ORANGE — In an attempt to get Anthony Frangiose more at-bats, Stamford Senior American Legion coach Kevin Murray slid him up to the leadoff spot upon his return to the lineup from a leg injury.
Life in the one hole seems to be suiting Frangiose just fine.
The center fielder went 3-for-4 as Stamford defeated Orange 11-3 on Sunday in the second round of the Senior Legion state tournament.
Stamford advances to the Super Regional, where it will face Oakville in a best 2-out-of-3 beginning Tuesday in Oakville.
Frangiose, who has been a middle-of-the-order batter in the past, is loving life leading off.
“I do, I love it,” Frangiose said. “Most pitchers, the first pitch of the game will be a fastball right down the middle and I have been very aggressive with that. That’s what I’m looking for every time I go up there, fastballs to hit and do damage with.”
Frangiose led off the game with a single, coming in to score on a bases-loaded walk to Ruben Rodriguez.
Then, with No. 8 hitter TJ Wainwright and No. 9 hitter Michael Tuffano getting on ahead of him, Frangiose delivered with a double off the left-field fence in the second inning.
He came up again in the third and again, this time driving in Montana Semmel and Wainwright with a double to right centerfield.
Wainwright got on base three times in the game, scoring all three.
Stamford led 9-2 after four innings with Frangiose working a bases-loaded walk for his fifth RBI.
Michael Lisinicchia also had two RBIs on two hard-hit doubles.
Orange pitchers had trouble locating the strike zone, putting too many runners on base for the big Stamford hitters.
“Game got away from us a little and we had trouble with the strike zone, especially early in the game,” Orange coach Bill Butler said. “They grind out their at bats and if you are not on your game, this is what happens. They had way too many base runners and then we left balls in the middle of the plate and they took care of that.”
Orange got two runs in the first inning on a RBI groundout by Alec Smith and a single by Tyler Appel.
Orange would add one more run in the sixth on a fielder’s choice.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Anthony Frangiose, Stamford. The big centerfielder was on fire with two doubles, a walk, three runs scored and five RBIs.
“We are a dangerous club when everything is clicking and we are starting to click at the right time. We did a good job hitting throughout the lineup and hitting the ball hard,” Stamford coach Kevin Murray said. “Anthony (Frangiose) missed most of the season with his leg injury but he’s so aggressive that we just want him up as many times as possible. He is a dangerous hitter and he’s really fast on the bases, too.”
GRINDING IT OUT
Stamford’s starting pitcher Adam Stone was not dominating but relied on guile to make his way through four innings, allowing just the two first-inning runs.
STAMFORD 11, ORANGE 3
STAMFORD 133 211 0—11 11 1
ORANGE 200 001 0—3 5 2
Batteries: S—Adam Stone (W), Blake Newcomer (5), Michael Lisinicchia (7) and Tim Mira; O—Ted Hague (L), Tyler Appel (3), Jack Nolan (5), Matt Sabitsky (7) and Alec Smith