Trumbull American falls to unbeaten Westport

The Trumbull American Little League 12-year-old baseball team did its best to keep pace with unbeaten Westport in the final round of the District 2 tournament at Unity Field on July 5.

The Americans, after falling behind 6-0, cut the deficit in half before losing a 7-3 decision.

“We were behind the eight ball and had to fight our way back,” Trumbull American Manager Keith Buda said of his team, which finished 2-2. “We played well on defense in the districts. They (Westport) had those big hits.”

Westport, the Blue Division champs who advanced to the semifinals with a 4-0 record, took a 3-0 lead on Alex Deutsch’s three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.

Westport starter Mark Roszkowski stranded five Trumbull base runners through the first four innings — Brandon Csizmadia walked in the first; and Luke LaSala and Csizmadia singled in the third.

Robert Goldstein, who struck out three batters around the homer in the first, added another strikeout in the second before Ryan Teixeira denied Westport a run.

Brandon Buda at shortstop fielded a grounder, but Hayden Jamali beat out the infield hit. Matt Gervasio, who had singled and was running on the swing, headed home. Teixiera alertly fired to the plate, where Jackson Vicente tagged Gervasio out.

Zach Zobel hit a two-run homer for Westport in the third, but Trumbull kept the score at 5-0 as LaSala made two fine plays at second base to leave runners on the corners.

The Americans threatened again in the top of the fourth.

Teixeira singled inside the third base bag only to be forced out at second. Mark Vozzella worked out a walk to put two runners on board, but Christian Van Zyl’s liner was caught by Josh DeDomenico at short.

Goldstein reached his pitch limit with his sixth strikeout of the game in the home fourth, and Westport extended its lead to 6-0 on a pair of walks and a couple of wild pitches.

Trumbull broke through in the fifth off Deutsch, now on in relief. The rally started when Kyle Occhionne struck out but hustled to first when the ball went to the backstop.

Raymond Leonzi gave the Americans hope when he hammered a two-run home run to left center.

Deutsch recorded a pair of two strikeouts, before Teixeira walked and Vicente reached on an error.

LaSala came on to pinch run at second base and used his speed to beat Westport third baseman Roszkowski on Goldstein’s fielder’s choice grounder.

That loaded the bases and LaSala scored on a wild pitch before Deutsch left two runners on base with his fourth strikeout of the inning.

Deutsch got one of those runs back with a first-pitch home run in the bottom of the fifth.

Tobey Patton singled before Csizmadia retired the next three batters.

LaSala and Teixiera punched out their second base hits of the game in the sixth before Brandon Buda gave the ball a ride to dead center for the final out.

“This has been a very successful two years for this team,” Keith Buda said about the American squad that won the state title as 11 year olds. “It has been a great group of kids to coach.”

Team members are Raymond Leonzi, Brandon Csizmadia, Brandon Buda, Ryan Teixeira, Mark Vozzella, Andrew Harvey, Ryan Carroll, Jackson Vicente, Christian Van Zyl, Robert Goldstein, Kyle Occhione and Luke LaSala. The assistant coaches were Raymond Leonzi and Brian Csizmadia.