WORCESTER, Mass. — The magical wave the Stamford Senior American Legion baseball team had been riding the last three weeks finally broke and rolled back.
After winning the Connecticut state championship, Stamford made it to the final day of the Northeast Regional but came up two games short of reaching the World Series in Shelby, N.C.
Stamford fell 6-2 to host Shrewsbury, Mass., at Fitton Field on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross.
Shrewsbury advanced to face Braintree, Mass., later Sunday in the championship game.
Stamford played the state and regional tournaments in the memory of former Stamford general manager Chris Sabia, who passed away the day before the tournament began but could not find its way out of the regionals.
“I can’t put into words how I feel about these guys,” Stamford coach Kevin Murray said. “What they did the last few weeks really says a lot about the kids that we have in our program. It was a special run for a great person who we miss dearly. We fell two games short of Shelby, but we battled in this Northeast tournament.”
Shrewsbury scored four runs in the third inning and tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth.
In the third, Nick Martin plated the first two runs of the game with a double to right field and Casey Boudreau drove in another with a double of his own.
Shrewsbury scored on a bases-loaded walk in the fifth and on a RBI single by Pat Galvin in the sixth.
Stamford got on the board in the fourth when Hunter Semmel scored from third on a balk.
Stamford got its other run in the sixth with Conor Nicholson racing around from first base on a throwing error.
“It sucks that we came up short, but everybody fought really hard,” Stamford co-captain Dean DePreta said. “Nobody thought at the beginning of the year we would be here, but everyone contributed from starters to guys on the bench. It was a really fun team to be a part of.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Hunter Semmel, Stamford. Semmel walked and singled, scoring one of Stamford’s two runs.
“I told these guys from day one we were going to use everyone on the roster to get to where we want to be and we did that,” Murray said. “They blew my expectations away, I can tell you that. Everyone had to contribute, everyone had to come together as a team. I can’t say enough about the bond these kids formed and how much of a family this team became.”
Stamford made this run with only one 19-year-old on the roster in outfielder Michael Tufano, meaning every other player is eligible to come back and play for Post 3 next summer.
SHREWSBURY 6, STAMFORD 2
STAMFORD 000 101 0—2 5 1
SHREWSBURY 004 011 X—6 8 1
Batteries: St—Adam Stone (L), Montana Semmel (4), Michael Lisinicchia (5) and Tim Mira; Sh—Pat Shaughnessy (W) and Jack Gardner