Milford stays alive in 14u state tournament
NORWALK — Milford advanced in the Babe Ruth 14U State Tournament with an 8-1 victory over Groton at Brien McMahon High on Tuesday.
The District 4 champions, Milford is now 2-1 and will have to win the next two games to get to Friday’s final beginning today with a 5 p.m. game versus New Milford at McMahon.
“We are going to have to win every day,” Milford manager John Wezenski said. “Our starter, Jack Aliberti, is brand new to the team this summer and Joe Gaetano also threw the ball well. We need to swing the bats better to keep winning.”
Milford opened states with a 7-2 victory over Fairfield, then lost to Norwalk 5-1.
“Norwalk is a very good team,” said Wezenski, who is assisted by Chris McEnerney and Walt Piechota. “We had one bad inning, then had our chances but couldn’t push runs across.”
Milford took the lead in the home first when Mike Cosmas’ fielder’s choice scored Matt Piechota, who had walked and stole second and third.
Milford used patience at the plate again in the bottom of the second against Groton starter Brady Borysewia, who used a good bender to keep batters off stride until losing the zone.
Anthony Brassell, Dean Ross and Riley Jordan drew consecutive four-pitch one-out walks, and when you toss in a wild pitch, Milford had a 2-0 lead.
Groton, which had lost its opener 10-0 to Stamford, pulled a run back in the third on James Mathers’ RBI single that scored Luca Ursina, who had walked. Mathers was thrown out going to second on John Neider’s relay to Brassell, who threw to Jordan covering the bag.
Gaetano doubled home Cody Dineson, who had led off with a single, when Milford put four runs on the board in the home third.
Brassell added a two-out RBI single, before an infield error on Aliberti’s blooper brought two more runs across.
Jordan started a 4-6-3 double play turned by Ross to Matt Piechota at first to take the sting out of a walk and a base hit by Groton’s hard-working catcher Anthony Medina in the fourth.
Aliberto brought his strikeout total to seven, before coming out of the game with two down in the fifth.
Kian McEnerney tomahawked the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the inning for a single. Brandon Macdonald flied out and then Groton’s Michael Dore at third and Gabe Martin at first made two fine plays to escape the jam.
Owen Bell made a fine catch in right field in Groton’s sixth to leave Tucker Tevebaugh on base after he singled.
Milford made it 8-1 when it came to bat.
Braden Tarczali, Matt Piechota and Dineson had consecutive one-out singles to plate one. Jack D’Avignon walked to reload the bases for Gaetano, who slugged a long sacrifice fly to the fence in left field.
Brazzell at third base accounted for all three Groton outs in the seventh, the first on a fine running catch of a foul ball.