BRISTOL, July 30 – Early morning baseball seems to agree with the Avon American Legion baseball team. Avon scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to erase a one-run deficit and beat Orange, 4-1 for its fourth straight win in the 2012 American Legion state tournament.
Post 201 (23-8) took advantage of an error and a wild pitch to seize control of the contest in the seventh inning. Left-handed pitcher Michael Castellani pitched four innings, allowing just two hits and striking out three to earn the win. For its second straight game, Avon played in a 9:30 a.m. contest.
Avon plays again at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at Muzzy Field when they face Montville. The winner plays later that day at 6 p.m. at Muzzy against either Milford or Greenwich, who play this morning at 9:30 a.m. in Stamford. All four teams have won their first two games in the double elimination portion of the tournament.
If Avon loses, they play at 3:30 p.m. against the loser of the Milford or Greenwich team that will haven driven up from Stamford immediately after their morning game.
Orange (21-6) took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning off Avon starter Noah Hahn. Sean Butler reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to second on a wild pitch, took third on a single from Matthew Ronai and scored on a sacrifice fly from Niall Dammando. Hahn did well, allowing just three hits, walking just two and striking out one in five innings.
Orange did load the bases with two outs in the sixth but Castellani got Paul Gusmano to ground out to second base to end the threat. After that, Orange never had a runner get past first base in the final three innings. A double play in the seventh snuffed out a rally before it could start.
Avon tied the game in the sixth at 1-1. Hahn reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on Jake Bryant’s two-out double to right field.
Orange changed pitchers in the seventh and it backfired. Orange starter Michael Concato allowed just one run and three hits in six innings while fanning 10. His replacement struggled in the seventh.
Avon’s Ben Lombard was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved to third base when Daniel Sheiker reached on an error. Lombard scored on a ground ball out by Liam O’Connor and Sheiker took third base. Connor Doyle was hit by a pitch and Sheiker scored on Matt Koenig’s double to right field for a 3-1 lead. Doyle took third and scored on a wild pitch for a 4-1 lead. Cody Doyle and Koenig each had two hits for Avon. Doyle had a double.
Avon 4, Orange 1
Avon (23-8) 000 001 300 4-7-0
Orange (21-6)000 010 000 1-5-1
Noah Hahn, Michael Castellani (6) and Cody Doyle; Michael Concato, Brian Speer (7) and Paul Gusmano; WP: Castellani; LP: Speer; LOB: Avon 9, Orange 5; 2B: Koenig (A), Speer (O)