MIDDLETOWN — Three-plus decades of frustration on the baseball diamond melted away in impressive fashion for the Shelton baseball team Saturday night at Palmer Field.
The Gaels took home their first state title since 1976, defeating South Windsor 7-2 to take home the Class LL crown, the school’s fifth overall.
Ryan Testani – fourth inning aside — was sharp on the mound for Shelton, scattering two hits while striking out nine. He also drove in three runs at the plate.
Shelton got started early and chased South Windsor starter Daniel Bettigole in the third inning, taking a 6-0 lead.
Ryan Daiss drove in a run, scoring twice.
Dan McCormack had an important one-out hit in the second, doubling the Shelton lead to 2-0 after Testani’s double to right-center scored Daiss.
After Eric Kobfor the last out, Shelton rushed onto the field in celebration around the mound.
* Big student crowds for each school. South Windsor probably had more than Shelton, but either way the kids traded barbs back and forth.
* The “world famous” Palmer Field hot dogs certainly lived up to their billing.
* Shelton coach Scott Gura dedicated the win to former Gales’ coach Ed Marocco, who died in 2008. Mar0cco coached Shelton for 29 years until his untimely death.
“I know Eddie Marocco was our guardian angel looking down on us beaming with pride. He was my mentor, I played for him in 1989 and we brought home a state championship, I decicate this win to him. It’s been 36 years since we won a championship and it’s special.”
* Gura if he thinks his team is the best in the state?
“There’s no question we proved we were the best team in the state,” he said.
* Shelton allowed only three runs in 28 state tournament innings, all pitched by Testani and Daiss.
“We had two lights out pitchers all year. Ryan Daiss and Ryan Testani were simply outstanding in the state tournament,” Gura said.