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Orange Legion: 5 Games To Go — Post 127 Wins Again Today

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Jul 102016
 

eli Oliphant pitchingThe Orange Post 127 Baseball team was on the road early Sunday morning for its third and final game against East Haven in the regular season.

Brian Ronai and Eli Oliphant shared pitching duties and did so masterfully. Ronai taking one inning and Oliphant finishing things up for six.

Orange won this game 3-1, improving their record to 15-7 and retaining their second place standing in Zone 2.

Post 127 only has 5 more games remaining in the regular season and most of them will be away games.

On Monday (July 11) they play the #6 team New Haven (11-11) at West Rock Field in New Haven at 5:45 p.m.

Then they go up to Bob DeMayo Field in North Haven for a game against #8 ranked North Haven (10-12) at 8 p.m.

On Tuesday (July 12) Bob Mirto’s boys head up to Branford High School for a game against #4 Branford (13-9) at 5:45 p.m.

Then on Wednesday (July 13) the boys will play Branford at their last home game at Brinley Field at 7 p.m.

Thursday, July 14 marks the final game of the regular season, once again against Branford at Branford High at 5:45 p.m.

Legion Tournament games begin on Saturday, July 15 and Orange is good enough to win it.

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Legion Baseball: Orange Post 127 Defeats Naugatuck 8-3 in Post Season Game

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Jul 222014
 

IMG_6297Members of the American Legion Post 127 were on hand to root for their Orange Baseball team at Brinley Field on Sunday.

Chris Winkel had two extra base hits, helping Orange Post 127 to an 8-3 victory over Naugatuck on Sunday at Brinley.

He doubled in the second and fourth innings.

Nick Fusco held Naugatuck scoreless for eight innings. Fusco allowed six hits, one walk and struck out three.

Jake Russo, Winkel and Matt Ronai helped lead Orange Post 127. They combined for seven hits and five RBIs.

Naugatuck’s Tavarez was charged with the loss. He allowed seven runs in two innings, walked two and struck out one.

Orange Post 127 went up for good in the first, scoring two runs on two singles.

Orange Post 127 tacked on another five runs in the second. A error scored Josh Sabitsky for the inning’s first run. That was followed up by Winkel’s double, plating Sebastian DiMauro, Gerald Farace and Russo.

Legion Baseball: Nick Fusco goes 6 1/3 but Orange Post 127 loses to New Haven 1-0

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Jun 262014
 

IMG_9690Nick Fusco allowed just one run on Thursday at Brinley, but Orange Post 127 couldn’t get the offense going in a 1-0 defeat to New Haven.

Fusco was a workhorse on the hill for Orange Post 127. He allowed no earned runs, six hits and one walk while striking out five over 6 1/3 innings of work.

Erik Colon recorded the win for New Haven. He tossed seven innings of shutout ball. Colon struck out one, walked one and gave up two hits.

Fusco couldn’t get it done on the bump for Orange Post 127, taking a loss.

Orange is now 6-2 for the season.

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Baseball: Post 127 Wins Third Consecutive Game Against Stratford 11-1— Now, On To Tournament Play

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Jul 152013
 

 

A dramatic catch in left field.

A dramatic catch in left field.

By PHIL BRODSKY

Orange Live Sports Writer

Orange Post 127 ended its regular season with an 11-1 thumping of Post 42 from Stratford on a rainy Sunday night at Brinley Field. The victory gave Orange a 9-0, 17-0, 11-1 sweep of its weekend series with Stratford,  a final regular season record of 22-5, and a second place finish in Zone 2 (behind 26-1 Branford Post 83).

Coach Bob Mirto’s boys now await word on whom, when, and where they will play next weekend in the American Legion’s Southern Division single-elimination play-in tournament. That information will be announced later in the week. In preparation for the upcoming state tourney, Post 127 will host Berlin Thursday in a 7 p.m. exhibition contest at Brinley Field.

“We hit the ball well tonight,” Mirto said. “We wanted to close out the regular season on a good note and did that tonight.”

Stratford picked up its lone run in the top of the first inning and still led 1-0 when Post 127 came to bat in the bottom of the third inning. With 2 outs, Jake Russo punched a single into left center field and Matt Ronai drew a free pass. Mike Concato followed with a 2-strike, 2-run opposite field double into the right center field gap. The inning had begun with Sean Beaulieu walking, stealing second base but then getting thrown out trying to advance on to third when winning pitcher Keith Klebart skied the ball into center field.

Justin Ashworth led off the bottom of the fourth inning by clubbing a triple deep into the right center field gap. After Paul Gusmano walked, Ashworth trotted home on Beaulieu’s sacrifice fly into center field. Pinch runner Gerald Ferace made it 4-1 as he scored on a wild pitch from Post 42 hurler, Kevin Bortnik.

Orange put the game out of reach when it added 5 more runs in the bottom of a rain-interrupted the fifth inning. In addition to 2 errors by Stratford shortstop Joe Marsam, 2 batters hit by Bortnick pitches, and a bases loaded walk to Mike Appel, Beaulieu and Ronai each singled home another run.

Leading 9-1 Orange ended the game with a pair of additional sixth inning tallies. Two more Marsam miscues and 1 by second baseman Alex Tyler, Nick Ceneri’s single, followed by Russo’s RBI single gave the winners a Mercy Rule, game-ending 10 run lead.

In the top of the first inning, Stratford scored its lone run on 2-out singles by Will Hudson and Sam Breiner along with consecutive walks to Chris Reyes and Bortnick.

Making only his second start of the summer,  Klebart went 5 innings, allowing only that 1 Post 42 score on just those 2 hits. He also struck out 3 and walked a like number of Stratford batters. Appel came on to mop things up in the sixth inning.

The winners’ 10 hit attack was led by Ashworth (a triple, a single, and 3 runs) Russo (2 singles, a run, and an RBI), and Concato (a double, 2 RBI).

With this loss, Stratford’s record dipped to 8-15.

Editor’s Note: see more photos on the Orange Live Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Orangectlive

Orange Post 127 uses big fourth inning to beat Milford, 10-0

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Jul 042013
 

Max Ritchie rocked the mound today.

Max Ritchie rocked the mound today.

Orange Post 127 rolled over Milford 10-0 on Thursday at Brinley after a six-run rally in the fourth inning.

Mike Concato racked up four RBIs on two hits for Orange Post 127. He singled in the first and fourth innings.

Austin Pokluda looked sharp on the mound. Milford managed just two hits off of Pokluda, who allowed no earned runs, walked one and struck out five during his four innings of work.

Max Ritchie recorded the win for Orange Post 127. He tossed three innings of shutout ball. He struck out five, walked none and surrendered two hits.

Orange Post 127 didn’t relinquish the lead after scoring two runs in the first inning when it scored on a two-run single by Mike Concato.

Orange Post 127 scored one run in the second inning, and then followed it up with one more in the seventh. In the second, Orange Post 127 scored on a wild pitch, plating Gerald Farace.

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Orange Post 127 tops Milford in back-and-forth affair, 10-7

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Jul 042013
 

IMG_2955Orange Post 127 and Milford exchanged the lead six times, but Orange Post 127 ended up on top with a 10-7 win in seven innings over Milford.

Orange Post 127 finally managed to grab the lead after a strong third inning. Orange Post 127 went up for good on a two-run single by Matt Ronai off Kurt Holden, scoring Gerald Farace and Keith Klebart.

Matt racked up four RBIs on three hits for Orange Post 127.

Mike Appel got the win for Orange Post 127. He allowed two runs over five innings. He struck out five, walked two and surrendered six hits.

The top of the first saw Milford take an early lead, 1-0. A solo home run by Mike Raccio started the inning off.

It didn’t take long for Orange Post 127 to respond as it scored two runs of its own in the first. Orange Post 127 scored on a two-run home run by Matt.

After posting one run in the third, Milford again scored one in the seventh. In the third, Milford scored on an RBI single by Tim Edson, scoring Kevin Connors.

Orange Post 127 never surrendered the lead after the third inning. The runs piled on thanks to a two-run double by Keith, an RBI single by Mike Appel, and a wild pitch.

Orange Post 127 pushed across one run in both the fourth inning and the sixth. In the fourth, Orange Post 127 scored on a sacrifice fly by R.J. Moquet, plating Sean Beaulieu.

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Legion Baseball: Double Header Yields Two Victories For Post 127 Against North Haven

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Jun 232013
 

 

Pitcher Austin Pokluda throws one out in the first game of Saturday's double header.

Pitcher Austin Pokluda throws one out in the first game of Saturday’s double header.

By PHIL BRODSKY

Orange Live Sports Writer

Spectacular pitching has been the early season key to success for Orange Post 127. On Thursday night, Nick Fusco (with 1 inning of relief help from Max Ritchie) tossed a 13-0 1-hit shutout at Post 196 of Milford.

In the first game of Saturday’s Brinley Field double header against North Haven Post 76, Austin Pokluda threw only 85 pitches as he recorded 3-0 no-hitter (in which he struck out 7 batters and walked only 2).  

The second game of the twin bill saw Sam Nepiarsky need only 62 pitches in his 3-0 2-hitter. He walked x and whiffed 6). 

Pitcher Sam Nepiarski shows his winning form in game two of Saturday's double header.

Pitcher Sam Nepiarsky shows his winning form in game two of Saturday’s double header.

Those two games combined last less than 3 hours. Orange pitchers have now thrown 3 consecutive shutouts and chalked up 20 scoreless innings during which they have given up only 3 hits! Post 127 is now 6-1 with a total of 4 blankers in those 7 games and sits a game behind first place Branford Post 83, which sports a glossy 7-0 record.

To make the double header sweep more impressive, it was done without the key bats of third baseman Keith Klebart and designated hitter Mike Concato in the lineup. They were playing in the New England Scholastic All Star Game, which was held at Tufts University in Medford, MA.

It is a baseball tradition that no one in the dugout talks to a pitcher that is throwing a no-hitter. The potential no-hitter is never mentioned. Despite that unwritten baseball rule, Pokluda admitted that during the late innings, teammate Mike Appel kept teasing him about it. He also reported that he had thrown a no-hitter 2 years ago for the Orange Junior Legion team and added another hitless gem last summer against Hamden.

He added, “I knew I had a no-hitter starting in the fourth or fifth inning. Even though Mike was busting on me, I tried not to think about it. I had not pitched since I played fall ball at UConn. I didn’t get a lot of strike outs today. I was just trying to pitch to contact. I threw a lot of fast balls today with a few sliders and changes.”

Coach Bob Mirto said, “We are so happy that Austin chose to pitch for us this summer. He was a real master and very efficient on the mound today. He had very good command of his pitches, especially his change-up. Even when he got behind 2-0, he was able to come back and throw the ball past guys for strikes. That takes a lot of guts.”

Orange managed only 6 hits off North Haven losing pitcher John DeCusati.  Gerald Ferace hammered a pair of doubles and 1 drove in a run. Matt Ronai also belted an RBI-2 bagger and Pokluda aided his own cause by spanking a run-scoring base hit.

According to Mirto, “Matt has gotten getting bigger and stronger as he matures and comes of age. In our last few games, he has really been ripping the ball. I think the most impressive thing I’ve seen from him was when he had 2 strikes and was looking for a curve ball. Their pitcher (DeCusati) had an excellent curve but he threw a fastball to Matt. He immediately adjusted and drilled a 1-hop RBI double to the fence. That’s not easy for any batter to do. It was an important at bat for Matt and for our team.”

Following 2 scoreless innings in the nightcap, Orange posted its first tally in the bottom of the third inning. With 1 out, Sean Beaulieu walked, stole second base, and scored on Ronai’s double into the left center field gap.  An inning later, Pokluda (who played left field in the second game) walked, raced around to third on R.J. Moquet’s base hit, and scored on a wild pitch by Post 76 hurler, Melvin Santiago.

Another free pass got Santiago in trouble again in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Once again Beaulieu drew a base on balls, stole second base, and raced home on a 2-base throwing error by DeCusati, the North Haven shortstop.

Nepiarsky’s only tough inning was the top of the first inning. He misplayed  Mike DeRosa’s lead-off nubber and then served up a 1-out single to Chandler Anderson. Battling back with 2 runners on base, Nepiarsky got Vin Cretella on a foul pop-fly and then struck out Ryan Hargor. After giving up a 1-out third inning single to DeRosa, Nepiarsky the last 14 batters in a row—striking out 5 and allowing  only 1 fly ball to reach the outfield.

“We had just enough offense to get by. Fortunately, Sam pitched an incredible game—throwing only 62 pitches and not walking a batter. We needed that kind of effort today as we were short-handed.  Sam’s keys to success are his ability throw hard and to keep the ball down, where it is almost unhittable,” Mirto said.

He added, “With Mike Concato, Sam Nepiarsky, Nick Fusco, and Austin Pokluda as starters along with Dane Simone, Ross Weiner, Mark Kahlenback, and Max Ritchie also available as we need them, we have amazing pitching depth. I’ve never had a team with this much depth. These guys are all very efficient. They throw hard, get the ball over the plate, and don’t give up many walks. They throw strikes and let the defense do its job. Still, we are only a quarter way through the season. Let’s see if it lasts.”

Following its 2 losses, North Haven saw its record dip to 1-4.

Post 127 returns home Monday to host Milford Post 196 at 7 PM.

Concato’s Pitching, Ballou’s Homer and Excellent Teamwork Bring Orange Legion To The States

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Jul 222012
 

The Orange Legion Post 127 Baseball Team is going to the State Tournament

By PHIL BRODSKY

Orange Live Sports Writer

Once again it was Mike Concato and Ted Ballou that came up big and led 9th seeded Orange Post 127 to victory. For the first time in his career Concato threw 134 pitches and went 9 full innings in which he gave up only 1 run (unearned) on 6 hits while whiffing 10 and walking 2. Ballou’s 2-run  blast over Brinley Field’s left center field fence  broke up 1-1 deadlock with 25th seeded Post 19 of Willimantic and sent Orange on to a 5-1 victory on Sunday afternoon.

With the win in a play-in Finals, Orange has qualified for the American Legion state tournament that gets underway Saturday in Bristol and Stamford. Tournament seeding and game schedule will be released later this week on ctalbb.com

According to Post 127 Coach Bob Mirto, “Mike wasn’t tired from throwing 9 innings. I think he was throwing as hard if not harder at the end of the game as he was in the beginning. As for Ted, I thought the ball was gone as soon as he hit it. It was really jacked. The home run gave us a2-run lead and took a lot of pressure off Mike Concato.”

As it as in several recent games, Orange scored in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. With 1out, Mark Boland was nicked on his sleeve by a pitch from Willimantic right-hander, Keith Chamberlain. Singles by Nick Baviello and Paul Gusmano brought Boland home with the game’s first run.

Willimantic and Orange both had early game scoring opportunities but failed to cash in on any of them. The visitors stranded pairs of base runners in the first and second innings. Post 127 did the same thing in the third inning and wasted a bases-loaded and-1 out situation in the bottom of the fourth. The hosts’ 1-0 lead held up until Willimantic tallied a game-tying unearned score in the top of the fifth inning.

With one out, Luis Vega whacked a double into center field.   A fielding error by by Post 127 shortstop Matt Ronai put runners on the corners. Second baseman Baviello scooped up the ball and tried to nail Vega sliding into third base. Instead, he airmailed the ball over the fence and into a crowd of delighted Post 19 fans. Vega came in to score to tie the game at 1-1 and Chamberlain was awarded third base on Baviello’s 2-base miscue.  Following a walk to Aaron Martineau, Concato retired Connor Hope on an inning-ending roller to Baviello.

It remained a 1-1 tie until the bottom of the seventh inning. Grayson Amoroso drilled a lead-off single into left-center field. Boland sacrificed his teammate into scoring position. Ballou soon followed with his line drive blast over the left-center field fence. It was his third round tripper of the summer and gave Concato a 3-1 advantage.

“I really didn’t think it was going out,” Ballou said. “I knew I had hit it hard, but it was a line drive into the deepest part of the park. I knew the center fielder wasn’t going to get it. I didn’t see the ball go out, but As I rounded first base, I heard the crowd roar so I knew then it had gone out. I was looking for a low fastball and that’s what I got.”

The 20-5 winners tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Successive base hit by Ronai, Concato, and Nial Dimmando along with Amoroso’s  run-scoring fielder’s choice gave Concato a welcome 4-run lead.

He said, “They only scored 1 run and it was unearned. I was mixing things up using all my pitches. I was throwing hard and hitting my spots. I think it was one of my better efforts of the summer. I knew I wasn’t getting tired so I kept throwing as hard as I could toward the end of the game.”

Mirto added, “Willimantic has a scrappy team. I saw them beat New Milford yesterday so I knew they were good and wouldn’t roll over, — but I knew they were not as good as us. Mike Concato gave us one heck of a performance.  All in all, I’d say this was one of our better games this summer. Defensively, we had that one bad inning, but those things happen.”

Amoroso recorded 2 of the winners’ 11 hits, scored a run, and added an RBI. In addition to his 2-run blast, Ballou also stroked a base hit in the bottom of the third inning. Joey DuPont and Vega each singled twice. Vega recorded the 20-12 losers only run.

TOURNEY NOTES:

In addition to Post 127, Unionville and RCP won play-in Final contests and have qualified for upcoming state tournament. On Monday, Trumbull is at Bethel, Oxford is at Bristol, Newington is at Stamford, Milford is at Avon, and Avon is at Middletown. The winners of those 5 play-in Finals will  round out the 16-team double-eliminatio:n tournament. Zone champs that have already qualified for the state tourney include: Greenwich, Montville, Oakville, Cheshire, Branford, West Hartford, Southington, and Windsor Locks.   

 

 

 

Orange Is Number 3 of Legion Teams Qualified For State Tournament

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Jul 132012
 

By PHIL BRODSKY

Orange Live Sports Writer

 

Mark Boland, one of Orange’s three B’s slides safely into first base.

With its current 15-3 record, Orange Post 127 has the third best winning percentage (.833) among Connecticut ’s American Legion senior baseball teams.  At 21-2 (.913) Greenwich is the state’s top-rated team, followed by second place Cheshire (16-3, .842).

Thus far 20 teams have qualified for the state tournament.  The regular season concludes on Thursday, July 19. The single-elimination play-in tournament (for teams with 14 or more wins) will take place on Saturday, July 21 at the home of the highest ranked team. The winners of the 8 play-in tournaments and the 8 zone champions (who are exempted from that play-in tournament) will comprise the 16 teams that begin the state double-elimination tournament, which will be held in Bristol and Stamford . The state championship game will be played at Muzzy Field in Bristol on Saturday, July 28th.