Defensive miscues hamper Post 16 in Orange sweep

Uncharacteristic defensive gaffes haunted the Shelton Senior Legionnaires, who dropped a doubleheader at home to Orange Post 127 by scores of 7-2 and 12-1.

“We made too many unnecessary mistakes,” said Shelton manager Steve Boles. “It wasn’t like they were hitting the ball well. But you can’t take anything away from Orange (21-6).

“They came ready to play. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves when we make a mistake.”

Vin Backert led Shelton (13-12) with two hits and an RBI, while Marc Zoppi went 2-for-2.

Jordan Urbani, C.J. Rizzo and Patrick Murphy each had hits.

Hudson Boles started for Shelton in the second game, going three innings and allowing nine runs. Urbani came on in relief and allowed three runs in three innings.

Ross Weiner was on the hill for Orange and threw seven innings of one run ball on just seven hits.

“This is probably our poorest defensive effort this season,” Steve Boles said. “We just came off two solid wins. We’re a team that’s not going to score a lot of runs.

“But our defense, excluding today, there was only one other blown-up game, outside of that we’ve given up the fourth fewest runs in the Zone.”

Things started early for Orange, which scored one in the top of the first on two singles and a double.

Post 127 scored four runs in the second to take a 5-0 lead.

Offensively, Shelton hit two singles in the each of the first two innings but couldn’t drive in any runs.

Backert and Rizzo singled with two outs but Hudson Boles flew out to center in the opening frame.

In the second, Murphy led off with a single before Mark Polkowski ground into a double play. Marc Zoppi followed with a single and John Zoppi was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Tyler Tice flew out.

Orange kept up the onslaught, as Post 127 scored four more runs in the third to take the score to 9-0.

Shelton got on the board in the fifth, after Marc Zoppi led off with a double. After a groundout and strikeout, Urbani walked before Backert singled in the run.

Urbani relieved Hudson Boles and pitched two shutout innings, before Orange scored three runs in the sixth.

With one final chance to extend the game, Shelton went down 1-2-3 in the seventh inning.

“There was a couple of situations where we took plays off and you can’t do that,” Steve Boles said. “But you know what, we’re good. We’ll bounce back.

“I’m shooting to get four more wins. That’s our team’s focus right now.”

The top five teams in each Zone make the playoffs. Shelton is tied with New Haven for the fifth spot behind Branford, Orange, Stratford and East Haven.

Shelton has a three-game series with Branford (24-1) left to play, along with a makeup game with Milford and a date with New Haven on Friday night at 7 at Shelton High.