Post 16 sweeps Milford in opener

Shelton Post 16 opened up its American Legion summer season with a sweep over visiting Milford Post 196 on Saturday at Shelton High.

In the opener on Saturday morning, Shelton rode Vin Backert’s complete-game three-hitter to claim the victory. In the second game, Post 16 rolled to a 10-0 win.

Post 196 avoided the sweep on Sunday, winning a 2-1 decision at Ken Walker Field in Milford.

Cheech Giustino had two hits, two stolen bases and scored both of Milford’s runs. David Kish worked five shutout innings to earn the victory on the hill, scattering four hits and walking two.

Kurt Holden pitched the final two innings to nail down the save.

On Saturday, Backert no-hit Milford into the fourth inning, before his counterpart, Mike Raccio, grounded a single out of the reach of Shelton shortstop Tyler Tice.

Shelton pinned two runs on Raccio in the second inning and two more in the fifth, opening up a 4-0 advantage.

Hudson Boles drove a single to center field to start the second and Mike Ferro followed by drawing a walk.

Two batters later, Pat Murphy lined a clean single to left field to load the bases for Tice — who walked to force in Boles.

Mike Ficano then lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 2-0.

That was enough support for Backert, who struck out seven and did not allow a walk.

In the bottom of the fifth, Shelton doubled its lead.

Marcello Ursini hammered a double to deep left field and C.J. Rizzo drove him in with a single to left field.

After Brett Scanlon popped out to Pat Boyle at second base, Boles punched an RBI single to center.

A throwing error by Raccio on Ferro’s grounder back to the mound kept the inning alive, but Giustino, the Milford shortstop, started a 6-4-3 double play on Matt Foley’s grounder to limit the damage to two runs.

Giustino led off the top of a sixth inning with an opposite-field double to right and Mac Taylor followed with a single.

The duo then executed a double steal, with Giustino stealing home on the throw down to second base.

That was all Milford would get, as Backert got Raccio to fly out to right field, Tyler Chacho to pop out to second base and Boyle to line out to Murphy in right.

Backert set down the side in order in the top of the seventh, sealing Shelton’s season-opening victory.

Shelton lost a 5-4 decision to West Haven on Monday night.