BASEBALL: TRUMBULL 5, BUNNELL 3 Ready for second-half run
TRUMBULL — If Trumbull intends to make a run during the second half of the regular season, it needs to start stockpiling wins.
Phil Pacelli knows it.
The Eagles certainly took a step in the right direction on Saturday, holding off Bunnell 5-3 to put an end to their three-game slide.
“This is a much-needed win to start off the second half of the season,” said Pacelli, the Eagles’ coach. “This was our 11th game. We have nine more big ones. We’re trying to put a winning streak together.”
The Eagles took advantage of some miscues by Bunnell — four errors and six walks — to move within one game of .500 at 5-6. All five of their runs were unearned.
“I harp on doing the routine stuff,” Bunnell coach Juan Lopez said. “Don’t walk people, make routine plays and you’ll have a shot to win. Today, we made a couple crucial errors and we walked a couple guys. They got five.”
The Bulldogs (3-6) have also struggled to come through in the clutch. That remained the case against the Eagles, who called upon reliever Evan Warner with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Warner, a right-hander, got Tyler Cartagena to ground out to keep the Eagles in front, 4-3.
“Evan’s one of our top relievers,” Pacelli said. “We had confidence in him that he could get us out of there.”
“We always have that one extra guy to pick each other up,” added shortstop Chris Brown, who went 2-for-3 with a stolen base. “That was Evan’s job today.”
The Eagles did most of their damage early, scoring twice in both the first and third innings. They did so with the benefit of only two singles off Cartagena.
Two errors on the same play spotted Trumbull a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Eagles pushed it to 4-0 two innings later thanks to another error and a wild pitch.
“We took advantage of some of their mistakes,” Pacelli said. “Good things happen when you put the ball in play. We had one bad inning there defensively and on the mound, throwing strikes.”
A trio of walks by Trumbull right-hander Ryan Vawter loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning. Brandon Bottino came on in relief and allowed infield singles to Colin Richards and Anthony Broadhurst and a walk to make it 4-3. The Bulldogs’ rally, however, ended there.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Evan Warner, Trumbull: The right-hander came out of the bullpen with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth inning to record the biggest out of the game, preserving a 4-3 lead.
“They’re trying too hard. They’re pressing. They want to win. But instead of letting the game come to them, they try to go get it. Eventually, they try to swing at too many pitches that are not in the strike zone.” — Bunnell coach Juan Lopez
HONORING THE PAST
Prior to the game, Trumbull held a ceremony to honor its 1998 Class LL championship team. Among those in attendance was Jamie D’Antona, who, after high school, went on to play for the Arizona Diamondbacks. D’Antona, a former first baseman, had his number (16) retired by the Eagles on Saturday. “It’s historical and special for all of us and this school,” D’Antona said. “It’s great to come back and honor that team.”
TRUMBULL 5, BUNNELL 3
BUNNELL 000 030 0 — 3 7 4
TRUMBULL 202 010 x — 5 5 0
Records: Bunnell 3-6; Trumbull 5-6. Batteries: B — Tyler Cartagena (L), Max Honafius (6) and Justin Herrera; T — Ryan Vawter (W), Brandon Bottino (5), Evan Warner (5), Bern Fero (7, SV) and Kevin Bruggeman. Highlights: B — Colin Richards had an RBI single. Anthony Broadhurst went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Cartagena allowed four hits and five runs (all unearned) over five innings. T — Chris Briganti singled home a run. Chris Brown went 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base. Vawter allowed four hits and three runs over 4 1/3 innings.