Trumbull beats New London in New England Babe Ruth title game
Trumbull — Their lives — after the ride of their lives — will resume some normalcy now. No more negotiating the perils of Interstate 95 or figuring out how to get to work on time. And then there's the comfort of avoiding the logistics and economics of getting all the kids and their families to the garden spot known as Eagle Pass, Texas, for the Babe Ruth 15 World Series.
"An experience none of us will ever forget," New London coach Derrel Mitchell said Wednesday, after a game he probably won't mind forgetting, alluding to this otherwise state championship summer.
Ah, but sometimes you simply run into a better team along the way, which New London did, falling to host Trumbull 13-7 in the New England championship game.
Trumbull is off to the World Series in southwest Texas while New London returns to southeast Connecticut.
"They're probably the most talented team we played all summer," Trumbull coach Mike Buswell said. "We knew they'd be relentless. I really felt like we had to win every single inning. Our motto has been 'we'll have to hit our way to Texas.'"
Buswell, known for running an excellent program in Trumbull, watched his team run to a 5-0 lead, only to watch New London tie the game in the next half-inning. His team, in addition to its talent, then showed its resolve.
RBI singles from Nos. 8 and 9 hitters D.J. Amaral and A.J. Albaladejo contributed to a three-run third inning that snapped the 5-5 tie and gave Trumbull the lead for good.
Winning pitcher Jeff Kraus, with help from Albaladejo, closed it from there.
"Their first pitcher (Kraus) was really good," Mitchell said. "I can't take anything away from him. And Trumbull played defense well. They had defenders everywhere we hit hard balls. I tip my cap to their defense, their coaching staff and their first pitcher."
New London used two walks, two hit batters and two Trumbull errors to tie the game in the third, but didn't score again till the seventh.
Derrel Mitchell, who started the game, had three hits and a run scored for New London, while Chris Tonucci had two hits and an RBI. Ryan Ziegler relieved Mitchell in the third and retired five straight hitters at one point before allowing two runs in the fifth.
Amaral had three hits for Trumbull, while Kraus complemented his pitching with an RBI triple.
"This is not a best-of-seven," Buswell said. "You have two teams here that were 4-0. They're steamrolling everyone. Now it's one game. I was nervous about that."
But his team endured and is off to Texas.
"I've been coaching around 18 years now and we've never had a bunch like this," Mitchell said. "Thanks to the kids for taking us along for the ride."
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