Watertown repeats as State Champs

The Watertown Blaze remain unbeaten at 24-0 as they knocked off Fedells Mechenics of the Bridgport Senior City League 12-4 to be crowned AABC Stan Musial State Champions for the second year in a row. Charlie Benson picked up his 7th win of the season going 5 innings, scattering 4 hits and allowing 1 run. The Blaze jumped out to an early first inning lead, scoring 5 runs capped off by a Chris Callahan grand slam. Tony Patane added 3 hits including a solo home run and Garrett DeLotto hit a 3 run home run to end the game in the bottom of the 6th inning.

The Tri-State League has now had the Stan Musial state champion for the past 7 seasons:
2017: Watertown Blaze
2016: Watertown Blaze
2015: Naugatuck Dogs
2014: Tri-Town Trojans
2013: Tri-Town Trojans
2012: Naugatuck Dogs
2011: Naugatuck Dogs

The Tri-State League sent 4 teams to the state tourney in 2017 (Watertown, Naugatuck, Terryville, Blasius Chevrolet) and finished the tourney with 3 out of the final 4 teams standing (along with Fedelles Mechanics of the Bridgeport Senior City League). Watertown and Fedells both advanced to the 2017 AABC Stan Musial East Coast World Series. Watertown and Fedells both went 2-2 in the World Series with Braintree, MA being crowned the champion. Watertown’s two winning games were certainly memorable:

Watertown Blaze 1 Bourne Mariners 0
Recap: In his first start in 2 seasons, Matt Quintana threw a complete game shutout, striking out 17 batters and allowing a lone hit in the 5th inning as the Blaze took game 1, 1-0. Garrett DeLotto had the big blow in the top of the 7th inning with a lead off solo home run that traveled an estimated 420 feet over the right center field wall. DeLotto also doubled in the game while Chris Callahan added 2 hits for the Blaze. Tom Farmer pitched very well for the Bourne Mariners going 7 innings, allowing 6 hits and striking out 10.

Watertown Blaze 3 Waterford Nationals 0
Recap: Zach Albin threw a no-bitter with two walks and six strikeouts. The former Baltimore Orioles farmhand induced nine ground outs during his gem. Former Orioles farmhand Mike Odenwaelder reached on an error to lead off the seventh inning and scored the go ahead on a bloop single by Chris Ayer that sparked a 3-run out burst that sent the Blaze on to victory.

Blaze closer Quintana signs with Bluefish
NOTE: Former Blaze pitcher Dom Severino signs contract with Bluefish also on August 23

Watertown Blaze closer and Siena College standout Matt Quintana was signed by the Bridgeport Bluefish on Friday August 18. Quintana, a Rawlings All-Region Second Team selection as a senior at Siena has been clocked running his fastball up to 93 MPH. The 2015 Siena graduate finished his college career with a 12-6 record in 82 appearances and a 3.31 ERA, acting mainly in the closer role for the Saints. His Senior season was his most impressive, sporting a 1.50 ERA over 60 innings of work, allowing only 37 hits while striking out 64 and issuing 14 free passes. After playing out his college eligibility in the FCBL, Quintana has spent the last 2 seasons playing for the Watertown Blaze of the Tri-State league after being recruited by former Saints teammate and Blaze infielder, Brian Fay. Quintana has been virtually unhittable the last two season with a 0.99 ERA over 49 1/3 innings of work, striking out 82 and issuing only 8 walks, while recording 13 saves. He won his only start against the Bourne Mariners during the AABC Stan Musial East Coast World Series throwing a 1 hit, complete game striking out 17 batters (in just 7 innings). These impressive numbers caught the eye of Connecticut coaches and General Managers and word traveled to the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League.

The 5’10, 170 pound right hander made his professional debut for the Bluefish Saturday August 19 against the New Britain Bees. He entered the game in the 7th inning, with the game tied at 5-5. The leadoff batter singled on a first pitch fastball before Quintana struck out the next 3 batters in order, swinging, to end the frame. Quintana then gave way to Vinnie Pestano and Manny Delcarmen who have a combined 12 years and 521 Major League Baseball appearances with the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. With his solid debut, Quintana earned the start today against the Bees at 3:30pm at New Britain Stadium.

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