Stamford Post 3 ended an impressive postseason run Sunday, falling to Shrewsbury, Mass. 6-2 for their second loss of the Northeast Regional Tournament.
The World Series will be held in Shelby, N.C. later this month, with winning teams from multiple regional tournaments around the country. Coming out of Connecticut, Stamford and runner-up West Hartford both qualified, however, in the double-elimination tournament, West Hartford bowed their heads after finishing 0-2.
To get to the regional, Stamford defeated West Hartford in a best-of-three matchup to capture the Connecticut state title. Their postseason started off win an 11-3 win over Orange Post 127 and two wins over top-ranked Oakville. In the semifinals, they got by Trumbull to clinch a berth in the title game, coming out of the Palmer Field bracket.
West Hartford won the top half of the bracket, out of Bristol’s Muzzy Field, to force a date with Stamford Senior Legion, who have been playing with heavy hearts after their general manager, Chris Sabia, passed away just days before the state tournament began. Sabia, 39, lost his battle to cancer. In his honor, every playoff matchup began with a moment of silence, including in the state’s final rounds.
In the Northeast Tournament, Stamford started out with a win against Rochester, N.H. A 3-0 final, Post 3 had a combined three-hit shutout and their staff finished with seven strikeouts. Blake Newcomer, Montana Semmel and Grant Purpura led the pitching effort and Anthony Frangiose, Semmel and Adam Stone provided a run each.
Then, on August 3, they lost to Shrewsbury, Mass, the tournament’s host team, 4-2. Aaron D’Annolfo was tagged as the losing pitcher for the Stamford Senior Legion squad, going six innings and surrendering four runs and seven hits. Stone and Michael Lisinicchia were responsible for home runs, that being the only offense on the Stamford side that afternoon.
As Stamford went into the elimination bracket, their bats came alive August 4 against Woonsocket, RI in a game that was pushed to a later start due to rain.
Semmel provided the first spark for Post 3 on a base hit and a stolen base in the first, with Stamford scoring six times in the third thanks to hits by Michael Grafstein, Tim Wainwright, Ruben Rodriguez, Dean DePreta and Semmel.
Saturday night, as Stamford was closing in on a championship berth, they went big again with a 13-0 shutout victory over Braintree, Mass. Purpura (who, by the way, is part of a Mets blogging team) shined for Stamford in a two-hit performance.
Again a six-run frame played its role, with a home run off the bat of Lisinicchia and singles from Wainwright and Grafstein. Purpura’s strong pitching took him through five on a 13 run and 13 hit day for the boys from Stamford.
Then this afternoon, in a rematch with Shrewsbury, Stamford just never got it going. They needed to win the first game, a 1 p.m. first pitch, and then another game with Shrewsbury, set for 5 p.m, to head to Shelby, N.C. But in Game 1, the tournament hosts held a 6-2 defeat as their starter went the distance and only gave up two runs and six hits.
Stone started for Post 3, getting tagged with the loss after three innings of four run, five-hit ball.
Stamford finished the season with a 34-10-1 record, finishing right in the middle of their zone but guiding themselves to a state championship series and a regional final berth.
(As a closing note, on behalf of everyone with SportzEdge would like to offer up our condolences once more to the entire Stamford Legion family and Mr. Sabia’s loved ones during this difficult time. I’m sure Chris enjoyed this summer’s run).