Miles Scribner Gem leads Tri-Town past Naugy 1-0

Copyright Peter Wallace  Register-Citizen  8/11/2011
If  you’re going to begin a baseball game late, these are the pitchers to have throw.
The Tri-Town Trojans beat the Naugatuck Dogs 1-0 in a round-two Tri-State League playoff game, motoring through Waterbury’s Municipal Stadium in just over two hours after a 7:30 p.m. start. Pitching aces Miles Scribner for Tri-Town and Macky Cianciolo for Naugy moved batters along as if they were late for dinner. Cianciolo often did it with a wicked fastball; Scribner mixed his heat in with a curvy kind of thing that just seems to bubble to the plate. “There is something magical about that pitch,” said Tri-Town player/coach Ryan McDonald. “It’s  the kind of pitch that makes you want to argue with the umpire even if you know it’s a strike; several Dogs did just that.
Mostly, on both sides, it was sheer frustration from batters who eked out a total of eight hits for the game — 5-3, Tri-Town — while striking out 18 times — 11-7 Tri-Town. “I wasn’t seeing it well all night,” said Trojan Nick Lahoud, who finally became the hero. Wednesday, poor vision was common on both sides. Hitters had some of their best chances early before the pitchers found their grooves. No. 7 seed Naugatuck got its first batter of the game, Matt Kane, on base as a hit batter, then hit the ball hard right at outfielders three times in a row. In the bottom of the inning, Naugy’s Cianciolo started with two strikeouts, then hit a batter and endured an infield error before fielding a comebacker himself for the third out.
Naugatuck’s Trent Levi got almost home in the top of the third inning after singling and stealing second. But, when Levi tried to get home on Ryan Russell’s line drive single to left center, Trojan center fielder Nick Lahoud’s throw was in time for catcher Landon Gardella to prepare the welcome mat for Levi at the plate. Gardella himself made it as far as second base in the bottom of the fourth inning, on a one-out walk and bloop hit by Kyle Osolin. Then two more strikeouts from Cianciolo ended the hope. By the end of six, it was obvious that one run would be gold in this game — if anybody could score it.
In the bottom of the seventh, Tri-Town, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, got it done. Troy Kobylarz beat out an infield hit to deep short to start the frame. Dan Staino sacrificed him to second, one out. Cianciolo got his 11th strikeout. Then Lahoud dropped a hit down the right field line. “He pinned me inside, so I had to muscle it out,” said Lahoud. Kobylarz scored, but this game, in a league in which any of the 12 playoff qualifiers are legitimate contenders, was far from secure.
Tri-Town catcher Gardella was tossed in the bottom of the eighth inning for arguing a double play call against the Trojans. Scribner began the final inning with five straight balls, jarred by the unplanned catching change to Kobylarz. Naugatuck’s Levi walked on the first four pitches; Matt Kane sacrificed him to second. A fly to left field got the second out. A grounder to short put it in the books: Macky Cianciolo — 8 innings, 1 earned run, 5 hits, 11 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 hit batter; Miles Scribner 9 innings, 3 hits, 7 strikeouts, 2 walks, 1 hit batter. The Trojans are 15-5; Naugack is 10-10. In this league, this year, records aren’t so important. Naugatuck, the state-wide Stan Musial Tournament champion, beat Tri-Town in the finals to get there last week.