but became the first of three Trumbull base runners (five overall) to be left stranded by the 6-foot-5 Sheehan, who appeared in five games as a freshman at Eastern Connecticut State University.
Rob Goldsmith reached on a one-out infield error in the second.
DeRubeis launched a long double to left with one down in the third.
Tim Lojko led off the fourth with a single and Evan Warner walked with two out. They stayed put on an infield roller to end the inning.
Sheehan, who struck out six, retired the last 10 batters he faced.
Prior to DeRubeis’ double, Lynch lined out sharply to a leaping Jake Romano at shortstop.
DeRubeis went deep again with one out in the fifth, but left fielder Tyler Cyr tracked it down.
Ruchalski had extra-base intentions on the next swing, but Connor Patenaude stole away a hit to the fence in right.
Andrew Lojko and Goldsmith both suffered similar fates with line drives to left in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
Lynch at shortstop for Trumbull made a pair of outstanding plays.
He robbed Aneesh Avancha of an infield single in the second by picking the ball deep in the hole, and with a quick exchange and release, throwing him out. In the third, he made a great scoop on Josh Pannella’s ripped liner.
Southington snapped the 2-all tie with two runs in the fourth on two hits, a walk and an error.
They took the scored to 6-2 in the fifth with a two-out rally, which saw another miscue figure in the scoring. They added a run in the sixth.
Roundup: Leading the pitchers for Trumbull, which went 16-9 in Zone 4 play, were Andrew Lojko, Ben Fero, Ryan Vawter, Michael D’Agostino, Evan Warner, Jared Rosen, Jack Lynch, Dustin Siqueira, Peter Autuori and Brandon Bottino.
Rob Goldsmith did the catching.
The infield was set at first with Vin DeRubeis, second with Siqueira and at shortstop with Lynch.
Third base was covered depending on the pitcher, by Andrew Lojko, Warner, Vawter and Brandon Buda.
The outfield was made up of Danny Ruchalski, who could also pitch and play infield, Jake Teixeira, Tim Lojko and Charles Stolba.
Matt Delaney could pitch, catch or play the infield.