Milford Hunters post two victories in regionals
Brendon Buckley notched two big hits to help the Milford Hunters rally to a 7-3 victory over Star Auto in the NABF Northeast Regional on Friday at Brinley Field in Orange.
The Hunters, playing out of the Bridgeport Senior City League, advanced to face the Pelham Mets of the Interstate Baseball Association and posted a 10-1 victory. That set up another elimination game, this time against Thermaxx Jackets of the West Haven Twilight League on Saturday, with Thermaxx winning an 8-1 decision.
Baybrook Remodelers won the regional with a 4-3 walk-off victory over Thermaxx on Saturday night at Quigley Stadium.
The Hunters trailed 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning of the losers’ bracket matchup with Star, when they exploded for six runs to pull ahead for good.
Right-hander Jared Rohrig set down Star Auto, playing out of the Wallingford Twilight League, in order in the top of the seventh inning to finish off the complete-game victory.
Buckley smashed a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game at 1, before his sixth-inning RBI double drove in Bob Pagel, who reached on an error, to cut Star’s lead to 3-2.
Two batters later, Nick Czekaj singled up the middle to tie the game at 3, before John Tenn’s two-run double broke the deadlock and put the Hunters ahead for good, 5-3.
Tenn later scored when Joe Rohrig’s grounder was booted for an error and Brendan Taylor scored on a second error on the same play to provide the Hunters with their final run.
Sal Savo had two hits for Star Auto. Savo was tagged with the loss on the mound, throwing a complete-game six-hitter.
Star Auto grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Mike Thomas struck out swinging, but the pitch got past Hunters’ catcher Joe Rohrig. Savo followed with a single to up the middle and Jim Cox reached on an error.
Jared Rohrig then induced a double-play grounder off the bat of Juan Batista, allowing Thomas to score before Derek Drag grounded out to third base to limit the damage.
Another error by the Hunters helped Star Auto regain the lead in the fourth. Batista reached on a one-out error and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Mick Delizio punched an RBI single to right field to make it 2-1.
Star Auto struck for another run in the top of the sixth.
Savo and Cox singled consecutively to start the uprising, before Jared Rohrig struck out Batista.
Drag followed with a sharp grounder that glanced off the glove of a diving Brendon Buckley. Shortstop Garrett Walker picked it up and fired across the diamond to cut down Drag, but Savo scored from third base to make it 3-1. After Delizio walked, Josue Lopez grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the frame.
The Hunters battled back in the home half of the frame, striking for six runs to take the lead for good.
They finished the tournament with a 3-2 record overall.