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“This one is for JB #10”
Wednesday August 18: Tri-Town Trojans 5 Terryville Black Sox 0
43 year old Dan Livingston pitched the game of his life scattering 3 singles and striking out 8 batters in a complete game 9 inning shutout. On offense, Tri-Town scored three runs in the top of the second inning on a pair of bases loaded walks and a fielder’s choice. Matt Troy added a two-run single in the top of the fourth inning to build the Trojan lead to 5-0. Landon Gardella doubled and singled and Coleby Bunnell added a double for Tri-Town.
Thursday August 19: Terryville Black Sox 5 Tri-Town Trojans 1
Kody Kerski threw a complete game giving up 1 run and striking out 13 going the 9 inning distance. Terryville scored 3 runs in the third inning on a wild pitch, squeeze bunt, and sac fly. Tony Patane had an RBI single in the seventh inning and a dropped fly ball added the fifth run for the Black Sox. Mike Fabiaschi had an RBI single for the Trojans. Bobby Chatfield pitched the distance and pitched well but six defensive errors doomed Tri-Towns chance in Game 2.
Friday August 20: Tri-Town Trojans 8 Terryville Black Sox 5
The Tri-Town Trojans outlasted the Terryville Black Sox 8-5, in game three of a best-of-three Tri-State Baseball League World Series and captured the title at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury. Danny McCarty doubled, singled, and drove in three runs and scored another for Tri-Town, who had 12 hits after just two innings taking an early 6-0 lead. Austin Swanson singled twice, doubled, scored two runs and drove in another while Coleby Bunnell tallied two hits, two RBI and a run scored for the Trojans. Miles Scribner threw a complete game for Tri-Town, which captured its third crown to go with titles in 2013 and 2018.
This Championship was for Joe Bunnell
copyright Rick Wilson Litchfield-County-Sports.com 8/21/21
Night of Tears. Night of good-byes. Night of grit. Night of rage. Night of smiles Night of class. Night tinged with a touch of the classless. So much to drink in Friday night in the Tri-State League championship game between the Tri-Town Trojans and Terryville Black Sox at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury.
Where you fall on what transpired during Tri-Town’s, 8-5, championship clinching win is heavily inspired by who you were rooting for as it always is. Disgruntle and disappointment versus with victorious pride and in this case and extra sense of tearful mission completed. So much to take in and savor and a bit to spit out with regret.
It was all wildly entertaining, a worthy end to another summer of baseball. So, what do you take with you? If there was snippet of the night that will endure, that captured the lasing meaning of the night it came from Tri-Town player / coach Danny McCarty.
See this series and this season was so much more than just base hits, wins and losses for Tri-Town. It was about Joe Bunnell who died in March of 2020 due to an accident with a piece of farm equipment. It was about playing for the first time without the happy-go-lucky first baseman that had been with this team every year since its inception in 2005.
It was painful, there was emptiness. Every game and all the seasons and their experiences that go with endless summers on the diamonds of dreams are a reminder. First base was occupied with Joe’s brother Coleby, but it was empty without No. 10 standing there.
The Trojans played this season for Joe. They counted up to 10 (his number) before every game and then yelled his name. The greatest tribute to their fallen comrade was a title. So, McCarty struggled in victory. Smiles and unhidden tears in a bittersweet culmination.
“This means everything, he was here with us,” said McCarty futilely struggling more than he did with any fastball he saw this season with the tears cascading down his cheeks. “He was our Trojan hawk (reference to a hawk that has been on Bunnell farm since the day Joe died). Joe was with us the entire year. It means everything.”
McCarty’s somber, satisfaction amid a victory celebration on the infield sticks with you. Joe deserved and MVP award and he wasn’t there. But he was there. He was watching and smiling McCarty knew that.
At the end of the game, the Trojans draped Joe’s jersey over the trophy for the team picture while making the No. 10 with their fingers. He had been there always.
McCarty sticks with you. He was overwhelmed. But there was more. How about Landon Gardella? The rugged catcher is a unique figure, a crusty down and dirty guy with the mitt and a pair of neat purple and gold argyle socks. With an impressive bushy beard thick enough to hide a car in he kind of reminds you of the House of David barnstorming baseball team of the first half of the 20th century with their chin-filled growth.
This was Gardella’s final game. The 32-year-old veteran had let it be known earlier in the year that he was moving to Orwell, Vermont. He likes the winter and the woods, no surprise with the mountain man look. It is his place. But after 15 years it isn’t easy to say good-bye to the game and the guys.
“It’s been a long-time coming, I’ve been talking about moving for a couple of years,” said Gardella. “I’ll never forget this. These guys are my family. I’m happier to leave with a championship.”
There is a beginning in Gardella’s future. He looks forward to it. But this was an ending albeit on the grandest of notes. Still, there was a forlorn sense here. Bittersweet.
On the field, Tri-Town got some big-time grit from rubber-armed Miles Scribner. Staked to an 8-0 lead, he was outstanding for four innings and then stumbled in the fifth inning. A couple of walks, a couple of wild pitches, throw in an error and a couple of hits and suddenly it was, 8-4. There was another for the Black Sox in the fifth and it was 8-5 and you could touch the momentum shift it was that prevalent.
Terryville is the best hitting team in the league and the door was open. But Scribner carried on. He stranded two runners in that sixth inning and a runner each in the seventh and eighth. For Scribbie and his teammates it was no big deal. He talked about getting grip on the ball because his hand was sweating and then just went about his business. Maybe Coleby Bunnell said it best for the team when asked if he was nervous – “I trust Scrib, I’ve known him forever and don’t worry about him.” There was also absolutely nobody warming up. There may not have been anybody left but it was his game, and he knew it.
There was no shortage of grit on Terryville’s side. Down 8-0, they stormed back, and they did it without two of their best players and two of the league‘s best in Adam Hinckley and two-time league MVP Tony Patane who had prior commitments. The Black Sox would not go meekly into the winter.
Good stuff but here’s where the ugly part of the night comes in. Down 8-5 in the seventh inning with one out and runners on first and second base, Terryville’s Alex Rauso’s high chopper tipped off third baseman Austin Patenaude’s glove. Shortstop Mike Fabiaschi fielded the ball and ended up catching the runner, Billy Armstrong, in a rundown between home and third base throwing him out.
Terryville claimed there was interference when Patenaude touched Armstrong after the ball tipped off the glove. The umpires did not agree, and rage prevailed. One Terryville player stormed the press box and pointed a finger at Tri-State Commissioner Ed Gadomski blaming him for the whole situation (playing in Waterbury, etc.).
Two Terryville players were ejected in the extended argument with the umpires. Arguments happen. Taking a short walk to the press box and verbally attacking the Commissioner. Never. Tempers flare, we get it. The press box stuff. Not. It was a big moment and there is no place for that.
Here’s where the class sets in. Terryville coach Dave Alarcon still irritated at the non-call, didn’t dwell on it. Didn’t like it but didn’t dwell on it.
“(Litchfield) deserved (the title),” said Alarcon. “Miles threw his guts out. We dug down and came back but you can’t spot any team six or eight runs especially one that plays like Tri-Town. Hats off to them. We can’t make excuses. I’m not happy with the way we lost but give them credit.” A crowd of about 200 didn’t pay anything to get in but maybe they should have left a buck on the seats. It was worth it. A night for Joe, a sweet good-bye for Landon. Another memory from Scribbie. Some spice that needed to be toned down. Emotions for a lost friend. Some grit and really good baseball.
copyright Rick Wilson 8/17/21 Litchfield County Sports
You can get into a healthy debate over who should win and who will win the best-of-three Tri-State Baseball World Series between the Terryville Black Sox and Tri-Town Trojans that begins Wednesday night (7 p.m.) at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury. What is not up for debate is that you have the two best two teams ready, willing and able to slug it out for supremacy.
Terryville (24-2 overall), coming off a fine third place showing in the AABC Stan Musial Northeast World Series in Weymouth, Mass. last weekend , has cruised through the Tri-State competition with a 22-0 record, perfection that included a 4-3, 10 inning walk-off win over Tri-Town. The Trojans are 18-3, a loss to Wolcott in the playoffs and a defeat at the hands of Blasius the only other losses during the season.
The Black Sox have waltzed through the playoffs while Tri-Town showed its moxie, losing its opener to Wolcott and then rallying for two straight wins.
Oh and that one meeting between the two teams. You might not want to read too much into the final result. Terryville took advantage of a two-run error early on, tied the game in the ninth inning on Gavin LaVallee’s HR and then won the game in the 10th on Billy Armstrong’s RBI single. There was nothing decisive there. Tri-Town figures it should have won while Terryville prides itself on the comeback.
“We wouldn’t want to be playing anyone else,” said Tri-Town player / coach Dan McCarty. (The championship) should be one versus two and it wouldn’t have been a good Tri-State season if it wasn’t Terryville and Tri-Town.”
“Both teams are sound defensively and can hit one through nine,” said Terryville player / coach Dave Alarcon. “Both have depth in the pitching staffs which what separates us from the rest of the league. We have staffs not just a couple of arms.”
The two teams are evenly matched but go about their business in vastly different ways. But the tangible may very well share the stage with the intangible in this series. Joe Bunnell, location and history will share major story lines here.
Bunnell died 17 months ago in a tragic accident, crushed by a piece of farm equipment. First baseman and charter member of the Trojans, Bunnell, in death, has been a driving force for the team this season.
Tri-State is often called affectionally, “Good Old Country Baseball.” But Tri-State and Ed Gadomski are as much about people as they are about baseball. After the game shares equal time with the game. Gadomski and the league knew what was lost with Joe’s death. More than a good player but a good guy.
Opening day at Community Field in Litchfield on a warm Saturday in May was about Joe. Oh, they played baseball, but it was secondary. The Bunnell family was there with a passel of friends. Joe was inducted into the Tri-State Hall of Fame, 10 balloons (Joe’s number) were released, all the family threw out ceremonial pitches. In one classy act, opposing team, Blasius Chevrolet all wore jerseys with Bunnell and his No. 10 on the back. When the Trojans ran out to the field, they left first base empty. It was a painfully great day.
“Our whole season has been dedicated to him,” said McCarty. “We have a reason to win. He caught the last out of our championship wins in 2013 and 2018. We play for him and Coleby (brother and first baseman) can follow in his footsteps. Before every game we count to 10 and say Joe’s initials. It’s not for us, it is for Joe.”
Bunnell’s powerful influence is not lost on Terryville.
“Obviously the loss of Joe is motivating them,” said Alarcon. “I will probably never root for Tri-Town, but if they happen to win this series, I will be happy for them.”
Municipal Stadium is also a factor here. Terryville has a load of big boppers and the big park on Thomaston Avenue is spacious. It will be a factor.
“Playing at Municipal is an advantage for Tri-Town,” conceded Alarcon. “The times they have beaten us over the years have almost all come at Community Field in Litchfield. There is no fence and their outfielders play us 400 feet away. Municipal does have a fence but it is a long way.”
There is also the matter of 2018. In a hotly contested series Tri-Town defeated Terryville in a deciding game three behind the pitching of Bobby Chatfield and Miles Scribner to win its second title. Terryville won the 2019 title before Covid-19 canceled the 2020 season but the 2018 loss lingers.
“We know that we are the defending champs but we call this the revenge series,” said Alarcon. “They beat us. We look at it as they took us down in 2018.”
However the intangibles manifest themselves it will be on the field and it is an intriguing matchup. Terryville has the long ball brigade and like launching balls long distance. The Black Sox treat outfield fences with disdain and hit six home runs in Game 2 of their semifinal win over Bethlehem. They finished with seven in the series.
Andrew Hinckley set a Tri-State home run record with 14 while LaVallee blasted seven, Alex Rauso five and Justin McCullouch three. Two-Time league MVP Tony Patane is a constant threat.
Tri-Town makes it way a different way. Base hits, hit and run, stealing bases. Tri-Town is slow torture compared to Terryville’s quick strike.
“It comes down to old school baseball to new school,” said McCarty. “We manufacture runs and play defense. “They have power and pitching. “
No disagreement from Alarcon.
“We are gaps, HRs and pitching. Tri-Town is curveballs and scrappy taking the ball the other way and not swinging at bad pitches,” he noted.
Both teams have a bevy of hurlers. Terryville will bring quality gas in the form of Hinckley, Cody Kerski, Mike Apple, Kyle Dube and Ken Kerski. Tri-Town answers with veterans Chatfield, Miles Scribner and Dan Livingston.
Both teams need to play mistake free. Neither will take a step back. Terryville looks to repeat while Tri-Town seeks title No. 3 and is making its eighth appearance in the finals in the last 11 years. The two best teams are ready to give it a go. Get the backside off the couch, turn off the TV and head to Municipal. This should be a good one.
Copyright Peter Wallace Register Citizen July 3, 2021
In a world still rumbling from the COVID-19 pandemic, a baseball game last Thursday evening at Litchfield’s Community Field between two teams at and near the top of the CT Tri-State Baseball League left the reassuring impression that all was back to normal.
But like the scene up the street of patrons back in Litchfield’s restaurants, normalcy in this age of COVID vaccination is relative for both a sports league billing itself as Northwest Connecticut’s Premier Amateur Wooden Bat League and the prize-winning restaurants and their surrounding businesses. Summer sports, it seems, have the same kind of lingering problems and new opportunities as businesses across town, across the state and across the nation. “COVID-19 took the entire 2020 season from the Tri-State Baseball League and has wreaked havoc on membership for the 2021 season,” says league commissioner Ed Gadomski.
We’re seated in the shelter of a nearby pavilion while the Amenia (N.Y.) Monarchs and Tri-Town Trojans battle it out in a drizzling rain with the same enthusiasm fans have come to expect from a league harboring outstanding players from high school through current and former college players and even a smattering of former pros. Amenia, 8-1 before Thursday’s game, is one of the original teams in the league, tracing its roots, along with the league, to 1934. Tri-Town, 11-0, is one of the newer teams, starting in 2005. That’s the normal part.
“Tri-State had 18 teams in the 2019 season. Only 13 teams returned for the 2021 season,” Gadomski says, as part of the lasting effects of a devastation that hit everyone last year. Tri-Town is back from a league championship as recently as 2018, but, among the missing are such other league stalwarts as the 2017 champion Naugatuck Dogs and the 2015 champion Litchfield Cowboys. Gadomski himself is responsible for much of the league’s success before COVID struck.
Elected chairman of the league’s board in 2003, the same year he won its MVP award as a bulldog player for the Thomaston Spoilers, Gadomski has applied the same tenacity to his role as chairman, then commissioner since 2006, hammering through such by-law provisions as team fines for unexcused forfeits and suspension for player misconduct, while earning the league’s full approval. In doing so, he and his board have turned a six-team beer league into a near-professional high of 19 teams in 2013 and the 18 from two years ago. “Everybody likes a big league that’s well organized,” he says, citing the 3-6 applications he still gets for new team membership every year. “If you win the Tri-State League, it means something.”
But now, in the drizzling rain, he mulls COVID’s effects and future possibilities “as we still grapple with a national pandemic.” “We shut down last year for two reasons,” Gadomski explains. “First, it was the right thing to do, in respect for all the hospital workers battling against the virus. Plus, we couldn’t get a solid answer from our insurance carrier about what would happen if we had an outbreak.”
Still, like restaurants innovating new ways to serve customers through takeout service and outdoor distance dining, some Tri-State teams explored new avenues, as Gadomski recites. “The Terryville Black Sox (2019 Tri-State champions) branched out to play in the (Harford based) Connecticut Twilight League. “When MLB canceled the minor leagues, Baltimore Orioles farmhand Willie Yahn formed another team (the Great Falls Gators) in the CTL which included several Tri-Town Trojans. “The Bristol Greeners played in the Nutmeg League.” The contacts led Gadomski to off-season discussions with these leagues as well as the Hartford Twlight League about the possibility of interleague play this year. “Just like playing a new golf course is exciting, we thought playing other leagues would bring the same enthusiasm,” he says. “Guys love facing new pitching and seeing talent the other leagues bring.”
As a result, 16 interleague games are on this summer’s schedule between Tri-State and CTL teams and a mid-August CT All-Star Classic will include the Hartford Twilight League and Nutmeg League as well. The new opportunities compete with COVID’s ravages for Gadomski and his league. Like the rest of the world, a year “off” presented two different directions for Tri-State players. For the veteran players on legacy teams like Naugatuck and Litchfield, Gadomski surmises “the year in between put them in their own paths, with things like jobs and kids.” In the other direction, younger athletes, hungrier than ever for quality summer baseball, have packed the 13 remaining teams with 15-20 players apiece. “How many road (travel team) leagues have started?” Gadomski wonders idly.
Sure, there are many problems left. A few of the interleague games have resulted in forfeits beyond Tri-State’s control. Umpire boards were also hit last year; four games have already been rescheduled this season because there were no umpires available on the original days. And, of course, Gadomski and his board want the league’s team membership to rebound back to where it was. “Several teams have said they’ll be back next year, along with potential new teams,” Gadomski says. “Naugatuck, for instance, is too rich a baseball town to be missing long.”
Even the fledgling interleague trial balloon has the same kind of new wave possibility that’s sprung up for many businesses and schools. “If any good came out of COVID baseball, it’s the fact it has us talking,” says Gadomski. For Tri-State, under Gadomski’s guidance, any such further development has to be made on firm ground. “If we’re going any further with interleague considerations, it has to be with a solid league and firm commitments,” he says. Meanwhile, the Monarchs and Trojans, in full uniforms as specified by Tri-State by-laws, wrap up another quality baseball game in Northwest Connecticut’s Premier Amateur Wooden Bat League.
For optimists at Community Field on both sides, along with a smattering of fans, a new normal, led by Ed Gadomski, might look even better than the old one somewhere down the road.
Playoffs seeds: 1. Terryville, 2. Tri-Town, 3. Amenia, 4. Bethlehem, 5. Winsted, 6. Wolcott, 7. Blasius Chevrolet-Waterbury, 8. Southington, 9. Valley Thunder Ducks, 10. Torrington Twisters, 11. Burlington, 12. Canton, 13. Torrington Rebels
Terryville finishes third in AABC Stan Musial North East World Series
Friday August 14:
Copyright Gerry DeSimas Collinsville Press 8/15/21
Albany A’s righthander Ryan Lambert threw a complete game, striking out eight, allowing seven hits and giving up just two runs as the A’s eliminated Terryville, 4-2, at the AABC Stan Musial Northeast Region World Series Saturday at Libby Field in Weymouth, Mass.
Albany (38-3-1) advances to Sunday’s championship game against the Braintree White Sox (32-1) beginning at noon at Libby Field. The A’s will have to beat the White Sox twice to bring home the World Series title.
Terryville (24-2) lost to the A’s for the second time in two days and was eliminated from the tournament. The Black Sox beat Milford (CT) Hunters earlier in the day to remain alive.
Albany struck for three runs in the first inning beginning with Andrew Pedone driving in a run with a single. A batter later, an infield error on Craig Mastroianni’s fielders choice led to two more runs as the A’s built a 3-0 lead.
Tim Carroll capped off the scoring with an RBI single in the sixth inning when the A’s got four consecutive singles from Pedone, Mastroianni, Justin Brock and Carroll. Mastroianni and Brock each finished with two hits apiece.
In the first game of the day, Braintree’s Matt Foley hit a two-run home run in the first inning and Ian Fair hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to lead Braintree to a 7-2 victory over Albany and advance to Sunday’s final. Braintree capitalized on three infield errors by the A’s to set up Foley’s home run.
Friday August 13:
Copyright Gerry DeSimas Collinsville Press 8/14/21
Andrew Pedone’s RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Albany (N.Y.) Athletics to a 2-1 win over the Terryville Black Sox in the second round of the AABC’s (American Amateur Baseball Congress) Northeast Region World Series Friday at Libby Field in Weymouth, Mass.
The A’s handed the Black Sox (23-1) their first loss of the season. Terryville won their opening round contest with a 9-0 shutout win in five innings over ADSL from Boston earlier on Friday. Black Sox pitchers Kenny Kerski and Dave Alarcon combined to pitch a no-hitter.
Against the A’s, Terryville took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning on a solo home run from Chris Ruiz. Albany tied it when Justin Brock’s RBI single drove in Nate Novak in the bottom of the sixth inning. A’s lefthander Chris Salamida tossed all eight innings, striking out 10 batters and giving up one earned run—a solo homer by Ruiz. Nick Hansen singled twice while Craig Mastroianni doubled and singled. Nate Novak singled three times.
Copyright Steve Barlow Republican-American 7/27/21
Boasting a strong right arm on the mound and a sure glove in the infield, Watertown’s Mike Cipriano could have played almost anywhere in the Tri-State Baseball League this summer. But when his former prep school teammate, Nathan LaChaine of Salisbury, invited him to join the Amenia Monarchs’ roster, Cipriano jumped in his car for the hour’s drive north to the Tri-State’s farthest outpost. When the 20-year-old arrived in this hamlet due west of Sharon, Cipriano, who pitches collegiately for Bryant, found a young, talented ballclub, perhaps the best baseball setting in the league, undoubtedly the best fan support and a rich tradition unequaled on the other side of the state line. “Up here, you’re in the middle of nowhere playing ball,” Cipriano said. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”
According to lore, Abner Doubleday laid out the first baseball diamond in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1839. Not long after, they started playing in Amenia. The game’s roots here go back at least to the 1880s, when a town team competed in the old Hudson Valley League. In 1934, the Monarchs (no one knows the origin of the nickname) were a charter member of the Interstate League.
When the Interstate League crumbled in 1968 over the excessive use of ringers, out of the ashes arose the Tri-State League, which then included towns like Dover, Pine Plains and Millerton in New York; Lakeville, Sharon and Winsted in Connecticut, and Sheffield in Massachusetts. For more than 20 years, the Monarchs dominated, winning 10 Tri-State pennants. Hundreds of spectators ringed the local field at the Sunday games, which had to finish in time for the farm boys on the team to hustle home and milk their cows.
In 1992, the Monarchs’ then manager, Tom Downey III, got a call from a realtor friend, who had a client interested in pitching for Amenia. It was former Yankees hurler Jim Bouton, the baseball iconoclast who authored “Ball Four.” Bouton showed up in a straw hat and cutoffs, Downey recalled, and threw batting practice. He liked it so much that he asked if he could pitch in a game. Downey, a devout Yankees fan, quickly consented. “He’d let me know which weekend he’d be up and then he’d pitch a few innings,” Downey said. Bouton was 52 at the time and throwing to a local legend, catcher Mike Kohut, who played until he was 57. “Bouton said they were the only battery in the country over 100 years old,” Downey noted.
As the 1990s marched on, the core of the Amenia dynasty aged and retired. In 1995, the team was disbanded. In 2005, though, it was reborn with Downey again at the helm.
Five years ago, he turned over the reins to his son, Tom “Scooter” Downey IV, a former Monarchs bat boy, who this season managed the young club to a third-place finish. Several things have changed over the years. Amenia is the only New York state team left in the Tri-State League, whose center has shifted to the Naugatuck Valley. Games now include long rides to Wolcott, Waterbury and Southington. “We’re kind of in no-man’s land. We can drive into Connecticut or we could drive farther into New York state,” said Scooter Downey. “I think the caliber of baseball in this league is the best.”
The town has lost many, but not all, of its dairy farms. The growth industry is rich New Yorkers and celebrities buying weekend homes. NFL quarterback Tom Brady and former Yankee Mark Teixeira both reportedly own multimillion-dollar homes at the Silo Ridge Golf Club development south of the village.
“There’s a rumor Derek Jeter has one, too,” Downey said. “We don’t know that for sure, but the other guys have been seen in town.” The fans, though not as numerous as a century ago, are still as loyal. At a recent week night game, more than 60 people watched. On weekends, the number swells closer to a hundred – easily the best attendance in the league. The Monarchs play at Doc Bartlett Field, which was built with volunteer labor in 1984. Opponents swear the meticulously groomed infield gives the truest hops in the league.
Even though Amenia is the Tri-State’s second-smallest town, Bartlett is one of only three league diamonds with an electronic scoreboard. The others are Fuessenich Park and Municipal Stadium. Out behind the left-field fence at every game sits the Farkas-Boyles Fan Club, named for two deceased diehards, Gabby Farkas and Big Bob Boyles. The membership now consists of Walt and Laurie Bates and Warren and Jackie Gordon, four middle-aged fans who treat both teams to a yummy meal after every game. The most recent spreads featured steak sandwiches and tacos.
Four years ago, Jackie Gordon asked Downey if her son, Russell Boyles, who has cerebral palsy, could join the Monarchs. His gift that Christmas was an Amenia uniform, and the grandson of Big Bob has been on the roster ever since. This year, Boyles, 23, went to the plate three times, walked once, was hit by two pitches and drove in a run. The fan club stages a golf tournament each year to raise money for team expenses, and the town folk, unbidden, pitch in, too. “Come March, $50 checks start arriving in my mailbox,” said Downey.
At last week’s game against the Terryville Black Sox, a pair of octogenarians, Katharine Dunlop and Dan Brown, were perched behind the backstop. Dunlop’s grandsons, Colby and Mackenzie, anchor the Monarchs’ pitching staff. Brown, a retired municipal architect in New York City, has no kin on the team, but has been attending faithfully since he moved to Amenia in 1979. “These are my kids. I live vicariously through them,” he explained. Years ago, he used to sit and trade stories at games with the field’s namesake, William “Doc” Bartlett. Contrary to his nickname, Bartlett owned a hardware store. His true love was baseball.
The uncle of former major league pitcher John Lamb (and, by marriage, of Steve Blass), Bartlett was involved in baseball in Amenia for more than 60 years as a player, coach, manager, scorekeeper, groundskeeper and announcer. He even wrote the game stories for the local press. Thanks to their best record (14-3) since their rebirth, the Monarchs received a first-round bye in the Tri-State playoffs. They’ll be hosting when the second round begins Friday. Expect the house that Doc built to be full. “When we played here in the playoffs two years ago, it was packed,” said Terryville’s Tony Patane.
Up here, in the middle of nowhere, there’s no better place to be and no better feeling in the world.
Copyright Kevin Roberts Sporsts-69 8/10/21
The Wolcott Scrappers were a young team in 2021, but played hard, which earned them praise from Tri-Town Trojans player/coach Danny McCarty.
McCarty’s Tri-Town team had to rally from a 1-0 games deficit to overcome Wolcott and win the best-of-three Tri-State Baseball League semifinal series. McCarty sees the Scrappers as a dangerous team in future years if they can find more pitching. Not enough pitching was part of the reason why Wolcott couldn’t grab one of the other two games in the series. If the Scrappers had won, they would have reached the Tri-State World Series for the first time since 2014, when they beat Tri-Town to win it all.
Pitching certainly helped Wolcott gain its 1-0 lead in the semifinal series. Former Wolcott High star right-hander Ike Negretti tossed a no-hitter in a 2-1 victory over Tri-Town in the first game of the series last Friday at John Casadei Field (Community Field) in Litchfield. After the win, Negretti talked about the Scrapper ride from a 7-8 regular season to being one win away from the World Series.
“We’re definitely more relaxed,” Negretti said. “We’re coming to the game, it’s just another game.”
The relaxed attitude certainly helped Wolcott navigate a tough three-game series against the Amenia Monarchs. The sixth-seeded Scrappers were able to win both games on the road and capture the series against the third-seeded Monarchs. In the first game at Amenia’s Doc Bartlett Field, Negretti tossed a complete game (1 run, 7 hits, 11 strikeouts, 2 walks) in a 5-1 victory. Any good vibes from the first game were vanquished when Amenia erupted for 11 first inning runs in the second game, which was played at the B.A.W. Complex. The Scrappers were behind, 13-1, entering the bottom of the eighth inning, but scored four times in the eighth and ninth innings to make the Monarchs sweat out the 13-9 win.
The second round series came down to the third-and-deciding game back in Amenia. Wolcott claimed a hard-fought 8-5 victory and took the series. The top three hitters in the Scrapper lineup, former Wolcott High stalwarts Steve Urbanski, Matt Warren and Jack Drewry, proved to be a winning combination. The trio reached base seven times and smacked out six hits. They scored six times and drove in seven runs. Warren had a two-double and Drewry smacked a three-run homer.
Wolcott had reached the second round after sweeping the No. 11 Burlington Hunters by scores of 2-1 and 9-4. After losing the semifinal series to the Trojans, the Scrappers finished the season with a record of 12-11.
Caption: Wolcott player/coach Matt Warren makes contact in Game 3 of the Tri-State Baseball League semifinal series against Tri-Town on Sunday in Litchfield. Teammate Jason Sullivan waits on deck. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69).
Winsted and Bethlehem looking at bright futures
“Our offense is on par with anyone’s in the league,” said Winsted’s head coach Chet Warner. “If we can get a few more pitchers next year, I think we’ll be near the top of the league.” Winsted finished as the #5 seed on the year. Meanwhile, with their 14th win in their last 15 games, the #4 seed Bethlehem Plowboys consider themselves the hottest team in the league, looking forward to a semifinal series next weekend against the No. 1 Terryville Black Sox. “We’re the last team in the league they want to face,” said head coach Rich Revere. If only the arms hold out.