Stuck in a pitcher’s duel for four innings, the Shelton Gaels trailed Amity 1-0 entering the fifth inning, as Vin Backert recovered from the run he allowed the first inning and kept sending the Spartans back to the bench on Thursday night.
Then Amity got five hits, including three doubles, and posted five runs to change the outlook of the game.
Shelton, who left five men on base against Amity pitcher Mike Concato, failed to threaten Amity in the final three innings to fall 8-0.
“We have a lot of young guys playing varsity for the first time this year,” Shelton coach Scott Gura said. “They’re getting their licks, just looking to put the bat on the ball, unfortunately they didn’t do it today.
“The thing about baseball is you have another game tomorrow.”
Shelton bounced back behind Ryan Testani, who tossed a two-hit shutout when the Gaels knocked off Fairfield Prep, 2-0, on Monday.
Marcello Ursini had a single, a double and scored a run, as the Gaels improved to 11-6 and the Jesuits dropped to 13-5.
Gura was impressed by Amity, who moved to 14-2 with the victory.
“Anybody who has 12 hits and seven or eight doubles in a game for extra base hits, and when they can back it up with one of the top three pitchers in the state… We were just overpowered,” he said.
“We were overmatched today. We didn’t make an adjustment at the plate like we should’ve, getting up on the bat with two strikes. Concato he is an ace, he is a college Division I pitcher. These kids don’t see somebody like him all the time.”
The Gaels put two men in scoring position in the contest and had just one extra-base hit. Testani hit a double in the bottom of the seventh, while Ursini, Ed Groth, Backert and Justin Lynch each singled.
Amity was led by Keith Klebart, who was 4-for-4 with three doubles scoring two runs.
Anthony Capozziello and Concato each went 2-for-4 with two RBIs while Jake Russo, Sebastian DiMauro, R.J. Moquet and Chris Katz each got a hit for Amity.
Klebart led off the game with a double and a batter later, Capozziello drove him in with an RBI single to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
Following the first inning, Backert shut down the Spartans in quick order in the second inning, then allowed just one runner in each the third and fourth with no repercussions.
In the fifth, the wheels fell off for Backert, who led off hitting Chris Cimmino on the leg before Katz drove him in with a double.
Klebart followed with a single and Capozziello drove in Katz and Klebart with a booming double, which Concato followed with an RBI double.
DiMauro then smacked an RBI single to drive in Concato to tack on five runs to their 1-0 lead.
“It’s a tough loss because we didn’t go up there and compete,” Gura said. “We were overmatched, we lost 8-0. We didn’t put a run on the board so it wouldn’t have mattered if it was 1-0 in the fourth inning or 8-0 we didn’t score.
“We didn’t put enough good at-bats together to salvage a run in this game.”
The Gaels had their best chances in the second and seventh.
In the second, Groth singled before being out at second. Backert followed with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error and to third on a groundout to second.
With two outs, Concato notched a strike out to end the threat.
In the seventh, Testani led off with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch before the Gaels struck out twice and grounded out to the Concato.
Shelton closes its regular season by hosting Foran of Milford tonight at 7 and then Hand of Madison on Friday, also at 7.