Focus Center For Autism
Tri-State All Star Game Saturday June 29
2:30PM, Fussenich Park

2019 Tri-State Champions: Terryville Black Sox

Game 1: Terryville Black Sox 4    Naugatuck Dogs 2

Kody Kerski came on in relief with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the bases loaded and struck out the Dogs clean-up hitter to save Game 1 for Terryville as they defeated Naugatuck by a final score of 4-2. Ken Kerski started the game on the mound for the Black Sox and pitched six innings allowing just three hits before giving way to reliever Jared Gallegher after Kerski walked the first two batters to open the seventh. Naugy broke through with their only runs of the game in the seventh on a two-run single by Sean Miller-Jones. The theme of the night was stranded base runners for Naugy who had 11 men stranded in the first 6 innings and ended the game with the bases loaded.

Meanwhile, Nick DeLotto homered in the second inning for Terryville, who scored two more runs in the sixth inning on RBI singles by Christian Callahan and Kyle Skidmore, and capped their scoring with a Gavin Lavallee crushed home run to deep left center field in the bottom of the seventh. Naugy’s Kevin Murray and Adam Navesky limited Terryville to just 6 hits on the game but the Black Sox made every hit count.

Game 2:  Terryville Black Sox 5    Naugatuck Dogs 1

Fans were treated to a pitching clinic on Friday night August 23 after two straight nights of Thunderstorms cancelled games both Wednesday and Thursday, Kody Kerski, who spent 4 seasons in the Seattle Mariners organization, took the hill for the Black Sox and popped the catchers glove all night long as his 90mph fastball was whizzing towards home plate. Kerski was opposed by Tri-State veteran Lance Stevens, whom himself has Independent ball experience, and the two did not disappoint the baseball purists as they put on a pitching clinic.Naugatuck was making its third World Series appearance in four seasons winning a league championship in 2017. Terryville was looking for its first banner in twelve seasons in the league. The Black sox lost last years World Series to the Tri-Town Trojans.

Stevens did not allow a hit until the sixth inning when Kyle Tehan’s RBI single scored Billy Armstrong from second base with the games first run as Terryville took a 1-0 lead. Not to be outdone, the heart of the Naugy lineup performed some two-out magic as Kyle Murphy started things with a bomb to center field and ended up on second base. Following an intentional walk to 2018 league MVP Ryan Plourde, Devin Murphy’s single scored his brother Kyle with the tying run as the sixth inning ended tied at one apiece.

The Black Sox were back at it in the top of the 7th as Justin McCulloch led off the inning with a double, went to third on a fielders choice, and scored on an Ian Schmidt sac fly. Tyler Wenz added a two run single later in the frame as the Black Sox took a 4-1 lead. Meanwhile, Kody Kerski was dealing on the mound and had no plans on handing the ball back to ayone who was going to try and take it from him. Kerski finished with 15 strikeouts on the mound going the 9 inning distance, allowing just three hits all game – result – a celebration on the mound when the last out was recorded. Final score: Terryville 5 – Naugatuck 1

Tri-state has now had 10 different league champions crowned in the past 13 seasons. Opening Day 2020: Sunday May 17

Autism Tri-State All-star game

What a day to remember- Saturday June 22 !! Starting with the weather, which was forecasted for storms all afternoon – but the skys’ cleared and it was a picture perfect sunny day for the entire game. Matter of fact, the only complaint of the day was sunburn that fans encountered from the hot rays we saw all day long. Public announcer Chris McKenna with assistant David Benson handled the booth, and Litchfield County Sports owner Tim Gaffney was present to photograph all events of the day, including the first pitch ceremony and a tremendous singing performance by Autism’ very own Alex Schein, that brought about the largest hand of the day from a very enthusiastic crowd. Capping off the pre-game festivities – with a cover worthy photo of Tri-State All-Stars and representatives from Focus Center For Autism.

“We feel like rock-stars” stated Autism leaders. “This is a day that our clients will never forget”. Each autism participant thanked us for the experience and for being able to keep the baseball they threw during the ceremony. Two full containers of donations collected goes a long way when you are a non-profit organization. Thank you to Umpire Steve Carosella for taking charge on the field, wasn’t easy with several bang-bang calls. Huge thank you to WAPJ radio for all their support, and the Rep=American for foot-noting our game in the newspaper. Val’s Vittles whom had a steady line from 2pm – 5:30pm providing all our ballpark favorite snacks at the food truck.

Head Coaches Chet Warner and Tom Dubois split up players representing all 17 teams, like a playground backyard session, choosing one player at a time and we were greeted to a nail-biter. What was noticeable was the amount of young players making their Tristate all-star debut which bowds well for the growing future of the Tri-state league. Several great plays that included a highlight reel catch in centerfield. Came down to bottom of the seventh inning, with two outs, bases loaded and down by two runs, a deep drive into left-center field was run down by center fielder Jimmy Spirito to save a 3-1 final score victory. “Everybody was really nice” stated one young Northwestern player. Even the veterans on the field stated “we really liked the team we had”… Just a great day to be remembered by Tri-state and Autism alike.

Monarch Jim Bouton has place in Tri-State history

It was sad to hear the news of the passing of former Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton on July 10, the author of the tell-all “Ball Four,” who reportedly died Wednesday following a battle with a brain disease. In 2012, he suffered a pair of strokes. The Newark native — number 56 — won two World Series games and was a 20-game winner. He spent ten years with Major League baseball. Bouton’s book created significant controversy as it detailed the love life of Yankees legend Mickey Mantle, the widespread use of stimulants by players, among other scandalous topics.

Bouton made his Major League debut with the Yankees in 1962 and would go on to win 62 games in the big leagues and compile a most respectable 3.57 earned run average before injuries curtailed his career. Bouton appeared in 36 games during the 1962 season, including 16 starts, and had a win-loss record of 7-7. While he did not play in the Yankees’ 1962 World Series victory over the San Francisco Giants he had been slated to start game seven before rainout allowed ace Ralph Terry to take the mound. Bouton went 21-7 and 18-13 in the next two seasons, and appeared in the 1963 All-Star Game. He was 2-1 with a 1.48 ERA in World Series play.

Bouton played for the Amenia Monarchs following his pro career. In 1992, the former Yankee who still threw a mean knuckler, 53 at the time, pitched four games for Amenia that year and won three of them, including a start against Lakeville where Bouton pitched eight innings, allowed five hits and two runs to take the victory. Battery mate Mike Kohut, who mever misses an inning behind the plate, is also 53, for the regular season league leading Amenia Monarchs.

One quick story that comes to mind, in 1992, ESPN sent a crew out to Amenia to profile Bouton who was scheduled to pitch that day for the Monarchs. Amenia had only 8 players show for the game and suffered its first forfeit since 1934. Needless to say, there was no game video on ESPN that night…

The heart-breaking read reminded me of one of the greatest nights in Tri-State history, when the Tri-State all-stars clashed with the Torrington Titans on 4th of July, 2011. Former New York Yankee All Star, Jim Bouton, threw out the first pitch on that Monday evening at Fuessenich Park.Bouton then came out to pitch the fourth inning, after an audio playing of legendary Yankee announcer Robert Leo Shephard “Ladies and gentleman, now pitching, Number 56, Jim Bouton” and proceeded to pitch a scoreless fourth, much to the delight of a large crowd (900 people). And important to note: The Titans never got a ball out of the infield against the, at the time, 72 year-old Bouton.

Former American Idol star William Hung, famous for his delightful rendition of “She Bangs” (originally a Ricky Martin song), performed his signature song along with other hits throughout the night.

Other attractions included a skydiver carrying an American Flag, who landed on the field at Fussenich Park at 6:58 p.m., just before the first pitch. The “All in Band” performed from 3:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the park while a Home Run Derby (4 p.m) took place on the field in front of nearly 400 people. Kids ages 10-15 were allowed on the field to help shag baseballs during the Derby. Admission to the Derby was free but donations were accepted at the door to benefit the Glenn Winn, Jr. Campership program, a United Way of Northwest Connecticut fund.

The Torrington Titans played three games against the Tri-State all-stars over a 3 year span, record: 1 win, 1 loss, 1 tie

Tri-State Semi-Finals schedule

Tuesday August 13:

Terryville Black Sox 14   Litchfield Cowboys 9

Naugatuck Dogs 10  tri-Town Trojans 4

Kevin Murray pitched 7 innings allowing 3 hits and 5 walks while striking out 8 to lead Naugy to a 10-4 victory over Tri-Town. The Dogs were led by Devin Murphy 4-5 with a 2B and 4 RBI, and Kyle Murphy who had 3 RBI including a 2B. Landon Gardella had 2 hits for the Trojans. Miles Scribner pitched a complete game for Tri-Town.

Wednesday August 14

Terryville Black Sox 12   Litchfield Cowboys 10

Black sox battle back after being down 8-2 early in the game to win 12-10. Nick DeLotto led the offense with 4 hits including 2 doubles and 4 RBI and Gavin Lavallee added 3 hits including 2 doubles and 3 RBI.

Naugatuck Dogs 7   Tri-Town Trojans 2

Jeff Rustico pitched a complete game allowing 8 hits while striking out 10 to lead Naugy to a 7-2 victory over Tritown. Ryan Plourde went 2-4 with an RBI and Brendan Slattery was 3-5 with an RBI to lead the Dogs. Conner Murray had 3 hits for Tritown. Naugy advances to Tristate World Series and will play winner from Terryville/Litchfield series.

AABC Northeast World Series

Sunday August 11:

Braintree White Sox 3   Fedells Mechanics 0

Game 2 if necessary 12:30pm – Fedells must defeat Braintree twice to win championship

Saturday August 10:

Terryville Black Sox 10   NY Hawks  3

Albany Athletics 6   Danbury Pirates 1

Braintree White Sox 10   Fedells Mechanics 1

Braintree White Sox 8   Albany Athletics 6

Fedells Mechanics 3   Terryville Black Sox 1

Friday August 9:

Braintree White Sox   7   Blasius Chevrolet 1

Terryville Black Sox  1  Pelham Mets 0

Danbury Pirates 6   Blasius Chevrolet  4

Fedells Mechanics  10   Albany Athletics 1

Braintree White Sox  11    NY Hawks  10

Thursday August 8:

NY Hawks 13   Danbury Pirates 10

Albany Athletics 6    Terryville Black Sox 3

Blasius Chevrolet (Waterbury) vs Braintree White Sox (NY)  RAINED OUT

Fedells Mechanics (Trumbell) 2  Pelham Mets (NY) 1  (8 innings)

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