The Shelton High baseball team saw its Class LL state title defense come to end with a 2-0 loss to Trumbull High on May 30.
Sophomore right-hander Mike Cowell threw a two-hitter for Shelton, but the No. 8 seed Eagles (17-6) scored twice in the bottom of the fourth to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.
Colin Keyes plated the first run for Trumbull with a sacrifice fly, while James DeNomme scored on a passed ball.
Trumbull’s Ryan Bayuk scattered seven hits, as the Eagles went on to defeat No. 17 Staples of Westport, 2-1, to earn a spot in yesterday’s semifinal against No. 4 seed Southington High (19-3).
“We didn’t get the big hit,” Shelton coach Scott Gura said. “He (Bayuk) bent, but he didn’t break.”
Prior to falling to Trumbull, the ninth-seeded Gaels scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a 3-2 victory over visiting Manchester High in the first round of the Class LL state tournament on May 29.
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,” Gura said. “Down to your final six outs, in the bottom of the sixth inning down two-to-one on your home turf as defending champs, and you find a way to scratch across two runs.”
Ryan Testani (7-3) set down the Indians in order in the top of the seventh inning.
Shelton was leading 1-0 when the game was suspended after three innings of play on May 28.
Testani, who started the game, elected to return to the mound when play continued.
“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.
Shelton finished the season with a 15-8 record.