Connecticut’s Tri-State Baseball League features three beautiful ballparks:
· Fuessenich Park in Torrington, CT (left)
· Muzzy Field in Bristol, CT (center)
· Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, CT (right)
Connecticut’s Tri-State Baseball League features three beautiful ballparks:
Photo courtesy of Peter Paguaga Register-Citizen 8/23/13
It was one of those games that the 200+ fans at Fuessenich Park will remember for quite a while as it took 12 innings to settle on a winning score in Game #3 of the Tri-State’s championship series between North Division Champion Tri-Town Trojans and South Division Champion Naugatuck Dogs. The Trojans took game #1 off a complete game performance by Miles Scribner. Naugy came back to win game #2 off a huge 3-run home run into the Naugatuck River by Kyle Murphy.
The Tri-Town’s Trojans finally ended game #3, 2-1, in the bottom of the 12th inning.
Landon Gardella (3-for-5, two runs scored) crossed the plate on an infield throwing error that would have been the third out for an iron-man contest between starting pitchers Miles Scribner (12 innings, one earned run, five hits, 11 strikeouts, five walks) for the Trojans and Lance Stevens (11.2 innings, one earned run, nine hits, 12 strikeouts, three walks, two hit batters) for the Dogs. Scribner finished the season with an amazing 18-1 personal record on the mound this season… surely the 18 wins has got to be a Tri-State record. Lance Stevens was just as impressive in the final game. Armed with a great fastball and curve, Stevens came to the Dogs six years ago after a trip to the minors and the Bridgeport Bluefish.
The championship was the final piece of the puzzle in Tri-Town’s (25-4) three-championship crown this year, with a Northern Division Championship, the state title in the Stan Musial Tournament (with a final win over these same Dogs) and now, the Trojans’ first Tri-State Championship ever in three trips to the final round.
Tri-Town started the scoring in the third inning, on hits by Gardella, John Callahan and Connor Murray (2-for-6, RBI). Naugatuck tied it in the fourth, on hits by Kyle Murphy and Mack Cianciolo (2-for-4), but a missed tag finally brought the run in for the tie. Nobody gave an inch for the next seven-and-a-half innings.
Landon Gardella (co-MVP of the World Series along with Scribner) led off the bottom of the 12th with a ground single up the middle. With one out, Callahan sacrificed him to second. Murray hit a sharp grounder to short; the throw sailed over the first baseman and Gardella waltzed home where the Tri-Town party began.
Naugy forces Game #3 for Tri-State Crown
There will be a Game #3 Friday night at Fuessenich Park at 7pm for all the marbles. Tri-Town took a commanding 4-1 lead behind the pitching of Connor Murray through six innings. A sac fly by Joel Judson, RBI double by Casey McDonald, and infield error by Naugy, and an RBI double by Landon Gardella (one of the stars for Tri-Town in Game #1) had the Trojans sitting in the drivers seat. Then came the bottom of the seventh inning as the Tri-Town bullpen entered the game. Two singles for Naugy to start the inning set up Kyle Murphy who hit a blast that surely reached the Naugatuck river behind the left field fence to tie the game at four runs apiece, and just as importantly swung the momentum in Naugy’s favor. Ken Graveline settled down to retire the final sixteen batters of the game he faced and finished with twelve strikeouts in a complete game performance for the Dogs. Four more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning sealed the deal for Naugy, final score 8-4. We do it one more time for the Tri-State crown on Friday night – same place, same time!
Tri-Town Draws First Blood
Copyright Adam Baker Republican-American 8/20/13
In a rematch of the earlier Stan Musial championship, the Tri-Town Trojans defeated the Naugy Dogs, 2-0, in Game 1 of the Tri-State League World Series behind the pitching of Miles Scribner and timely hitting from Dan McCarty and Sam Shurberg on Wednesday night at Fuessenich Park.
Scribner tossed an eight-hit shutout, allowing six hits and walking three to lead his team in the opener of the best-of-three series.
“I felt good,” Scribner said. “I haven’t really had my best stuff lately.”
Some clutch hits don’t hurt, either.
The Trojans struck first in the sixth as Landon Gardella doubled to center and scored on
an RBI double by Shurberg. Before Gardella’s hit, Naugy pitcher John Soldinger had been perfect, but Gardella opened the door for the Trojans (30-5). Soldinger finished with eight strikeouts while allowing only four hits and two runs.
The Dogs (26-9) threatened in the seventh. After a strikeout, Jeff Rustico walked and stole second. After a flyout to center, Devin Murphy walked and executed a double steal with Rustico. Naugatuck, trailing 1-0, had runners on second and third.
Tri-Town wins Musial title over Naugy
BY ADAM BAKER REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN 8/5/13
The Tri-Town Trojans’ ace, Miles Scribner, continued his season-long his dominance right into the final day of the Stan Musial State Tournament on Sunday as he earned the 2-1 victory over the two-time defending champion Naugy Dogs in the title game. The state tournament was well respresented by the Tri-State League holding an “All Tri-State” final, and holding 3 of the final 4 teams in the tourney.
The Trojans (23-2) also defeated the Bethel Outlaws, 8-6 in nine innings, on Sunday to reach the tournament final. In the championship game, Scribner tossed a four-hitter allowing two walks with five strikeouts to improve his record to 15-0 with a 1.10 earned run average for the season after pitching on Saturday, also. “Miles has pitched unbelievable for us the entire season,” said Tri-Town coach Ryan McDonald. “We’ve had a lot of tight games where we don’t give him any run support, but he keeps us close. He’s our guy. For him to pitch 14 innings in back-to-back days is unbelievable. There’s no way that we do any of this without him. We’re having a great year.”
Sunday’s title game was tied 1-1 in the sixth inning when Joel Judson led off with a single. Casey McDonald moved Judson to second with a sacrifice before seven-year Tri-Town Trojan veteran, Kyle Osolin, recorded the game-winning RBI single. Osolin sports the nickname “Mr. August” from his teammates for his clutch performances. “He’s been doing this for us all year,” stated Scribner. “He’s just clutch. He’s always been clutch.”
The Trojans were led offensively by Connor Murray with three hits, including a double, and one run scored. Osolin also had a single, in addition to his game winning hit. Chris Comeau, Joe Bunnell and John Callahan all had singles, and Willy Yahn, the draft pick from Lakeville, added an RBI. “My team really backs me up; they play great defense,” added Scribner. “They do it all for me, especially when I don’t have great stuff.”
Ken Graveline scattered nine hits and two runs with seven strikeouts for the Dogs (19-5). “He’s one of the best pitchers in the league,” McDonald said of Graveline. “It was just a good baseball game. There’s no one harder that we could have faced.” Macky Cianciolo doubled for Naugy, while Graveline, Jeff Sturm and Matt Kane each chipped in with singles.
In the earlier game, Judson led the Trojans with three hits, including a home run, five RBI and two runs scored. Yahn also added three singles, a double, an RBI and three runs scored, and Comeau, the draft pick from Watertown, chipped in with three singles and a double. With the win, the team sponsored by Conti & Levy Law Offices in Torrington advanced to the Regional Tournament in New York which begins later this month, but the Trojans have their eyes on another prize. “It will be pretty tough to win the (Tri-State) League tournament,” said Scribner. “We’re going to need to have pitching, and I think we do.”
Between Murray, Andrew Osolin, Sam Shurberg and the knuckleballer Jordie Scheiner, Tri-Town hopes to become the first team to win both the Stan Musial and Tri-State tournaments in the same year. “Our goal now is really to win the league tournament,” said Tri-Town assistant coach/player Dan Staino. “No team has won both and that’s what we would like to do.” The Trojans (19-1 regular season) also look for their 20th win when they host Wolcott at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday at Community Field in Litchfield in their final game of the regular season.
From left to right: Ed Gadomski, Bill Leifert, Tim Hamel, Rich Thomson, Pat Murphy, Jay Rocca, Chris Clark, DJ Reese
Copyright Rick Wilson LitchfieldCountySports.com 8/20/13
Was it about baseball? Sure, the eight inductees into the Tri-State League Hall of Fame wouldn’t have been at Fuessenich Park Wednesday night receiving the highest honor league can bestow on them if they hadn’t played the heck out of the game. They loved baseball and in the end baseball loved them back.
But for D.J. Reese, Chris Clark, Pat Murphy, Jay Rocca, Ed Gadomski, Tim Hamel, Rich Thomson and Bill Leifert the night was as much about what the game did for them as it was about what they did in the game.
There was accomplishment all over the field. Leifert was an MVP, Thomson also earned MVP honors and was part of eight titles for the Torrington Rebels. Murphy was a Bethlehem Plowboy and won three titles and earned and MVP award as one of the league’s top pitchers. Rocca was a two-time MVP for Bethlehem and Clark played on three title teams for Torrington, coached the Rebels to three titles and won an MVP. Gadomski was an MVP winner and has guided the league to unprecedented heights with a record 19 teams as Commissioner.
Hamel played 23 seasons and was part of two title teams with the Thomaston Spoilers while Reese played on a title team with Bethlehem and coached Winsted to a title. You could have filled up Fuessenich Park with all the records, statistics, performances that brought them here. But while justifiably proud the honor shared time with just being with friends again. “It’s great to go in with this guy,” said Clark motioning to Thomson, his former Torrington Rebel teammate. “There’s not many people that say they played together for 15 years after high school.”
“It’s just great to get together with longtime friends and baseball is the vehicle to do it,” said Rocca. “I haven’t seen Billy (Leifert) in 15 years.” Leifert, looking resplendent in a bright red shirt talked about it being an honor to be in the Hall of Fame with former inductee Bill Neller who was on hand and glowing in yellow. Gadomski, who has done so much to build the league into the premier amateur league in the state, was thrilled to be inducted but it was especially important for him to go in with this group.
This was his group. The last of the old guard if you will. It was about being inducted with friends, most of whom did their thing in the 1990s and early in the new century. It was again only partially about what was done, who it was done with equally important. “It means a lot to be recognized by your peers,” said Gadomski. “When the committee told me I was selected I was glad to be going in with this group. These are some of the best friends I played with. These are the guys I wanted to go in with.”
Leifert came from Southington, Thomson, soon to be the father of twins from West Hartford. Rocca made the ride from Wolcott. Some wore the old uniform tops. Hamel had his Thomaston Spoilers shirt on while Clark pulled out the Rebels top. They came with wives and children and home run like smiles. Old friends were on hand including the Plowboys’ Gregg Hunt and Leifert’s old pitching mate, `the Ancient Mariner’, Ed Freimuth. It was a Hall of Fame induction but it was as much a get-together.
Most hung around to watch some of Game I of the Tri-State championship series between Tri-Town and Naugatuck. Checking out the new guard at the same time. But most of all they hung around to catch up with one another. Being at Fuessenich was about having an outstanding career and they all got their plaques and took their ceremonial pitches. But it was about the camaraderie the game bred. It was about seeing all friends. The game is yesterday now for the group, this a reminder that Gadomski mentioned. Ah, but the memories and the friends they made the memories with, never gets old.
Eight players came back to be honored at Fuessenich Park. But they also came back to touch yesterday with old friends and it was good to be back. They would all tell you that.
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