American Legion: Trumbull topples Darien/New Canaan
The Trumbull American Legion U19 baseball team run-ruled Darien/New Canaan twice in as many days, blanking the visitors 10-0 on July 6, for its fourth straight win. Trumbull improved to 19-4 heading into the final contest of a three-game set between the squads.
Pitcher Chris O’Brien went the distance in the mercy-rule victory, which ended in the bottom of the fifth inning.
O’Brien was sharp throughout the game, allowing only one hit – a third-inning bunt single – and walking two batters. He struck out seven and needed only 63 pitches in his five frames.
O’Brien’s batterymate, catcher Alex Rauso III, had plenty of positive things to say about the left-hander.
“He was mixing all four pitches in, keeping them off-balance, and throwing first-pitch strikes,” Rauso III said.
Those four pitches were O’Brien’s usual three, a fastball, changeup and curve – along with something new: a knuckleball. O’Brien said he practiced the fluttery offering in practice and brought it out in a game for the first time on July 6. The only batter he hit was erased on a double play.
“He did a good job commanding his pitches and staying ahead of the hitters, and staying locked in the whole game,” Trumbull coach Brett Conner said.
“We’ve been doing really well of late,” said O’Brien, adding that he was happy to have offensive support.
Trumbull broke into double digits for the second day in a row, again capitalizing on its single-digit hit total. Trumbull mustered six hits in the July 5 win, then had just five the next day, but made good use of seven walks, two hit batsmen, and seven errors.
Simon Whiteman and Dustin Siqueira, the top two hitters in the batting order, each stole two bases as Trumbull had six swipes when all was said and done.
Matt Fasoli delivered a two-run double in the first inning. Rauso III and Kristopher DiCocco both forced in runs with walks in the second. Jack Lynch Jr had an RBI single in the fourth, and Siqueira added an RBI in the fifth.
“We’ve been taking advantage of opportunities. When the situation calls for something we’re executing,” said Conner, adding that his lineup has been turning it on at the right time, as the playoffs approach.