AMERICAN LEGION 2013

Rolling Along
West Haven improves to 8-6 with win over Stratford
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(July 1, 2013) –
 The West Haven Post 71 baseball team is making a serious run to the postseason. The Westies rallied to defeat Stratford 5-2 at Penders Field in StratfordMonday evening and, in the process, won their fourth straight game and sixth out of their last seven, to improve to 8-6 on the year.
With the top five teams in the zone playing in the postseason, West Haven took another step forward as Post 71 remained in fourth place, 1 ½ games behind East Haven.
“This is big for us,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said. “We have won our last four games. We are looking to make a little run.”
West Haven’s fourth straight win was made possible by the pitching of Lorenzo Davis, who relieved starter Mike Savino after Savino tossed the first two innings. Davisallowed just three hits over the last five innings, allowing Post 71 to rally back from a 2-0 deficit.
“He did not really have that confidence going into the Ansonia game,” Chambrelli said of Davis. “He got his confidence that game. Ever since that game, if we need a pitcher, he is always saying he has an inning in him. He has that confidence.
“Mike Savino did not have it tonight. Lorenzo came in and allowed just three hits the rest of the way. It was a big game for us and a big pitching effort by him. He did a great job.”
After Stratford (6-7) took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, West Haven squandered a scoring opportunity in the third inning, leaving the bases loaded.
Davis led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice by Frank Johnson and third on a single by Tyler Gambardella. Gambardella stole second and Alex Palmieri walked to load the bases, but the Westies did not score as Matt Gagne popped out and Bryan McKane flew to center for the third out.
The Westies finally evened the game in the fifth inning with two runs. Davis led off with a single and appeared to score on Gambardella’s triple. When Stratford appealed the play, Davis was called out for missing third base.
Palmieri followed with a walk to put runners on the corners before Gagne tripled to score Gambardella and Palmieri to even the game at two.
Post 71 won the game with three runs in the seventh. Mark Laoue, who replaced Johnson in the third inning, led off with a walk and scored on Gambardella’s double. Gagne delivered Gambardella with a one-out triple, McKane walked and Savino singled to right to score Gagne for a 5-2 lead.
“We really battled,” Chambrelli said. “We came back. We kept giving ourselves a chance. We got on base and waited for the top of the order to get going.
“It started this past weekend. Today was the second game in a row we had a guy miss hitting for the cycle. Matt Gagne was yesterday and Tyler Gambardella was today.Tyler also threw a guy out at the plate.”Gambardella finished the game with a single, double triple, a stolen base and two runs scored.

Sweep
Late rally propels Westies past Hamden
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(June 30, 2013) –
 After pounding 27 hits in a doubleheader sweep of Hamden on Saturday, West Haven Post 71 was looking to put the finishing touches on a weekend sweep of Hamden Post 88 Sunday afternoon. Behind four hits from Matt Gagne, the Westies defeated Hamden 8-7 at Piurek Field.
The victory by Post 71 lifted the team into fourth place of Zone II with a 7-6 record. As the season crosses the halfway point, the Westies are on the right track to qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2006.
“We have a big game against Stratford on Monday and another on Tuesday against Shelton,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said. “We want to set the tone.
“Our goal is to make the playoffs. We have not been there since 2006. Our goal all year has been to win each series and to make the playoffs.”
Frank Johnson started on the mound for West Haven and lasted 4 2/3 innings before giving way to Angel Gonazalez. Gonzalez pitched an inning to pick up the win while Jamie Brown pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to pick up the save.
Gagne was the offensive star in the game as he led the Westies with four hits, including three singles, a triple, two stolen bases and five runs batted in.
“Over the weekend, our one, two and three hitters (Tyler Gambardella, Alex Palmieri and Gagne) really hit the ball well,” Chambrelli said. “Alex had seven hits on Saturday and Matt had four hits today. Tyler had three hits and was hit by a pitch. Alex was on base twice today.
“They were on base all the time. They are older guys, with two being college players and one an All-State player (Gambardella) from this year.”
Trailing 2-0 in the third inning, Post 71 evened the contest. Lorenzo Davis started the rally with a one-out single, Gambardella singled and Palmieri singled to score Davis. Gagne followed with another single to score Gambardella to even the game at two.
Hamden (0-12) took a 3-2 lead in the fifth before Post 71 rallied to take a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the inning.
Davis again started the rally with a leadoff walk, Gambardella singled and both advanced on Palmieri’s sacrifice. Gagne delivered the big blow when his triple scoredDavis and Gambardella before Bryan McKane singled to score Gagne for a5-3 lead.
Post 88 did not go away quietly as Hamden rallied for four runs in the sixth for a 7-5 lead before the Westies again rallied with three more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Alex Scranton led off with a single and moved to second on Davis’ sacrifice. Gambardella was hit by a pitch and Scranton scored when Palmieri reached on an error.With runners on second and third, Gagne singled to score Gambardella and Palmieri for the 8-7 lead.

Hit Parade
Westies have 27 hits in DH sweep of Hamden
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(June 29, 2013) –
 West Haven Post 71 coach George Chambrelli IV has been waiting for his team to explode on offense. Chambrelli has to wait no more.
Combining for 27 hits, the Westies swept past Hamden Post 88 by scores of 11-0 and 9-0 Saturday in Hamden. The wins, which included a shortened opener due to the mercy rule, allowed the Westies to improve to 6-6 and jump into fifth place in Zone II, one half game behind Stratford. 
“I can not remember us getting that many hits in two games,” Chambrelli said. “We did not have any weak hits. Maybe one or two fell in, but every ball was hit hard. We had a great day at the plate.”
West Haven was led by Alex Palmieri, who was 7-for-7 on the day. Palmieri was a home run away from hitting for the cycle in the opener.
“He had a great day,” Chambrelli said of Palmieri. “He was on base all day.”
Not to be lost on the day was the pitching of the Westies as both Jamie Brown and Mark Laoue tossed shutouts. In the opener, Brown allowed just three hits, walked two and struck out three in a game stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule, while Laoue allowed seven hits and struck out eight in the nightcap.
“Jamie pitched really well for us,” Chambrelli said. “Mark also pitched great. His slider was working very well. He got ahead in the count and used the slider a little more than usual.”
West Haven set the tone of the day in the opener, scoring five times in the first inning and never looking back. Tyler Gambardella opened the morning with a single, stole second and scored on Palmieri’s single.
Mike Savino delivered Palmieri later in the inning with a sacrifice fly to left, Danny Chambrelli singled to score Bryan McKane who had walked and consecutive singles by Laoue and Lorenzo Davis scored Chambrelli. Laoue scored the fifth run of the inning when Tim McCarthy reached on an error.
The Westies increased the lead to 6-0 in the second when Chambrelli’s sacrifice fly scored Matt Gagne, who had singled. Consecutive doubles by Gambardella, Palmieri and Gagne in the third produced two more runs for an 8-0 lead.
“We had really good swings,” George Chambrelli said. “We hit a lot of line drives and a lot of balls for extra base hits. I was happy with our pitch selection. We really worked the count and did something with that.”
The Westies allowed for the game to be stopped with the mercy rule when they scored three times in the fifth. Palmieri tripled in Nick Demaio and Gambardella and Gagne singled to score Palmieri.
Post 71 picked up where it left off in the second game, scoring three times in each of the third, sixth and seventh innings for the win.
Palmieri started the rally in the third with a single and was followed by singles off the bats of Gagne and McKane for a 1-0 lead. After Savino walked to load the bases, Chambrelli forced in Gagne with a walk and Davis hit into a fielder’s choice to score McKane.
In the sixth, Gambardella doubled with one out, Palmieri singled and both scored on a triple by Gagne. McKane brought in Gagne with a grounder to second.
West Haven closed the scoring in the seventh. McCarthy reached on an error with one out and Gambardella and Palmieri followed with walks to load the bases. Gagne forced in McCarthy with a walk, McKane’s fielder’s choice scored Gambardella and Savino’s single scored Palmieri for a 9-0 lead.Mark Sparapani hit the ball hard for Hamden (0-11) all day as he had two hits in the opener and added a double in the nightcap.

Westies fall to Branford
Errors costly in loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(June 24, 2013) –
 The West Haven Post 71 American Legion baseball team entered Monday evening’s makeup contest with Branford knowing it would be short-handed. With college orientation and injuries taking several players out of the lineup, the Westies faced the task of playing an undefeated Branford team.
For five innings, Post 71 hung around, trailing by only three runs. The sixth inning was a different story as Branford scored seven times and defeated West Haven 10-0 in a game stopped due to the mercy rule at Branford High School.
With the loss, West Haven fell to 4-6 and seventh place in Zone II, while Branford remained undefeated and in first place at 9-0.
“We were short some guys,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said. “We had a few guys in different positions. In the game of baseball, the ball always finds you. We had some guys out of position make some errors. It was contagious.”
West Haven made four errors in the game to go along with 14 Branford hits. Jamie Brown started for Post 71and went 5 1/3 innings before giving way to Mike Savino when Branford scored seven times in the sixth inning.
West Haven had only one hit in the game against John Amendola. The Notre Dame star struck out six and did not walk a batter in the win.
“Hitting is always a concern,” Chambrelli said. “We are not really a hard hitting team. We play a lot of small ball. We need to put the ball in play and put pressure on the defense.”
Tyler Gambardella singled to start the game for the Westies but was caught stealing. The Westies never threatened again as Amendola was perfect from this point on.
“Everyone we have played so far is a top five team,” Chambrelli said. “We are coming up to a point in our schedule where we have to start winning some games in a row.”

Splitsville  
West Haven and Ansonia split doubleheader
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(June 22, 2013) –
 The West Haven Post 71 American Legion baseball team went into Saturday morning’s doubleheader at Ansonia knowing it needed to start playing better. For one of the two games, the Westies did just that.
Riding the 4-hit pitching of Tyler Gambardella, the Westies defeated Ansonia 2-1 in the nightcap as Gambardella struck out 10. Gambardella’s performance was a much needed one as the Westies were soundly beaten in the opener, 7-1.
“It was one of our better performances,” Post 71 coach George Chambrelli IV said after improving to 3-5 with the win. “Our bats were still quiet, but Tyler had one of his best games.
“He definitely brought his “A” stuff. He had a little extra rest. He had ten days off and I think that did him well. He was dominant.”
Gambardella needed to be good as the West Haven bats were silenced over the first five innings. It was not until the sixth inning when the Westies got on the scoreboard, scoring twice for a 2-0 lead.
After squandering singles by Alex Palmieri and Bryan McKane in the fifth inning, the Westies got going in the sixth.
Gambardella started things with a one-out walk, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on Matt Gagne’s two-out double to left center. Gagne stole third and scored on an error on the play for the 2-0 lead.
The Westies had a chance to increase the lead in the seventh inning but could not do so as a walk to Dan Chambrelli and a single by Alex Scranton went for naught.
Ansonia rallied in the bottom of the seventh with two singles and a walk to cut the deficit in half, but Gambardella completed his day by striking out the side in the final inning.
Gambardella struck out the side in the first, fifth and seventh innings and struck out two of three in the third.
The opener was far from the performance put forth in the second game as the Westies were chasing from the start. Angel Gonzalez allowed a run in the first and two more in the third for a 3-0 Ansonia lead.
Post 71 answered with a run in the fourth, but Ansonia came back with three in the bottom of the inning to put the game away.
“We were not ready from the get go,” George Chambrelli said. “I don’t know if we thought the game was going to be handed to us. We did not show up for the first game.”
Ansonia took a 1-0 lead in the first as Michael Palmquist, singled, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch by Gonzalez.
In the third, Gonzalez sandwiched a pair of singles with two strikeouts before a two-out error led to two runs in the inning.
West Haven’s only run came in the fourth inning. Gagne walked, stole second and scored when McKane’s grounder to second was thrown away.
Post 71 had its opportunities but never capitalized. McKane singled in the second, but was left stranded, Tim McCarthy walked in the third, but was erased on a line drive double play and Lorenzo Davis walked in the fifth but did not score.
In the sixth, singles by Palmieri and Gagne failed to produce a run and a walk to Davisin the seventh also went for naught.  L.J. Dewar had 3 hits and scored twice in the first game and struck out 10 in the second game.

Westies silenced in Shelton
Boles tosses 3-hitter in 2-0 win over WH
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(June 19, 2013) –
 Fresh off a thrilling victory over Shelton Monday evening, West Haven Post 71 had hoped to ride that momentum to the Valley two days later. In a battle for third place, the energy which was apparent in the opening victory againstShelton, was nowhere to be found as Hudson Boles tossed a 3-hitter in a 2-0 Sheltonvictory at Shelton High.
The loss dropped Post 71 to 2-4 on the young season and was disheartening to coach George Chambrelli IV.
“It is disappointing,” Chambrelli said. “We did not show up at all. We were not into the game. We were not excited. There was no emotion. The game was for third place. To not show up is extremely disappointing.”
Boles had his share of troubles in the game, going to a 3-1 count six times, but the Westies managed just one walk and no hits in those instances. Boles allowed only 3 hits and just the one walk in the victory for Shelton.
“We had no patience at the plate,” Chambrelli said. “We had 3-1 counts and he was throwing balls in the dirt and we are swinging. We are grounding out on 3-1 pitches which are in the dirt.”
West Haven’s offense was held to just singles by Alex Scranton, Bryan McKane and Tim McCarthy, limiting the scoring opportunities.
McKane walked in the second, but was erased on a double play by Mike Savino.Scranton singled in the third, but was thrown out attempting to steal second.
After quiet innings in the fourth and fifth, McCarthy singled on an 0-1 pitch in the sixth, but was erased on a grounder by Tyler Gambardella. McKane singled with two outs in the seventh, before Savino hit into a fielder’s choice to end the contest.
“We are in third place if we win this game,” Chambrelli said. “It is disappointing.”
While Boles did his thing for Shelton, Jamie Brown pitched well for the Westies. Brown allowed 7 hits, struck out 2 and did not walk a batter. Brown needed just 80 pitches to get through the effort.
Brown’s only issues came with two outs as Shelton (3-2) scored both its runs with two gone in the first and fourth innings.
In the first inning, Marcello Ursini doubled, C.J. Rizzon doubled for a run and Boles singled for a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, Shelton increased the lead to 2-0 when Vin Backert doubled and scored on a single with two outs. 

Savino leads Westies
RBI single in 7th leads WH past Shelton, 5-4
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (June 17, 2013) –
 With the summer season a short one, each game has its own importance. No one needs to tell that to West Haven’s Mike Savino.
Having already provided a game-winning hit against Orange on Saturday, Savino was at it again two days later when his single in the seventh inning scored Alex Palmieri with the winning run in a 5-4 victory over Shelton at Piurek Field.
Savino, who also came on to relieve Frank Johnson with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth and struck out the next two batters, knows what comes with playing in the summer.
“I just kept battling,” Savino said. “We knew we did not have much pitching today. I just came in and tried to throw strikes. This is a very big win for us. We needed this one.”
Tyler Gambardella started the seventh inning rally with a leadoff double to left center and Palmieri followed with a one-out walk. C.J. Rizzon came on in relief and got Bryan McKane on a grounder back to the mound for a force at third before Savino laced a shot down the line in right to score Palmieri with the winner. 
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin 
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Westies fall to Orange
Post 127 cruises to 13-3 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
ORANGE (June 16, 2013) – 
Needing eight innings in each contest to split a doubleheader on Saturday, the West Haven and Orange American Legion baseball teams were looking to take care of business early Sunday evening.
Post 127 had the right man on the mound. Mike Concato, fresh off a stellar performance in the high school postseason, gritted his way through six innings, allowing 3 hits, striking out 8 and walking one, in a 13-3 Orange victory in a game stopped in the sixth inning due to the mercy rule.
“Mike pitched well,” Orange coach Bob Mirto said of Concato. “He was pitching on long rest. Sometimes it is tougher to do that. He seemed to get better.”
Orange gave Concato all the run support he would need in the first inning, scoring four times with two outs.
Concato doubled with two outs, Paul Gusmano walked, and after a wild pitch by Mark Laoue, Mike Appel’s infield hit scored Concato for a 1-0 lead. Walks to R.J. Moquet, Max Ritchie and Nick Ceneri forced in two runs before another wild pitch scored Moquet for a 4-0 lead. 
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Westies split with Orange
Teams need extra innings in both contests as WH falls to 1-2
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(June 15, 2012) –
 After falling to Branford to start the season, the West Haven Post 71 American Legion baseball team was looking to pick up that first victory.
Needing eight innings, the Westies produced that initial victory, 3-2, when Mike Savino’s infield single scored Bryan McKane with the winning run in the opener. Orange Post 127 took advantage of 11 walks and 3 West Haven errors to win 8-7 in eight innings in the nightcap.
“Anytime you can split with a team like Orange, you have to be happy,” West Havencoach George Chambrelli IV said. “But, when you get that close and you go to extra innings, you never want to let that second game go. It is bittersweet. We had the second game in our hands.”
In the opener, Angel Gonzalez went the distance for Post 71, allowing just 4 hits and one earned run, while striking out 6, walking 2 and hitting one batter.
“It was the first time I had seen him pitch,” Chambrelli said of Gonzalez. “He had all the hitters off balance. He had very good off speed pitches. He had pop on his fastball. He showed nice heart. He did not want to come out of the game.”
Post 71 took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when McKane led off with a single, Savino walked and each advanced on a sacrifice by Dan Chambrelli. Alex Scranton put West Haven on the board when his grounder to second scored McKane for a 1-0 lead.
After Orange took the lead with two runs in the fourth, West Haven evened the game at 2 in the fifth inning.
Frank Johnson led off with a single, Tyler Gambardella singled and Alex Palmieri walked to load the bases. A double play ball scored Johnson to even the contest.
Gonzalez silenced the Orange bats for the next four innings, allowing West Haven to pull out the victory in the bottom of the eighth. Mark Laoue walked with one out, stole second, moved to third on McKane’s grounder to first and scored the winner on Savino’s infield single to short.
“We had productive outs,” George Chambrelli said. “We put the ball in play. We hit the ball to the opposite field. We moved guys over when we needed to.”
While Gonzalez pitched well in the opener, the pitching in the nightcap was not sharp. Four pitchers combined to walk 11 batters and three West Haven errors did not help.
Jamie Brown threw the first 4 innings, Scranton threw 2/3 of an inning, Savino threw 1.1 innings and Matt Gagne took the loss, pitching the seventh and eighth innings.
Post 71 took a 1-0 lead in the first when Gagne singled with two outs, stole second and scored on McKane’s double. After Savino walked, Laoue grounded out to end the frame.
Orange took a 3-1 lead n the second before Palmieri’s grounder scored Scranton to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the inning.
Post 127 added another run in the third, but West Haven took a 5-4 lead with three runs in the inning. McKane led off with a single, Savino walked and Chambrelli walked with one out to load the bases.
With two outs, Johnson singled to score McKane and Savino and Gambardella walked to load the bases. Palmieri gave West Haven a 5-4 lead as his single scored Chambrelli.
Post 127 took a 7-5 lead with two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth, beforeWest Haven scored twice in the sixth to even the game at seven.
Johnson was again at the center of the rally as he singled, stole second and scored on Gagne’s single. McKane evened the game when he singled to score Gagne.
Gagne took the loss, allowing an unearned run in the eight inning. 

Out of Sync
Post 71 shows offensive struggles in opening loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (June 12, 2013) –
 With heavy rain delaying the start of the 2013 American Legion season, Branford coach Rich Balzano had to wait one more day to debut his new star.
After playing AAU baseball the past few summers, Notre Dme star Greg Zullo is finally playing for his home town. As West Haven saw Wednesday evening, Zullo’s arrival to Branford may not be good news for the rest of the zone.
Riding the five-hit pitching of Zullo, Branford used single runs in the second and third innings to defeat West Haven Post 71, 2-1, at Piurek Field in the opener for both teams.
“He did a great job,” Balzano said of Zullo. “I was happy with the fact he was able to shake off the catcher when he knew he could get batters out with certain pitches. He is a big-game pitcher. We wanted him to open the year.”
Zullo was on from the start. The Notre Dame product allowed 5 hits, including a pair to Tyler Gambardella, and struck out nine in the win. 
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Tyler Gambardella throws against Notre Dame in the 2013 high school season. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS

WestieBlue

Season Over
Gagne, Laoue and Chambrelli’s offense not enough in postseason loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(July 20, 2013) -
 It took seven years to get back to the state tournament and the wait was almost worth it for the West Haven Post 71 American Legion baseball team. Despite a terrific battle, the Westies fell 9-6 in the opening round of the sectional tournament against Meriden in Meriden.
“It was a good game,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said. “It was a hard fought game. We just came up a little short.
“The overall year outweighed everything else. It would have been nice to come out and win, but it was our first time back in seven years. We will work on getting to the next step next year.”
Post 71 (13-15) took a quick 2-0 lead in the game against Meriden, scoring twice in the top of the first inning. With one out, Alex Palmieri drew a walk and scored on Matt Gagne’s triple. Gage scored on a clutch two-out single by Danny Chambrelli.
The lead was short-lived as Meriden answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning off West Haven pitcher Jamie Brown. With two outs and a runner on first, Brown hit a batter and walked another before Kyle Pelcher cleared the bases with a triple.
“They came right back after we took the lead in the first,” George Chambrelli said.
Meriden, which finished third in Zone III, added a run in the second to make it 4-2, before West Haven evened the game with two runs in the third. 
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin 
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Westies fall in regular season finale
Postseason up next for Post 71
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
NORTH HAVEN (July 17, 2013) -
 With the postseason right around the corner, the West Haven Post 71 baseball team is looking to get rested and healthy. While the approach is not helping in the win column, it may pay dividends when the tournament opens this weekend.
Playing without Tyler Gambardella, Matt Gagne, Mike Savino and Alex Scranton, the Westies relied on youth and fell to North Haven 3-0 Wednesday evening at Bob DeMayo Foeld. The Westies fell to 13-14 and will be the fifth seed from Zone II when the postseason begins.
“The injuries we have are bumps and bruises from playing a long, hard season in the best zone,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said. “Since clinching, these last two games we have rested guys just to make sure we are healthy. We want to make sure we have our legs and arms rested.”
West Haven’s offense was no match for North Haven pitcher Chandler Andrewsen, who allowed just three hits, struck out 10 and walked six. 
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Westies fall to East Haven
Big first inning propels EH
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(July 16, 2013) – 
With less than a week to the start of the state tournament and recently completing a long journey to get there, the West Haven Post 71 baseball team saw plenty of new faces in the lineup Tuesday evening against East Haven.
Giving those with bumps and bruises a night off, West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV watched as East Haven defeated the Westies 9-4 in East Haven. The home contest, which was postponed Saturday due to rain, was moved from West Haven to East Haven.  
“We are a little banged up,” Chambrelli said after his team fell to 13-13. “We have already qualified and we wanted to give some of our big guys some rest. We wanted to give some of the younger guys some experience.”
The contest was decided early as West Haven starter Frank Johnson struggled with his control. Johnson walked six batters and allowed just one hit in the first inning as East Haven took a 5-0 lead and never looked back.
Johnson was replaced by Nick Demaio, who allowed four runs in three innings of work. Matt Gagne threw the final three scoreless innings.
“Frank threw 40 pitches in the first inning,” Chambrelli said. “He did the damage to himself. Nick Demaio pitched really well. It was the first time we got to see him pitch in a game for us.”
West Haven scored all four of its runs in the sixth inning. Trailing 9-0, Gagne led off with a double, which was his tenth straight hit going back two games.
Johnson and Dan Chambrelli walked to load the bases and Tim McCarthy forced in Gagne with a one-out walk. Tom Wilkerson doubled to score Johnson and Chambrelli to cut the deficit to 9-3.
West Haven never made the most of its opportunities in the game. Lorenzo Davis led off the first with a walk, Gagne singled and Angel Gonzalez walked to load the bases with two outs, but Mark Laoue hit a fly ball to left to end the inning.
Gagne was stranded after a single with two outs in the third and Chambrelli was also left stranded after a leadoff single in the fourth. Palmieri led off the seventh with a single but the game ended with three West Haven strikeouts.Gagne finished the game with three hits in four at bats.

Postseason Bound
WH in tournament for first time since 2006
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (July 15, 2013) –
 For the first time since 2006, the West Haven Post 71 American Legion baseball team is playing in the postseason. With the magic number of two heading to the final week of the season, the Westies took care of their own business.
Riding the arms of Jamie Brown and Mark Laoue, the Westies swept Stratford in a doubleheader Monday evening at Piurek Field. Post 71 won the first game 3-1 behind Brown’s no-hitter, then took the nightcap 7-2 behind the five-hit pitching of Laoue.
“It is nice to be back in the tournament,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said. “We wanted to get it done tonight.”
West Haven (13-12) will head into the tournament as either the fourth or fifth seed out of Zone II. Whatever the seeding, Post 71 will look to ride the same formula which got the team to this point; solid pitching and timely hitting. 
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Easties pound Post 71
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(July 14, 2013) - 
With the games dwindling away in the regular season, the West Haven Post 71 American Legion team is in need of wins. One such win did not happen on Sunday.
Missing players from the starting lineup and watching as East Haven scored five times in the third and added seven more in the fourth, West Haven fell to East Haven 12-2 in a game stopped in the fifth inning due to the mercy rule.
“It is disappointing,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said. “Every game from here on out is a big game. We want to get the required wins. We have to come back and get it Monday.”
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Alex Palmieri and Mike Savino walked with one out and Bryan McKane hit into a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners. Alex Scranton followed with a single to score Palmieri for a 1-0 lead.
Angel Gonzalez doubled in the second with one out but was left stranded, before Post 71 increased the lead in the third.
Savino doubled with one out, moved to third on a single by McKane and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Scranton.
That was all the offense on the day for Post 71 as Mike Levine allowed only a two-out single to Dan Chambrelli in the fourth. Levine retired the side in order in the fifth to drop Post 71 under .500.
“We were missing some guys,” George Chambrelli said. “We got a couple of hits but we could not sustain anything. We could not string any hits together.”
Leading 2-0, Post 71 watched as East Haven scored five times in the third and added seven more in the fourth off Lorenzo Davis for the 12-2 lead.
“Davis pitched well,” George Chambrelli said. “We had the lead. We were up 2-0. We made a couple of errors and they had a couple of hits which hurt.”
Kyle Lockery led East Haven with three hits, including a double, and Bill Reynolds also had two hits.

Westies fall in key contest with East Haven
Late rally propels Post 89
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (July 13, 2013) –
 With a chance to shave some distance from the loss column against East Haven for third place in Zone II, the West Haven Post 71 American Legion baseball team could not seal the deal.
Leading by one run entering the sixth inning, West Haven watched as East Havenrallied for four runs and solidified its hold on third place in Zone II with a 6-4 victory over Post 71 in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader at Piurek Field Saturday afternoon.
When heavy rain came at the start of the second contest, the nightcap was rained out. The two teams will play Sunday at East Haven at 10 a.m. and the nightcap will be made up Tuesday evening in East Haven at 5:45 p.m.
East Haven improved to 17-8 with the win and finishes the season with the final two games against West Haven, 
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin 
here

Power Outage
Westies fall to North Haven, 7-1
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(July 9, 2013) –
 West Haven Post 71 head coach George Chambrelli IV was thrilled with the offensive output of his team recently. That power supply came to an end Tuesday evening as North Haven held West Haven to just one run and defeated the Westies 7-1 at Bob DeMayo Field in North Haven.
West Haven fell to 11-10 with the loss, percentage points behind Shelton (10-9) for fourth place in Zone II action.
“We are focusing on every game ahead of us,” Chambrelli said. “We are not looking at the standings. We want to win every game and go on a roll for the playoffs.
“We had been scoring a lot of runs lately, but we had a lot of quick innings.”
The Westies got on the board in the first inning as Matt Gagne singled with two outs, stole second and third and scored when the throw on the steal of third got away.
That was the extent of West Haven’s offense on the night as they sent three batters to the plate three times and four batters to the plate the other three times after scoring in the first.
North Haven scored twice in the first to take the lead for good, using a big single from Mike DeRosa, and added five more in the sixth inning. 

Masterful
Gambardella 4-hits North Haven in 4-0 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(July 8, 2013) –
 With the Post 71 baseball team battling for a postseason bid, it would come as no surprise the veterans of the team are leading the way.
Tyler Gambardella has been in that group all year. Gambardella was on his game Monday evening, needing only 67 pitches to four-hit North Haven in a key 4-0 victory at Piurek Field.
The victory allows West Haven to improve to 11-9, one half game ahead of Shelton (10-9) for fourth place and 1 ½ games behind East Haven (13-8) for third place with a pivotal series against the Easties this weekend.
“I just keep telling the guys to just handle our business,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said. “We battled Branford and did the same with Orange and they are arguably the best in the zone. We know we can play with both on our best days.
“Tyler made quick work of them. He had a lot of one pitch outs. He was getting outs quickly. He got out of a bases loaded jam with no outs and that was a huge point in the game.”
Gambardella’s only trouble came in the fifth inning as North Haven loaded the bases with no outs. Gambardella, who struck out four and walked just one in the win, quickly got out of the inning as he got a fielder’s choice grounder to erase Jake DeRosa at the plate, then got Dominic Fusco to hit into an inning ending double play.
“Everyone was pumped up,” Chambrelli said. “That was a big point in the game. We came back and scored in the bottom of the inning and turned all the momentum to our side.”
Leading 2-0, West Haven increased the lead in the bottom of the fifth as Alex Palmieri singled with two outs and scored on Matt Gagne’s double. 
“Alex gets a hit with two outs and it changed the momentum,” Chambrelli said. “Matt came up with the big hit after that.”
Post 71 increased the lead to 4-0 in the sixth. Dan Chambrelli led off with a single, Mark Laoue hit a one-out single and Frank Johnson singled with two outs to score Dan Chambrelli.
As has been the case recently, West Haven took a quick lead in the first inning, scoring twice. Palmieri started the rally when he singled with one out and scored on Gagne’s triple. When Mike Savino reached on an error, Gagne scored for a 2-0 lead.
“The top three in the order have been doing it all year for us,” George Chambrelli said of Gambardella, Palmieri and Gagne. “Mike Savino has been hot of late and Danny (Chambrelli) has been hot the last couple of games with five or six hits.”Palmieri finished the game with three hits, while Gagne added a double, triple and drove in a pair.

Milford denies Westies
Zanghi key to Milford victory
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(July 7, 2013) –
 The battle for the postseason continued Sunday as the West Haven Post 71 baseball team looked to sweep a weekend series from Milford. Unfortunately for the Westies, they could not contain Milford’s Joe Zanghi.
Zanghi drove in Milford’s first two runs with a 2-run homer in the first and scored the game-winner in the sixth as Milford defeated Post 71, 3-2, at Ken Walker Field in Milford.
With the loss, West Haven dropped to 10-9 and fell to fifth place in Zone II action. West Haven is a half game behind Shelton for fourth place and two games behind East Haven for third place, with a weekend series coming up with East Haven next weekend.
“We have to take care of our own business,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said. “If we do what we are supposed to do, we should be able to make the tournament.”
The game featured a matchup of West Haven’s Lorenzo Davis against Milford’s David Kish. Both pitched well in limiting the opposing offenses.
Davis went the distance, allowing seven hits and striking out three in the loss, whileKish also went the distance, allowing eight hits and striking out four.
“I thought Lorenzo pitched really well,” Chambrelli said. “He made one mistake pitch to Zanghi and it cost him. He did a nice job.”
West Haven got on the board first when Tyler Gambardella led off the game with a walk, moved to third on a pair of ground outs and scored on a wild pitch. West Havenhad a chance for more as Mike Savino walked and Dan Chambrelli singled, but Alex Scranton grounded out to end the frame.
Milford answered quickly in the bottom of the inning. Cheech Giustino led off with a single and Zanghi hit a two-out homer for a 2-1 Milford lead.
Drew Patrick followed with a single, Nick Tuozzola walked and Kevin Connors singled but Gambardella threw Patrick out at the plate to keep the deficit at one run for Post 71.
West Haven evened the game in the fifth as Alex Palmieri doubled with two outs and scored on Matt Gagne’s single.
The Westies threatened in the sixth as Savino singled and stole second but was doubled off on a line drive by Dan Chambrelli to center. In the seventh, Frank Johnson singled with two outs, but was left stranded.
Milford scored the eventual winner in the sixth as Zanghi led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Tuozzola’s single to center.  

Comeback Kids
Gambardella, Chambrelli lead Post 71 to 10-9 win over Milford
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (July 6,2013) –
 After squeaking out a victory in the opener against Post 196, the Westies had to rally in the second game to attain the sweep. Despite allowing Milford to come back from a 7-0 deficit to take a 9-7 lead, West Haven scored once in the sixth and twice in the seventh to rally for a 10-9 victory at Piurek Field Saturday afternoon.
The win improved West Haven’s record to 10-8, keeping Post 71 a half game ahead ofShelton for fourth place and one game behind East Haven for third place.
Milford scored five times in the sixth inning to take a 9-7 lead as Mark Laoue opened the inning by allowing consecutive walks before he was relieved by Mike Savino, who also issued a walk to load the bases.
Pat Boyle doubled to score two runs, Dylan Brown delivered one run with a single, Joe Zanghi doubled to score Brown and Drew Patrick singled to score Zanghi before Frank Johnson came in to get the final outs of the inning.
“That definitely was a sour point,” West Haven head coach George Chambrelli IV said. “We talked to the kids about it. We did not do anything for three innings. We let them chip away and they got back into the game.”
Post 71 cut the deficit to 9-8 in the sixth inning when Matt Gagne reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on Savino’s single.
“We battled back, which I was happy with,” Chambrelli said.
The Westies rallied in the seventh as Alex Scranton led off with a single, Laoue hit a one-out single and Johnson bunted to Zanghi, who came on to close the game. Zanghi’s throw to third could not be handled, allowing Scranton to score the tying run and putting two runners in scoring position.
With runners on second and third, Tyler Gambardella completed the comeback when he singled to left to score Laoue with the winning run.
“We had six through nine up in the last inning and we have said all year, get it to the top to let them do what they do. Tyler came through for us.”
West Haven jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the nightcap with two runs in the first inning and five more in the second.
In the first, Gambardella singled, stole second and third and scored when Gagne reached on an error. Danny Chambrelli singled to score Gagne for a 2-0 lead.
In the second, Lorenzo Davis walked, Laoue and Tim McCarthy singled and Gambardella walked to force in Davis. A sacrifice fly by Alex Palmieri brought in Laoue, Gagne’s single scored McCarthy, Savino’s sacrifice fly scored Gambardella and Chambrelli’s second single in two innings scored Gagne again.“We are two games away from East Haven,” George Chambrelli said. “It hurts Sheltongets the easy wins with Ansonia (forfeits). We will be doing a lot of scoreboard watching. If we take care of our own business, we should be okay.”

Savino leads Westies past Milford
WH improves to 9-8 with 7-3 victory
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (July 6, 2013) –
 With the regular season winding down and teams bunched together for the final playoff spot, West Haven Post 71 knows every game is approaching must-win status. The Westies took that approach into Saturday morning’s doubleheader with Milford, winning the opener 7-3 at Piurek Field.
Behind the pitching of Angel Gonzalez in the opener and four hits from Mike Savino,West Haven snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 9-8, remaining in front of Shelton (9-8) and Stratford (7-10) for the final two playoff spots. West Havenis also one game behind East Haven for third place.
“We have not made the playoffs since 2006,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli said. “We are drilling that into them. We have a real shot this year. All the series from here on are must win.”
Gonzalez was tough throughout as his only blemish came in the sixth inning, where Milford Post 196 scored three times. Gonzalez finished allowing only eight hits, including three by UConn-bound Joe Zanghi, and striking out three. 
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin 
here

Valiant Effort
Late rally by Branford spoils upset bid
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(July 5, 2013)
– Looking to qualify for the postseason, the West Haven Post 71 American Legion baseball team is well aware it will be in for some battles down the stretch. Friday evening against Branford was no exception.
Going toe to toe with the zone’s best team, West Haven could not pull the upset as Branford Post 83 scored three times in the sixth inning to defeat West Haven 4-1. With the loss, West Haven fell to 8-8 and is clinging to a playoff berth as it battles Shelton(7-8) and Stratford (6-9) for the final spots. 
"We played them close already," West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said. "We played them in a 2-1 game so we had a little confidence going in. It was a 1-1 game. We had used Jamie Brown for a save and a loss during the week. He may have run out of gas."
The Westies got on the board first, becoming the first team to take the lead against Branford this year. Mike Savino led off the second inning with a single and Alex Scranton followed one out later with another single to right.
When Nick Perrelli tried to get Scranton at first, an errant throw put both runners in scoring position. Mark Laoue delivered Savino with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.
West Haven did not get the second run in the inning and that inability to score would hurt later in the game as West Haven’s Jamie Brown and Branford’s Greg Zullo were locked in a battle on the hill. 
"We did not capitalize," Chambrelli said. "That comes back to hurt you."
Branford evened the game at one in the third inning. Tyler Criscuolo walked, B.J. Massey reached on an infield single and Perrelli walked to load the bases. Ben Criscuolo’s fielder’s choice knotted the game at one.
Zullo was on after the Westies’ scored in the second inning. The Notre Dame-West Haven star allowed just one runner to get past second base in the final five innings.
Brown was equally impressive as he kept Branford off the scoreboard despite Post 83 having its share of scoring opportunities.
With the game even at one to start the sixth, Chris Stankiewicz and Tyler Criscuolo opened the inning with singles. Perrelli walked to load the bases with one out and Ben Criscuolo followed with a two-run single for a 3-1 lead.Zullo knocked in the final run of the game as West Haven saw its chance of an upset slip away.

Left Stranded
Westies fall to Shelton in seventh inning
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(July 2, 2013) –
 In what may have been the biggest game to date in the 2013 season for the West Haven Post 71 American Legion baseball team, victory slipped through the hands of the Westies.
Leading by one run heading to the bottom of the seventh, a wild pitch and a ball which found a way to drop in propelled Shelton past the Westies, 4-3, at Shelton High.
The win by Shelton further muddies the race for the top five spots in Zone II play asWest Haven is in fourth place with an 8-7 record, Shelton is one game behind at 6-7 and Stratford is just one half game behind Shelton for the final postseason spot at 6-8.
“It is a real tough loss,” West Haven coach George Chambrelli IV said after his team's four-game win streak was snapped. “We wanted to win the series. We know they have three games scheduled with Ansonia and they are going to be counted as wins (forfeits). It will be a battle to the end between us, Shelton and Stratford for the final playoff spot.”
Leading 3-2 and riding the arm of Tyler Gambardella through six innings, West Havenwas three outs away from putting distance in front of Shelton in the standings.
Gambardella walked Brett Scanlon to open the seventh and he was relieved by Jamie Brown. Shelton had runners on the corners before a grounder back to Brown put both runners in scoring position with one out.
“Tyler pitched well,” Chambrelli said. “It took him a little while to find his groove. His knuckleball was moving. He went fastball and knuckleball all night.”
Brown then uncorked a wild pitch in the dirt to score Scanlon with the tying run. With the infield in and Tyler Tice at third, Alex Palmieri made a diving play of a grounder by Marcello Ursini to keep the game tied.
The Westies needed one more out to force extra innings with the heart of their lineup due up but never got there. Vin Backert’s fly ball fell in, allowing Tice to score the winner in heartbreaking fashion for the Westies.
“The loss puts more emphasis on the Stratford series,” Chambrelli said. “It is a must-win series for us.”
West Haven took a 2-0 lead in the third inning as Mark Laoue singled, stole second and scored when Gambardella’s one-out single was thrown away. Gambardella went to second on the play and scored on Matt Gagne’s two-out single.
The Westies increased the lead to 3-0 in the fifth. Laoue started the rally when he reached on an error, Lorenzo Davis followed with a single and Gambardella’s single scored Laoue for a 3-0 lead.“Our bats are still going,” Chambrelli said. “We have to work on staying focused for seven innings. We have to keep the intensity up. We got too complacent with the lead. We are not good enough to just show up and expect to win.”