Branford rolls over Shelton Post 16

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Post 16’s Tyler Tice lays a tag on a runner sliding into second base on Sunday against Branford. Shelton dropped a 7-0 decision to Zone II leaders Branford. (Kyra Palange photo)

The Shelton American Legion baseball team earned a single victory this week, a 2-0 win over West Haven, before suffering a trio of defeats over the weekend at the hands of Zone II powerhouse Branford Post 83.

Post 16 began the week with a Wednesday night win over West Haven at Shelton High.

Hudson Boles took the mound for Shelton, throwing a complete-game shutout and allowing just three hits over seven innings. He faced more than the minimum three batters in only the sixth and seventh innings.

Shelton (3-5) got its offense going with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first.

With two down and nobody on, Marcello Ursini knocked a double to left field. He scored on a double to right by C.J. Rizzo.

Boles, the number five hitter, singled to right and moved Rizzo to third, but Post 16 couldn’t muster any more runs in the first frame.

Boles continued to dominate on the mound, and Shelton added its second run on another two-out rally, this one in the bottom of the fourth.

Reminiscent of Ursini’s hit, third baseman Vinny Backert doubled to left with two outs to give Post 16 a base runner.

Brett Scanlon singled to left to score a hustling Backert and take the score to 2-0.

Scanlon advanced to third on a single by Jeremy Soderholm, but once again, Post 16 was held to a single run in the inning.

Backert and Soderholm would single in the bottom of the sixth to no avail.

The two-run lead was more than enough for Boles, who kept West Haven off the board.

Post 16 ran into some trouble over the weekend, however, when they faced Branford for a doubleheader on Saturday and a Sunday morning matinee.

After losing the first game 5-0, Shelton managed to produce a pair of runs in the second game, despite ultimately falling 4-2.

Both of Shelton’s runs came in the third inning on singles by Soderholm and Pat Murphy and an error during Scanlon’s at-bat.

Despite these runs, Branford was able to edge Post 16 by a score of 4-2.

Post 16 met a similar fate on Sunday morning, when it fell to Branford a third time, this time by a score of 7-0.

Soderholm and Backert were responsible for Shelton’s only two hits.

“We’re still very much in a rebuilding phase, but we are becoming much more competitive,” Shelton coach Steve Boles said of his squad.

“We have a lot of kids who are working very hard, and slowly but surely it’s beginning to pay off.

“We played a very good Branford (8-0) team this weekend, and they got the best of us, but we are seeing improvements and we are continuing to work hard.”

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