Jake Smith singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Orange Post 127 edged Shelton Post 16, 4-3, in a Zone II American Legion matchup on Saturday morning.
In the first game of a scheduled doubleheader at Brinley Field, Smith’s grounder up the middle was just out of the reach of Post 16 shortstop Mike Cowell. Kyle Mattei, who singled off of Shelton starter C.J. Rizzo to start the sixth, scored to give Post 127 (17-5) its first lead of the contest.
Max Scheps nailed down the save for Orange in the top of the seventh, setting Post 16 (13-9) down in order. Evan Lumpinski went six innings to pick up the win for Post 127. Despite walking four batters and hitting four more, Lumpinski settled down after a tumultuous first two frames.
Shelton plated a pair of runs in the top of the first, when Cowell and Rizzo drew consecutive walks to start the game. After Justin Lynch dropped down a sacrifice bunt, Paul Salley unloaded a two-run double to left field to get Post 16 on the scoreboard.
Hudson Boles walked and Marc Zoppi was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Lumpinski got Jake Camp on an infield fly. Chris Winkel then robbed Jordan Urbani of an RBI hit which a diving catch in the right-center field gap.
Winkel pounded an RBI double in the bottom of the first to cut Orange’s deficit in half, before Shelton added a run in the second on Lynch’s RBI chopper through the left side.
But, Post 16, which stranded 10 runners, left the bases loaded again when Zoppi grounded out to Matt Ronai at third base for the final out.
Shelton got just two more hits off of Lumpinski the rest of the way — singles by Cowell and Boles — but loaded the bases in the fifth with game tied at 3. Cowell flied out to center field and Orange broke through to grab the lead two at-bats later.
Winkel’s line-drive sacrifice to Jake Camp in center field narrowed Orange’s gap to 3-2 in the third. Schep’s flared RBI single to shallow right field then tied the game at 3 in fourth.
Rizzo allowed seven hits, struck out three and walked four.