Storm win NABF World Series title
The Stratford Storm baseball team defeated defending champion Pittsburgh St. John’s Lefty’s, 4-0, to capture the 101st National Amateur Baseball Federation World Series championship at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek, Mich. on Sunday, Aug. 17.
Matt Bartolomei pitched a six-hitter in the title game, as Stratford went 6-0 in the Series to finish the season with a 31-8 record in the adult amateur wooden bat league.
The Storm scored runs in the top of the second, fourth and fifth innings to make the Lefty’s chase. Bartolomei, who was named tournament MVP, struck out five batters over nine innings and didn’t allow a hit after the fourth inning.
The Storm had advanced by defeating Baybrook Remodelers, 12-1, to win the NABF Northeast Regional at Quigley Stadium in West Haven on Aug. 9. The Storm were led by tournament MVP Rob Ayala, who went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two runs batted in.
Stratford struck for four runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back, with Anthony Chiuffo’s two-run single invoking the mercy rule in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Bartolomei retired Baybrook, the West Haven Twilight League champions, in order in the top of the seventh to seal the victory.
Mike Pascarella, a Foran High graduate, led the Remodelers (23-7) with three hits and one run scored. Karl Derbacher added two hits for the Remodelers, who were never able to rebound from their early deficit.
The Storm pinned eight runs on Baybrook starter Sal Savo over 2 2/3 innings.
Joe Poletsky and Kyle Trudeau hit RBI singles in the bottom of the first and Ayala plated two more runs with a single to right field.
Savo walked Steve Anagnostou leading off the second inning, but got a pair of called third strikes sandwiched around a grounder to first baseman.
In the bottom of the third, the Storm put the game away by tagging Savo for four more runs. Ayala and Trudeau singled to start the frame, before a sacrifice fly from Kevin Sinclair made it 5-0.
Trudeau scored on a wild pitch and Anagnostou walked, with Baybrook manager Al Criscio brought on Foran graduate Taylor Biagoni to face the next batter, Tim White.
White drove in two more runs with a single, before Biagoni got Poletsky to pop out to shortstop Sam Greenberg to retire the side.
After Biagoni loaded the bases via two walks and a single in the fourth inning, Dan Pidgeon greeted reliever Ryan Blinderman with a two-run single. Pascarella, Greenberg and Tom Lanzoni all singled in the top of the fifth inning to produce Baybrook’s only run, before Chiuffo’s two-run single made it 12-1.