Babe Ruth: Milford 13s rally to defeat Trumbull in state opener
TRUMBULL — Milford rallied from a 2-0 deficit and won a 3-2 decision from Trumbull in a Babe Ruth 13U state tournament game at Unity Park on Sunday.
Manager Jerry Payne’s team, the District 4 champions, are off until Tuesday when they play Norwalk at 8 p.m. Trumbull, District 2 champions, had opened state play with a 15-0 shut out of Danbury. They will meet either Waterford or Naugatuck on Monday at 8.
“The boys never quit, they never quit,” Payne said. “We made mistakes, but came back. This is a great group of kids.”
Milford scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. It won in the home seventh when Gavin Kaminski, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and went to third on a grounder to shortstop, raced home as Matt Galligan’s two-out grounder was misplayed.
The miscue ended a long string of outstanding two-out plays by manager Mike Buswell’s Trumbull combine.
Trumbull left-hander Sean Francouer left two runners in scoring position in the first when Jake Hull in left field hauled in a long drive to left-center by opposing hurler Zach Worzel.
A walk and a hit-and-run single by Ethan Long in the Milford third looked promising, but catcher A.J. Albaladejo threw a runner out at third with Luca Antonio making the tag. Milford wasn’t done.
Galligan drove the ball into the outfield, but the runner had to hold up in case the liner was caught by the second baseman. Matt Wood got the ball in quickly for a force play and out number two. Ryan Bull kept the rally going with a single. With runners on second and third, Albaladejo got to a short pitch that kicked to the right and threw to Antonio covering third to retire the side.
In the Trumbull third, D.J. Amaral singled. Jackson Depino sacrificed him to second, with Galligan at first base making a great scoop of a low throw. With two down, Conlan Deshane at second leapt over a sliding Galligan and made a great run-saving catch on Francouer’s soft liner over first base.
Trumbull broke through in the top of the fourth inning.
Matt Wood opened with an infield single. Derren Wood’s walk on a 3-2 pitch, and a double steal, led to Nick Lobuono getting an RBI on a ground out to second. After a strikeout, Albaladejo singled to center to score the second run. A strong throw by Brandon Payne in center to Bull at the plate got the third out on a sliding Lobuono.
Deshane walked to open the Milford fifth. Kaminski advanced the runner and Long singled sharply to center. The ball went through and Deshane scored to make it 2-1. Galligan once again swung a good bat, only to be denied a hit. This time Trumbull shortstop Jack Durland went to his left to catch his liner in the tip of his glove. He stepped on second for the unassisted double play.
Milford’s defense showed it stuff in the top of the sixth. The left-handed Worzel struck out his seventh batter and made a fine play on a chopped ball up the third base line. Deshane sprinted into shallow-center field from his second base position to snare Lobuono’s pop up.
Brandon Payne, who came on to pitch in relief in the fifth inning, doubled to deep left field with one out in the sixth. Worzel, who had moved to the outfield, singled him home to tie the game at 2 all. Jake Colucci, in to pitch to open the frame, got the second out on a foul pop. Ethan Domingue then ripped a ball in the gap that was tracked down by Hull.
Brandon Payne had two strikeouts around Milford’s first error to keep things deadlocked in the top of the sixth.
Milford, which drew a first-round bye on a draw from a hat, had outscored District 4 opponents 52-0.