Tri-State League 12 Strong
Judging by its numbers, the Tri-State Baseball League, which opened play on Sunday, certainly looks to be in good shape.
Five new teams – Winsted, the Tri-Town (Litchfield-Shepaug-Goshen) Trojans, Amenia (NY) Monarchs, Burlington Spartans and East End (Waterbury) Outlaws – will join the league this year. Those additions give the Tri-State 12 teams total, among the largest groups its ever had.
The league’s format is the same as past seasons, with 22 games making up the regular season, followed by a playoffs. In addition, three teams will qualify for state, regional, and national tournaments.
There hasn’t been much of a dynasty in the Tri-State of late. Three different squads have won the league championship each of the last three years, with the Torrington Rebels the most recent. They look like a strong shot to repeat, too, as 2004 League Most Valuable player Darren Gould and Pitcher of the Year Dan Livingston both return.
Three other squads who should be in contention are the Bethlehem Plowboys, Tribury Titans, and Thomaston Spoilers. The Plowboys went 14-4 last summer and return every player, including the Tri-State’s best hitter in 2004, catcher Ryan Rogozinski (.470 seven homers, 32 RBI). The Titans, one of the leagues youngest teams, reached the Tri-State championship last year. The Spoilers, 13-8 a year ago, will again be managed by Dave Post, now in his 21st year.
Among the trio of Waterbury nines, the Brass City Brew is coming off the best season. Behind the strong pitching of Gary Roosa and Dave Vadnais, they reached the playoffs for the first time.
The Tri-State baseball league has been selected by the Connecticut Amateur Baseball Congress to host part of the Stan Musial tournament beginning Thursday July 28th. The tourney will feature 15 of the top teams from the state of Connecticut coming from eight registered leagues and only wood bats will be used. It is a double elimination amateur tourney consisting of college age ballplayers and up. The Litchfield county area bracket will be financially supported by Bill Neller, who was instrumental in the startup of the Tri-State league back in the 70’s being the original founder of the Litchfield Cowboys franchise in the league. Neller is known for being co-founder of the Litchfield Road Race. The top two teams from each bracket will move on to play in the Regionals in Albany, NY. Ed Gadomski, commissioner of the Tri-State league, will serve as the tournament director.