Tough sledding for Post 196 Legion squad
The Milford Post 196 American Legion team dropped to 6-10 overall following four losses last week to Zone II powerhouses Branford and Orange Post 127.
Branford beat Milford, 10-0, on Friday night, before Orange swept a three-game weekend set. Post 127 won 14-2 and 3-2 on Saturday at Foran High, before claiming a 1-0 victory on Sunday at Brinley Field in Orange.
Post 196 will look to snap its skid when it faces Shelton Post 16 (8-5) this week. The teams met Tuesday at Shelton High, yesterday at Foran’s Ken Walker Field and will wrap up the series tonight at Shelton High at 7 p.m.
Milford will then be idle until July 7, when the travel to Zone leaders Branford (14-0) at 5:45.
On Saturday morning in the opener of Milford and Orange’s doubleheader, Post 196 fell behind early and never recovered in a 14-2 five-inning loss to Post 127.
Orange (12-2) scored three runs in the first inning, four in the second and seven in the fourth to cruise to the victory.
Anthony Capozziello tagged Milford starter Adam Antonini for a two-run single in the top of the first, then scored on a wild pitch.
Jimmy Palmer and Kevin Johnson drew consecutive two-out walks from Orange starter Michael Appel, but the right-hander struck out R.J. Jackson to preserve Post 127’s 3-0 edge.
Orange loaded the bases with one out in the second, with Chris Winkel’s RBI single making it 4-0. Capozziello’s grounder to third base was thrown away, allowing two more runs to score and increase the Post 127 edge to 6-0.
Winkel then stole home on the back end of a double steal, before Antonini struck out Matt Ronai and threw out Devin Belenski on a grounder back to the mound.
Milford loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with two outs, after Appel hit Cheech Giustino and Palmer with pitches and walked Johnson.
But, Jackson fouled out to first base as Post 196 was unable to break through.
Post 127 put the game away with a seven-run, fourth-inning outburst.
Belenski, Josh Sabitsky and Brian Ronai notched RBI singles and Gerald Farace drew a bases-loaded walk to key the uprising.
Bobby Auger doubled off of Matt Ronai, who had relieved Appel, with one out in the fourth inning, then scored when Sean Clark bounced into a fielder’s choice.
Mac Taylor followed with a two-out single and Giustino’s fly to right field was dropped — allowing Clark to score.
After Auger, who came on for Antonini in the fourth, kept Post 127 off the scoreboard in the top of the fifth, Matt Ronai recorded a 1-2-3 inning to seal the Orange victory in game one.
In game two, Orange scored a run the top of the seventh inning to snap a 2-2 deadlock and power the 3-2 victory.