STAMFORD, Conn. Stamford's American Legion Junior team advanced to the state championship game Saturday with a 14-4 victory over Zone 4 rival Trumbull. Stamford meets Bristol for the title Sunday at 1 p.m. at Muzzy Field in Bristol.
Brandon Curto slugged a two-run home run and had three RBIs for Stamford. Chris Soule had a single and a double, and Billy Murphy added two hits. The bottom three batters in Stamford's lineup, Andrew Puccella, Brian Pollack and Murphy reached base three times each.
Stamford took an early 3-0 lead, and Trumbull rallied to go up 4-3. Stamford responded with seven runs in the bottom of the third to go ahead 10-4, and cruised from there.
Andrew Oakes got the win for Stamford, which needed a dramatic rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to win its previous game over West Hartford. "I wasn't concerned that we would come out flat after that win over West Hartford,'' manager Scott Giorgi said. "We're familiar with Trumbull from our regular season, and that's the team we wanted. If you can't be motivated in the semis, you shouldn't be here."
Bristol advanced with a 1-0 win Saturday over top-seeded Bethel. Bristol, which was seeded fourth among the final eight teams, lost to Ridgefield, 8-5, in the quarterfinals. The victory was overturned, however, because Ridgefield had used an illegal player. Bristol used the reprieve to eliminate the top seed and get a game in front of its fans for the championship.
Stamford has never won a Junior Legion title. According to the Connecticut American Legion website , the last Stamford team to win an American Legion state title was Senior squad in 1957. "I'm very excited for my boys,'' Giorgi said. "They've been working hard all year. It has been a nice run for us. It'd be great to finish it off with a win for the state championship."
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