Stamford Legion 17U baseball fall 3-0 to RCP in state final
MIDDLETOWN - Although the American Legion Baseball 17U Junior state tournament title was on the line, Stamford Legion Post 3 had no answer Saturday.
Righthander Austin Roy of Rocky Hill-Cromwell-Portland Post 105 tossed a no-hitter before a wet but vocal crowd at Palmer Field to propel RCP to a 3-0 victory over Stamford in the 2016 state final.
“Austin Roy pitched great. We didn’t have great at-bats all afternoon,” said Stamford American Legion manager Tim Daly. “Roy worked quickly. He threw strikes. We just weren’t ready to hit today. Our bats were flat. It happens. This is tough time to have it happen.”
And so, the Stamford Junior Legion U17 squad - 21-2 regular season, 29-3 overall - goes home with a 2016 runnerup trophy, individual runnerup plaques and a quiet August.
“It was a good year. But not the finish we wanted,” Stamford’s Daly said. “Bobby Cribbin pitched his heart out for us today.”
RCP - having won its second straight U17 Junior Legion state crown - now begins packing for the eight-team Regional tournament which starts Friday in Rockland, Mass. RCP won twice but lost its middle game to take third place at the 2015 Regional.
“We draw kids from three small towns. They are enemies in high school baseball. But friends in the summer,” RCP coach Jim Nursick. “I’m now two of four in state tourney finals. But I’m so happy for the kids. It seems like we battle Stamford every year. Stamford had three teams (19U, 17U, 15U) advance to the state final this year.”
On Saturday, RCP’s Roy won the war convincingly against Stamford. Roy only fanned three but walked none in his 72-pitch, complete-game, no-hitter.
But his defense was strong with two diving catches just off the infield and a double play.
Stamford’s Adam Stone was hit by a pitch in the first inning and Lucas Beldotti reached on an infield throwing error in the fourth. Stamford had just two flyouts.
“I didn’t dream about a no-hitter last night. I just wanted a victory,” said Roy, a junior at Cromwell High. “My curve and my fastball were on. The defense laid out to make plays for me. They didn’t say anything to me in the dugout during the game. I had a no-hitter last year. But having one in a state final is so special.”
Roy was also named Legion Junior state Tournament MVP.
RCP scored all the runs it needed in the top of the second. With one out, Zak Lombardo reached on an error and Cade Palladino walked.
Roy helped himself with an RBI, opposite-field single to right. Luke Matchett’s two-out RBI single made it 2-0.
RCP’s insurance tally came in the fourth. Lombardo reached on an infield hit, was balked to second and scored on a pair of groundouts for 3-0.
Stamford’s Bobby Zmarzlak did earn the State Tournament Best Hitter Trophy.
But RCP captured the big prize once again.
RCP 3, STAMFORD 0
RCP 020 100 0 - 3 7 1
STAMFORD 000 000 0 - 0 0 1
Batteries: RCP - Austin Roy (W, 3Ks, no-hitter) and Ryan Boyle. S - Bobby Cribbin, Trey Donoghue (7) and Liam Nicholson.
Highlights: RCP’s Roy named tournament MVP. RCP repeats as Legion 17U state champs and move on to Regional starting Friday in Rockland, Mass.