MERIDEN — The Stamford and Hamden Southern Super Regional opening game of the Senior American Legion State Tournament was delayed in the top of the first for an hour for lightning in the vicinity of the field.
The stoppage did nothing to hinder Stamford starter Matt Tiplady, who had faced four batters prior to the delay.
Tiplady struck out four while allowing three hits in going the distance for the 3-0 victory for the No. 1 seed Stamford over No. 3 Hamden.
“That delay didn’t really affect me, too much. I was pretty much locked in from the time I got to the field,” Tiplady said. “Everything felt good. I was spotting up my fastball but the curveball was the pitch I went to today. I knew their three and four hitters were dangerous and I knew I wanted to get ahead of them and keep them off balance with the curve.”
Stamford will play the Naugatuck at 4 p.m. and Hamden will face Cheshire in an elimination game at 1 p.m.
Stamford got its offense going in the bottom of the first
Joey Skarad walked and stole second before coming in to score on a single to left by Reid Gesualdi.
Stamford used speed to score in the third.
Jaden Dawkins walked, stole second and got to third after tagging up on a flyball to centerfield.
He then came in to score on a wild pitch.
Stamford scratched out another run in the fourth.
Matt Wirz reached via a fielder’s choice, stole second, went to third on a balk and came in to score on a passed ball.
That would be all Tiplady needed.
“We were off balance the whole game,” Hamden coach Ray Guarino said. “We were out in front of his curveball all day. We didn’t really square any baseballs up today. The best thing about baseball is we don’t have to wait a week to play again. We will get a shower and wash it away and come back out and see what happens tomorrow.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Matt Tiplady, Stamford. Tiplady stranded two men in the first, three in the second and settled in from there, only allowing two more baserunners the rest of the game.
“Tip looked really good. He had all his pitches working for him,” Stamford coach Kevin Murray said. “He trusted his defense and was hitting spots. He was pitching with confidence and he showed me a lot, today.”
NAUGATUCK 2, CHESHIRE 0 (8)
Naugatuck pitcher Derrick Jagello knew the Cheshire hitters would be aggressive early in counts.
The righty used that aggressiveness against Cheshire, throwing change-ups and curveballs early in counts for strikes and keeping Cheshire off balance all game.
Jagello was dominant, nearly pitching a complete game and leading his team to a 2-0 win over Cheshire in the Southern Super Regional of the Senior American Legion State Tournament.
“I felt good. I had my team hyping me up before the game,” Jagello said. “I was keeping them off balance, throwing a lot of my off-speed pitches and making my fastball look that much faster. I knew they were one of the best teams in the state.”
Jagello threw 107 pitches, working into the eighth before giving way to a reliever due to hitting the pitch-count limit.
“He kept us off balance all day,” Cheshire coach John Escoto said. “He threw his fastball for strikes, he threw his curveball for strikes and he threw his change-up for strikes. And he mixed them up really well. Curveball away, change up in, curveball in. He did a good job, threw first-pitch strikes and had a great game.”
Naugatuck will face Stamford at 4 p.m. and Cheshire will take on Hamden in an elimination game at 1 p.m. at Ceppa Field in Meriden.
In the top of the eighth, Naugatuck finally got to Cheshire starting pitcher Ben Shadeck who had only allowed two hits over the first seven innings.
A walk to the leadoff hitter and a single by Zach Graveline, put two runners on for Naugatuck.
Nick Bruno’s infield single scored pinch runner Tristan Bosco from third for the first run of the game.
Naugatuck picked up some insurance with a single up the middle by Justin Marks, scoring Graveline.
Cheshire had a chance to walk it off in the bottom of the seventh.
Ryan Strollo led off with a double to left-centerfield and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ian Battapaglia.
The next batter failed to get the bunt down on a suicide squeeze and Strollo was cut down at the plate and the game remained tied 0-0 heading to extra innings.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Derrick Jagello, Naugatuck. Jagello struck out four batters, giving up three hits for the win.
“(Jagello) has been unbelievable. Unbelievable,” Naugatuck coach Mark Nofri said. “He’s just a scrappy pitcher. He’s not going to blow you away with a 90-mile-per-hour fastball but he’s going to hit his spots. He has three pitches he has complete command over. It’s almost like watching Greg Maddux out there.”