Chris Blazek hurls no-hitter

copyright Peter Wallace Register-Citizen 7/25/15
Litchfield lefthander Chris Blazek looked like he was still heading for the majors in a no-hit performance that led the Cowboys to a 6-0 win over Torrington in a seven-inning Tri-State League game at Litchfield High School Saturday afternoon.
The 2005 Houston Astros draftee (23rd round) struck out 16 Rebels, walked one and went perfect for the first three innings until a Cowboy error allowed the first Torrington base runner.
Just four balls made it out of the infield for fly-outs. Two ground balls went for errors. Except for a seventh-inning walk to Torrington’s Matt Harrington, the rest were unhittable fastballs and sliders.
“I didn’t know,” said Blazek after his final three strikeouts ended the game. A Litchfield High School and University of Vermont graduate, Blazek went down with a shoulder injury after three years in the Houston minor league system, then hung it up in frustration with MLB politics in a 2010 comeback year.
Saturday, in just his second start of the summer, he reminded the Rebels just how effective he still is, with a sound shoulder. “I feel good,” he grinned. “My arm feels good. My body’s sore from not throwing.” The Cowboys, 12-3 in the league (second-place tie with Bethlehem) are rich in pitching. Blazek, at 31, is a player/coach with nothing to prove except his love for the game.
“I like playing the outfield,” smiled Blazek, who also swings a bat well enough to go third in a strong lineup. We won six games in a row where I could go Eric (Hungerford), Joey (Serafin), Eric, Joey,” said Blazek the coach. “We may not be quite as talented, but it feels the same as the championship year (2012), one through nine.” Blazek and Kevin Murray in reserve and at least one more arm on the bench?
Saturday, it hardly seemed fair in a game the Rebels had to win to reach the league playoffs. Torrington started the day tied at 6-11 with Winsted and Burlington for the 12th and final playoff spot in the 17-team league. Winsted beat Burlington 2-1 Saturday morning.
Torrington sent Cody Lemieux to the mound. Litchfield had Blazek.
“Last year, we won two games. This year, we had a much better team,” said player/coach Greg Bodnar. Lemieux is one of the players who made the Rebels better.
Nevertheless, the Cowboys didn’t get close to the top on pitching alone. After a one-two-three first inning, Ed Pequignot led off the second with a triple near the right field woods. “It’s good to come back and be able to see the ball,” said Pequignot (2-for-4), who, like many of the Tri-State players, has a year-long wait between seasons. “My strength is finding a pitch I like.”
Cowboys Steve Harrison (2-for-4, RBI), Colin Dickinson (2 runs scored), Brendan Roden (RBI) and Brian Hungerford (2-for-3, 3 RBI) also found pitches they liked in the second inning. The result was a 3-0 lead with three more to come next inning. This time, in the third, with Blazek buzzing through the Torrington lineup, waning Torrington confidence might have been the issue.
Lemieux started with his only walk – to Blazek. Pequignot hit safely again. Victor Rodriguez replaced Pequignot on a fielder’s choice. Dickinson, hit with a pitch, loaded the bases. An outfield error scored one run; a single by Hungerford brought in two more.
Down 6-0 in the third, Lemieux gave up just four more hits.
Blazek, on the Litchfield mound, stayed busy giving up none.
Litchfield Cowboys 6 Torrington Rebels 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.