David Wells belted a tie-breaking, two-run double in the top of the seventh inning to help Shelton High to a 4-1 win over Branford High at Dummar Field on Friday afternoon.
Ryan Murphy started the rally with a lead-off walk from Hornet starter Greg Bradshaw and, after Matt Silverstein popped up a bunt, Carl Kopf lofted a double to left field off of reliever Jack Spencer. Chris Kanios was intentionally walked, before Wells drove an opposite-field double to the right-centerfield alley to snap the 1-1 tie.
After Gael starting pitcher Craig McNamara was intentionally walked to reload the bases, Kevin Kryzanski plated Kanios with an RBI groundout to make it 4-1.
McNamara (1-0) allowed a lead-off single to Mike Gogliettino (3-for-3) and hit Damien Maniscalco with one out in the bottom of the seventh, bringing the tying run to the plate. But, McNamara, making his first varsity start, got Nikko Liguori to fly out to left and Bryce Baker on the a tapper back to the mound to seal it.
Gogliettino’s RBI single in the bottom of the second accounted for Branford’s lone run, which Bradshaw made stand up until the top of the sixth inning.
Kanios started the game-tying rally by grounding a double down the left-field line. After he advanced to third on a wild pitch, Liguori, the Hornet shorstop, made a nice play on Well’s chopper with the infield in — holding Kanios at third.
McNamara then helped himself by lining an RBI single to center field on a 1-2 pitch. Bradshaw allowed a two-out single to Trey McLoughlin, but got Joe Zoppi on a grounder to Liguori to maintain the deadlock.
With the victory, Shelton improved to 1-2 following one-run losses to SCC Housatonic Division foes Amity and Sheehan. Amity is the state’s top ranked team in the media poll, while Sheehan is fourth. Branford dropped to 2-4.
Shelton takes on Lyman Hall (2-4) next Wednesday at Pat Wall Field at 3:45 p.m.