TRUMBULL — Stamford Senior Legion wrapped up a big weekend after completing a sweep of Trumbull on Sunday, ending on a 5-2 victory, and clinching the Zone 4 title for the third year in a row.
“Playing in Zone 4, it’s a great zone, and being able to win it three years in a row is definitely something special and something that we strived for,” said Pete Horn, who collected the win on the mound.
“Obviously Trumbull is a solid club and it came down to the last weekend,” coach Kevin Murray said. “The kids came out and played, and we played well.”
Stamford picked up a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning starting off on a single from Joe DePreta, who caught in place of an injured Cris Ruiz. Trumbull pitcher Frank Puglia walked Stamford’s Luke Dawson, and Randy Polonia came up to sacrifice bunt and advance DePreta and Dawson to third and second. Kevin Stone brought in Stamford’s first run on a single RBI, and after Eddie Meizels walked to load up the bases, Johnny Spoto drove in two runs to increase the lead.
“We’re starting to hit the ball a little bit and get our timely hits,” Murray said. “We had to play a little small today, but we got the job done.”
Trumbull loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth with no outs, and notched an RBI single to cut the lead to 3-1. Horn battled back for a strikeout, and the Stamford defense took care of the rest to end the inning before Trumbull could put together a scoring streak.
In the top of the fifth, Stamford scored its final runs of the game to get up on Trumbull 5-1. Puglia walked Polonia, and Stone doubled to get Polonia to third. Meizels had a short ground ball hit to drive in Polonia and Spoto came up with another RBI to bring home Stone.
The last score came in the bottom of the sixth for Trumbull when Kris DiCocco drove in a run with two outs. Each team’s defense shut each other out in the last inning, and Billy DeVito came in to relieve Horn and ended the game on a strikeout.
“I think Trumbull is always a tough competitor and to go out and sweep them shows us that if we go out and play our game we can compete with anyone in the state,” Stone said. “The fact that we were able to throw strikes today and get ahead of guys and play good defense was key, and then obviously getting timely hitting always helps. I think continuing that into the end of the season and to the playoffs is going to be key.”
Stamford played without a couple key guys, including Ruiz and one of its top hitters Anthony Frangiose, who came out after tweaking his back shoulder in the first inning.
“We have a little bumps and bruises here, the guys just have to take care of their bodies,” Murray said. “Cris is banged up a little bit too, we have to get some rest and that’s going to be key.”
Heading into the playoffs, Stamford is in the final 16 teams that will play double elimination games, best two out of three.
“Our first goal was to obviously win the zone championship, that gets us the best position going into the playoffs,” Murray said. “We’re really happy, and I’m proud of these guys. They worked really hard to get to this point.”