District 12s tourney under way

Milford International Little League fell to Orange 7-1 on Saturday in the first of five games in District IV tournament play at Henry Roche Field on Saturday.

Mike Piechota and Zach Cleary led Milford from the dish with two hits apiece; with Piechota accounting for Milford’s only run on a solo homer.

“We couldn’t get that one hit in the inning. They had good pitchers, and good hitters too,” Milford coach Scott Wootton said.

“This is one of five, if we win our next four we’ll be in good shape. We just can’t lose two.”

The International stars bounced back with a 3-2 victory over West Haven on Sunday.

They played East Haven on Monday and return to action July 5 with a 5:30 p.m. home game with North Branford.

Milford National’s All-Stars lost their opener 7-0 to Annex on Saturday and defeated Pop Smith, 5-2, on Sunday.

They played Hamden Monday and will host Branford at 8 p.m. on July 5.

David Payne, who started on the hill for Milford International versus Orange, allowed six runs in 4.2 innings.

Payne added a single to the Milford attack in the fifth, and Danny Fernandez singled in the first.

Piechota relieved Payne in the fifth and Hernandez pitched in the top of the sixth.

“He did a great job,” Wootton said. “He was throwing strikes, hammering the zone. They got good hitters over there. This is all-stars. Orange always has a strong team.”

Pat Winkel started for Orange and pitched 4.1 innings of scoreless ball, allowing just four hits.

Sabitsky relieved Winkel and allowed Milford’s lone run of the game. Cable relieved Sabitsky, striking out the two batters.

Sabitsky and Winkel led Orange from the plate as well. Sabitsky went 2-for-3 with a home run and Winkel hit a two-run home run in the first inning.

Al Pacelli and Christian Aliberti added two hits with an RBI a piece, while Christian Cooper, Nick Paiva and Blake Batista got hits.

Orange got on the board first in its first time up.

Sabitsky hit a one-out double to the gap and Winkel drove him with a deep shot to right field to give Orange a 2-0 lead.

In the Milford half of the inning, Piechota and Fernandez both reached on singles only to be stranded.

“There’s not a lot you can do,” Wootton said.

“Sabitsky kept hitting hard line drives, putting the bat on the ball.

“We just kept hitting right at people. I had a kid go 0-3 and he hit the ball hard three times. It’s all right. They’ll start finding holes.”

Milford had another chance in second after Zak Barnhill and Zach Cleary both reached, but Winkel posted a strikeout and enticed an infield grounder.

Orange struck again in the third when Sabitsky hit a two-out home run and Winkel followed with a walk. Aliberti scored Winkel with a RBI single to give Orange a 3-0 lead after three innings.

In the fourth and fifth, Orange scored two more.

In the fourth, Pacelli singled and later scored on an errant throw. In the fifth, Aliberti singled and scored on another error.

Milford got on the scoreboard in the fifth when Piechota jacked a moon shot over the fence in left-center field to make it 6-1.

Orange tacked another run in sixth when Cooper led off with a double and Pacelli drove him in with an RBI single.

Hernandez induced a double play and a beautiful diving catch by Barnhill closed the inning.

“I told them they did way more right today than they did wrong,” Wootton said.

“Just keeping doing the right stuff and fix the wrong stuff and we’ll have a better game next game.”

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