American Legion: Goglia propels Milford over Orange

Post 196's Chris Goglia threw a complete-game three-hitter to lead Milford to a 3-1 win over Orange in the opening round of the American Legion Junior state tournament on Tuesday at Walker Field.

Goglia, a rising senior at Foran High, struck out 10, yielding just an unearned run to Zone II rivals Post 127 in the top of the third inning.

"I kept them off-balance," Goglia said. "It's really easy to pitch when you can trust the seven behind you."

Milford (18-7), the No. 4 seed in the Southern Division, will host No. 12 Madison (14-11) tomorrow at Walker Field.

"I think knowing your opponent definitely helps," Milford head coach Mike Merchant said. "Any time Milford and Orange play each other it's going to be a battle... They kept us on our toes. Orange isn't going to make it easy on us... It's going to be nice get out of our Zone, this is one tough Zone."

No. 13 seed Orange (13-12) will travel to fifth-seeded Greenwich (18-6) tomorrow for an elimination game.

Milford pushed across a pair of runs off of Orange southpaw Jared Smith in the bottom of the third, snapping a 1-1 tie. Mark Wooten was hit by a pitch, Dylan LaRoche moved him over to second base on grounder to second and Nick Glorioso ripped an RBI single to center field. Kevin Lanese and Conor Creane followed with infield hits to load the bases, before Glorioso scored on wild pitch by Smith.

"One thing we've been preaching all season long is situational hitting," Merchant said. "In that inning, we kind of pieced everything together."

Smith, also fired a complete game, allowed just an infield hit the rest of the way, but Goglia silenced the Post 127 bats.

In the top of the sixth, Orange threatened to rally for the first time since Smith's RBI single tied the game in the third. After Goglia struck out the first two batters of the frame, Jake Rizzuti lashed a double to left field that just evaded the glove of Nathan Merchant. Goglia then issued his first and only walk of the game to Nick Paiva.

Facing clean-up batter Ben Runda, Goglia notched an inning-ending strikeout. Drew DeDomenico reached on error with one out in the seventh, but Goglia sealed the victory with a strikeout and a grounder to second baseman Mark Germanese.

"Couldn't be happier from the performance from Chris," coach Merchant said.