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Walk Off Lifts Milford Legion Over East Side, 4-3

Milford Legion continues their playoff journey after a come-from-behind victory over East Side on Thursday, July 12 at Fino Field. Post 59 scored the 4-3 win following slugging first baseman Matt Ferrelli's walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh.
"He (Ferrelli) is the anchor of our lineup and I couldn't ask for a better hitter to be up for us at a given time," said Milford manager Brian Macchi. "When you need him to come through, he's going to battle...I can't say enough about him."
Macchi's praise for the slugger is well deserved as Ferrelli continued his strong season with a 2-for-3 effort in the Zone 4 Mini Tournament Semi Finals. Ferrelli had a double, a hit by pitch, and a run scored to go along with his walk-off RBI single.
"Ferrelli has truly been a leader on this team throughout this year and when you have him up in that situation, you know you have a chance to get the job done," said Macchi.
Ferrelli's walk-off capped off a night where Milford was forced to battle back from a 3-1 deficit late in the sixth to tie the game at three.
Ferrelli led off the bottom half of the sixth with a double and was moved to third on a Steve Morganelli groundout to second. After a passed ball allowed Ferrelli to score Milford's second run, E.G. McMillan was able to work a walk and give Milford's shortstop Dan Mantoni a chance to tie the game.
Mantoni continued to show off his clutch gene as he roped a single to center, driving home McMillan and advancing himself to third on an errant throw from the outfield.
Post 59's shortstop has provided a spark in the lineup that has been desperately needed at times. Mantoni always seems to come up in a big situation and he always delivers.
"There were little things throughout the game that he (Mantoni) did that gave us the victory," said Macchi.
Milford has been fortunate to have a core group of players come up in big situations all season, including center fielder Chris Casey and right fielder Matt Gerard.
Casey and Gerard are the 1-and-2 hitters for Post 59 and the duo led off the seventh inning. After Casey drew a walk, Gerard laid down a bunt to move Casey over to second.
"It was a great at-bat by Chris Casey to lead off the inning, battling for the walk and Matt Gerard doing the little things you need by getting the bunt down to put yourself in that situation," said Macchi.
With one out in the inning and Casey on second, East Side manager Mark Peters made an interesting decision by intentionally walking Ian Strom, who was 0-for-3 at the time, in order to pitch to Ferrelli. It was one of those decisions that will almost certainly cost Peters a good night's sleep.
Sleeping should not be an issue for Milford starter Steve Morganelli, as the righty battled through 6.1 innings with five strikeouts. Morganelli struggled with his control throughout the outing as he hit three batters and walked two. Despite his struggles, Morganelli was able to bear down and deliver a solid outing that kept Post 59 within striking distance all game long. The righty allowed three earned on five hits.
"He kept his composure and battled into the seventh inning for us," said Macchi. "At that time, we felt that it was time to go to (Ian) Strom, who settled down and got us out of that inning."
Strom came in with a man on second with one out before retiring the side. The left hander finished with two-thirds of an inning and allowing only one hit.
Milford's semi finals victory advances the squad to the Zone 4 Final which will take place Friday, July 13 at 7 p.m. at Fino Field.
Post 59 will send Dan Avery to the mound in their attempt to capture the Zone 4 Championship.




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