The West Haven Post 71 American Legion baseball team has opened the season in impressive fashion with eight wins in its first nine games. The Westies opened with eight straight wins, before falling at Hamden.
West Haven opened the season with an 8-5 road victory over New Haven. Anthony Constantinople went the distance on the mound, allowing seven hits and three earned runs, while striking out 12 and walking one.
Dan Izzo and Anthony Rubin led the offense with two hits and two runs batted in each, while Mike Madera scored twice.
Post 71 took a 1-0 lead in the first when Ray Gilbert singled and scored on Rubin’s double. The Westies increased the lead to 3-0 in the second when Jacob Fowler reached on a fielder’s choice, Madera reached on an error, and K.J. Harp walked to load the bases, before Izzo singled to score Fowler and Madera.
Leading 3-1, West Haven opened the game up with a pair of runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Rubin tripled to score Izzo, before scoring on a wild pitch. In the sixth, Harp singled to score Madera, before later scoring on a passed ball.
The Westies improved to 2-0 with a 16-5 victory over New Haven in the second game of the series in West Haven.
In a game stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule, Jack Hay pitched three innings for the win, allowing three earned runs on three hits, while walking four and striking out three. Evan Jones pitched the final two scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out one.
Tyler Jones led the offense with two hits, three runs scored, and two runs batted in, while Izzo had two hits, scored three times, and drove in one run. Ray Gilbert also had two hits, scored twice, and drove in a run.
West Haven took a 3-0 lead in the first, before blowing the game open with 10 runs in the second. In the first, Rubin’s sacrifice fly scored Izzo, Gilbert scored, and Tyler Jones stole home for a 3-0 lead.
In the second, three New Haven errors led to a 7-1 lead, before a single by Fowler, a triple by Izzo, and a double by Tyler Jones produced three more runs.
Post 71 swept the series with an 11-0 victory in New Haven in a game stopped after five innings. Chase Supan pitched a no-hitter, walking four and striking out 10.
Constantinople led the offense with three hits, four runs batted in, and two runs scored. Gilbert had two hits and two runs scored, and Haygen Axelrod had two hits and two runs batted in.
The Westies took control of the game with three runs in each of the first three innings. In the first, Constantinople singled with the bases loaded to score Supan and Gilbert, before Axelrod singled to score the third run.
In the second, Gilbert doubled in a run, Constantinople singled to score Supan, and Josh Osborne singled to score Constantinople
West Haven improved to 4-0 when it defeated Milford 5-4 in the opener of a three-game series. The Westies trailed 4-3, before tying the game in the seventh and winning in the ninth.
Trailing by a run in the seventh, Tyler Jones was hit by a pitch with two outs, and Gilbert walked, before Tyler Jones stole third and home to even the game.
In the ninth, Madera led off with a single, and scored on Izzo’s long double to right for the 5-4 final.
Post 71 evened the game at one in the first when Tyler Jones scored on an error. West Haven took a 2-1 lead in the second when Evan Jones singled and later scored on an error. Trailing 4-2 in the fifth, Tyler Jones tripled to score Madera to get the Westies within 4-3.
Four West Haven pitchers combined for the victory with Axelrod pitching a scoreless inning of relief to pick up the win.
The Westies improved to 5-0 with an 8-5 road victory over Milford. Cam Cruz led the offense with two hits and two runs batted in, while Supan had two hits and two runs scored. Tyler Jones, Rubin, and Evan Jones each had two hits and a run batted in.
Trailing 5-1 in the seventh, the Westies scored four times to even the game, before winning with three in the ninth.
In the seventh, Gilbert was hit by a pitch with one out and scored on a triple by Rubin. Evan Jones singled to score Rubin, and Cruz singled to score Supan and Evan Jones to even the game at five.
Post 71 won the game in the ninth when Harp reached on an error to score two, and Tyler Jones doubled to score Harp for the 8-5 win.
The Westies completed the sweep of Milford to improve to 6-0 with a walk-off 7-6 victory in West Haven.
After Milford scored three in the seventh to take a 6-4 lead, Post 71 responded with three of its own in the bottom of the inning. Supan doubled with one out and scored on a triple by Evan Jones, Cruz evened the game with a single to score Evan Jones, and Izzo singled to drive in Cruz with the winner.
Post 71 took a 2-1 lead in the first as a pair of ground outs by Gilbert and Rubin plated a pair. The Westies took a 4-1 lead in the fourth when Izzo tripled to score Axelrod, and scored on a wild pitch.
West Haven’s seventh victory was a 9-0 road decision over North Haven. Hay tossed a complete-game four-hitter, walking one and striking out three.
Gianni Gambardella singled to score Tyler Jones in the first, before Supan scored on a wild pitch and Axelrod scored on a fielder’s choice by Izzo for a 3-0 lead in the second.
The Westies took a 6-0 lead in the third as Supan singled to score Gambardella, Axelrod singled to score Harp, and Cruz reached on a fielder’s choice to score Supan. Tyler Jones doubled and scored on a single by Gambardella in the fourth, Gilbert and Izzo droves in single runs in each of the final two innings.
The Westies won their eighth straight with an 11-9 victory over North Haven in eight innings. Trailing 4-0 in the second, Harp and Axelrod singled to lead off, before Madera singled with one out to score Harp with the first West Haven run.
North Haven took a 6-1 lead in the bottom of the inning, before West Haven rallied back with four in the third. Rubin singled to score Tyler Jones, Harp delivered Gilbert with a sacrifice fly, Rubin scored when Cruz reached on a fielder’s choice, and Supan scored on a wild pitch.
West Haven took an 8-6 lead in the fourth as Izzo walked and scored on a double by Tyler Jones, Gilbert doubled to score Jones, and Rubin followed with a double to score Gilbert. A single by Gilbert in the fifth extended West Haven’s lead to 9-6 before North Haven evened the game with three in the fifth.
Post 71 won the game in the eighth as Tyler Jones led off with a single, Gilbert singled, and Rubin doubled to score Tyler Jones. Harp reached on a two-out error to score Rubin for an 11-9 lead.
Izzo pitched the final four innings in relief of Axelrod, allowing one run on five hits, while walking three and striking out two. Gilbert led the offense with five hits, two runs scored, and two runs batted in, while Rubin added three hits, three runs batted in and two runs scored.
Izzo and Tyler Jones each had a pair of hits, with Jones scoring four times and driving in one, and Izzo also scoring once.
West Haven suffered its first loss of the season with a 3-1 decision at Hamden Sunday evening. Izzo led the offense with two hits, but the Westies could not put together an attack until late in the game.
The Westies loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, but could not capitalize. Post 71 did not quit as the team loaded the bases in the seventh and got within 3-1 on a run-scoring single by Tyler Jones, but the Westies could not get closer.