Baseball: Gaels fight off Manchester in Class LL opener

The Shelton High baseball team scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, rallying for a 3-2 victory over visiting Manchester High in the first round of the Class LL state tournament on Wednesday afternoon.

Ed Groth reached on an error leading off the frame, before Marcello Ursini laced an RBI double to left field on the next pitch from losing pitcher Ryan Dube. After Justin Lynch’s sacrifice bunt moved Ursini over to third base, C.J. Rizzo drove in the eventual game-winner with a sacrifice fly to center field.

“That’s what champions are made of,” Shelton coach Scott Gura said.

Ryan Testani (7-3) then set down the Indians in order in the top of the seventh inning, as the ninth-seeded Gaels (15-7) moved onto tomorrow’s second round — where they will face either Trumbull High or Kennedy of Waterbury.

Shelton, the defending Class LL champions, led 1-0 when the game was suspended after three innings of play yesterday.

Testani, who started the game yesterday, elected to return to the mound to finish off the game for the Gaels.

“Ryan wanted the ball,” Gura said. “It was his decision… He wanted to come back and get the ball today. He showed why he’s an All-State player and why he’s going to Seton Hall.”

Manchester struck for a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning to grab a 2-1 advantage.

Evan Rodrigue singled to center with two outs to score Dube, who had reached on an infield single, before Anthony Chirico doubled into the left-center field alley to make it 2-1.

Manchester, which finished its season 10-11, was unable to protect its short-lived lead, as the Gaels battled back to win the 3-2 decision.

Gura indicated sophomore right-hander Mike Cowell (3-0) would pitch tomorrow’s game for the Gaels.

 

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