Opening Day:
Sunday May 17th, 2020

Tri-State Playoffs

First Round: Best of Three

Thunder Ducks vs Bethlehem Plowboys (winner plays Terryville Black Sox)

Thursday July 25:  Bethlehem Plowboys 11  Thunder Ducks 0

Plow wins 11-0 Ty Erickson took a perfect game into the sixth inning and lost it with 2 outs on a single to right field. Plow bats were hot as every batter in the lineup had atleast 1 hit. Jon Wilson, Ricky Descoteaux, and Drew Colavecchio all had 2 RBI’s a piece. Bethlehem scored 3 runs on a passed ball in the 5th inning to add to the lead and secure the win.

Friday July 26: Bethlehem Plowboys 19 Thunder Ducks 0

Bethlehem got off to a hot start in the first inning with a Matt Mancini three run home run. Teddy Gravel went 4-4 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI’s and 2 doubles. Greg Campbell stayed hot at the dish going 3-3 with a walk. Rob Geraci threw a complete game gem striking out 7 and making some web gem plays on the mound.

Wolcott Scrappers vs Trbury Cave (winner plays Litchfield Cowboys)

Thursday July 25  Wolcott Scrappers 11   Tribury Cave 3

Wolcott Scrappers defeated Tribury Twisters in the opening game of playoffs by a score of 11-3. Wolcott was lead at plate by Brendan Clark who dbled , singled had 3 rbi, Tyler Smith 2 singles 1 scored, Jeff Nicol 2 singles 1 run scored, Matt Warren dble 1 rbi , 2 scored, Jack Drewry dble, Joe Matthews single 3 rbi 2 scored and Alan Stinson single 3 Rbi 1 scored. Tyler Smith pitched a complete game allowing 5 hits with 6 strike outs. Triburys Tom Rinaldi homered with 2 rbi

Friday July 26   Wolcott Scrappers 1  Tribury Cave 0

In an outstanding pitchers duel by Wolcotts Brendan Clark and Tribury’s Ben Brown and Ben Guisto Wolcott finally came thru and scored the lone run of the game in the 6th inning after a Brendan Clark single and Jack Drewry’s Rbi single. Wolcotts Brendan Clark pitched a complete game 1 hitter with 11 strikeouts to take the win and the best of 3 series from Tribury. Jack Drewry had a dble single and the only Rbi of the day . Wolcott also had hits from Matt Warren, Tyler Smith, Joe Matthews and Danny Kennedy. John Delucia had the only hit for Tribury.

Northwest Orioles vs Amenia Monarchs (winner plays Tri-Town Trojans)

Friday July 26 Amenia Monarchs 7   Northwest Orioles 0

In Game 1 of the first round series the Amenia Monarchs beat the Northwest Orioles 7-0 at Housatonic High School. It would be a pitchers duel into the 6th as the Monarchs were able to pick up only 1 run to that point off Northwest starter Lupiani. The Monarchs starter, Mackenzie Dunlop, scores the first run for Amenia in the 3rd after leading off with a single and then scoring on a Chris Reed single. Monarchs lead off man, Chris Reed, has been done an outstanding job at his role all season! Reed went 2-3 with 1rbi and played a phenomenal shortstop! Amenia would score 3 in the 6th on a misplayed ball by Northwest and then in the 7th the Hefty Lefty Will Perotti Hit a bases clearing double plating 3 more Amenia runs. Mackenzie Dunlop would go the distance for Amenia scattering 3 hits over 7 innings and giving up no runs. For Northwest Nathan Lachaine would pick up 2 of their hits and made an outstanding catch in left field to end the 5th inning with Amenia leaving the bases loaded.

Saturday July 27 Northwest Orioles 7 Amenia Monarchs 5

After scoring 1 run in the previous 20 innings against Amenia, the Orioles exploded for 6 runs at the top of the 7th to stun the Monarchs. Jack Mcaullife shut the door with 3 straight outs in the bottom of the inning. Oliver Cookson led the way with 3 hits and 3 RBIs, including the game winner. Mike Goretti was 2 for 4 knocking in the game tying runs. For Amenia, Travis Hyatt pitched 6 strong innings, allowing only 1 run. Ken Shufelt was 2 for 2 with a sac fly and 3 RBIs. Game 3 is Monday at 5:30 at Housatonic Valley High School.

Monday July 30

The Amenia Monarchs clinched a second round playoff birth with a 4-1 victory over the Northwest Orioles Monday Night. Leshawn Thrasher picked up the win for Amenia going the distance. Northwest would get 7 hits off Thrasher but Amenia’s strong defense was able to hold Northwest to just one run. Amenia would take the lead in the 4th when Andy Thrasher hit a one out single, Ken Shufelt would then walk, and Mackenzie Dunlop would add a rbi single. Amenia would score 3 more runs in the 5th with a 2RBI single from Tom Downey and a single, followed by crafty base running by Leshawn Thrasher, forcing a throwing error scoring Downey. Amenia would like to congratulate all of the Northwest players and coaches on a great first season! A good young group of ball players coached by knowledgeable and respectful coaches. A great addition to the Tri-State Family!

Burlington Hunters vs Naugatuck Dogs (winner plays Blasius Chevrolet)

Monday July 29  Naugatuck Dogs 7   Burlington Hunters 4

Jeff Rustico pitched a complete game allowing 4 runs on 7 hits while striking out 4 to lead Naugy to a 7-4 victory over Burlington. The Dogs offense was led by Devin Murphy’s 2 run home run and Sean Miller-Jones solo home run and double. George Harlamon had 2 hits and 2 RBI and Jeff Rustico added 2 hits for Naugy. Ty Morin had a 2 RBI single and George Zaruba went 2-4 with a double and a RBI for Burlington

Tuesday Rotary Field 8pm  Naugatuck Dogs 16   Burlington Hunters 0

Top 4 set; Playoffs up for grabs

Following Saturday finals: The Top 4 seeds will be: Terryville Black Sox, Tri-Town Trojans, Blasius Chevrolet, Litchfield Cowboys. As for the rest of the playoffs – the final 8 seeds have yet to be determined including home field advantage in the first round of the Tri-State Playoffs. Game recaps will be posted early Sunday morning.

Northwest Orioles 7   Naugatuck Dogs 4 (Friday night)

Northwest Orioles defeated Naugatuck 7 to 4. Anthony Lupiani got the win pitching 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on three hits. The offense was lead by Mike Goretti 2 for 3, 2 runs scored, and an RBI, Shane Callahan 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs, and Dan Litchfield with a clutch pinch hit double knocking in 2 runs in the 6th. For Naugatuck, K. Murphey had 3 walks and 3 runs scored

Northwest Orioles 12   Southington 66ers 4

An 8 run second innings propelled the Orioles to their 8th victory of the season. Mike Goretti got the win, giving up 2 hits and 2 runs in 5 innings. Jack Mcaullife lead the charge with 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, and a double. Hayden Riva reached base all 4 at bats with 2 hits and 2 walks. For Southington, Eric Paddin had 2 hits and Ben Hampden had 2 walks and 2 runs scored.

Winsted Whalers 7   Torrington Rebels 0

Game recap coming…

Litchfield Cowboys 7   Naugatuck Dogs 6

Litchfield was able to solidify at least 4th place and a bye today winning 7-6 in a back and forth game against the Naugatuck Dogs. Steve Consiglio pitched a great game going 5.67 innings to get the win and Dan Hedden battling to get his first save of the season going 1.33 innings. Big contributors were Josh Guilmart going 2-2 with 2 rbis, Drew Gauvain 2-3 with an rbi and tommy johnson 2-4 with and rbi.

Wolcott Scrappers 9   Naugatuck Dogs 1

On probably the hottest day of the year the Wolcott scrappers bats were also hot defeating the Naugy Dogs by a score of 9-1 at the BAW. Wolcott had 12 hits being lead by Tyler Smith went 4 for 4 with 4 singles and 3 RBI’s, Matt Warren 2 for 3 with 2 walks a Homerun and triple scored 3 runs and had 2 rbi , Jack Drewry 2 singles , walk 2 runs scored and 1 rbi. Wolcott also had hits by Steve Urbanski, Jeff Nicol , Isaiah Negretti , and Mike Pepe. On the mound Wolcott had another great performance from Brendan Clark who pitched a complete game only allowing 2 hits , 1 ER and had 7 K’s. For Naugy , B Slattery had a solo homerun and Russel singled.

Tri-Town Trojans 2   Blasius Vhevrolet 1

Game recap coming…

Terryville Bloack Sox 10   Bristil Greeners 0

Jared Gallegher, Ken Kerski,and Dave Alarcon combined for a 1 hit shutout, Everyone in the lineup got a hit for Terryville. Jerry Lapenta had the lone single for Bristol.

Amenia Monarchs 8   Canton Crushers1

On a blazing hot Saturday morning in Amenia the Monarchs Cave away with a 8-1 win over the Canton Crushers. The Old Vet Travis Hyatt took the mound and in untypical fashion he was a sharp as a marble! But luckily, and also untypical, the Monarchs played stellar defense behind Hyatt and through 5 giving up 9 hits Canton only came away with 1 earned run. Monarchs would also show some appreciation for Hyatt’s 14 years of service by giving him a little bit of run support! Things started off slow for Amenia picking up 1 run in the 2nd of a single by Hunter Goodacre, and another in the 3rd and 4th. In the bottom of the 6th Little Andy Thrasher hit a 2 rbi single followed up by Big Kenny “I hit Dingers” Shufelt earning his name with a big 2 run blast! Asked afterwards Shufelt said he was aiming for an ugly Philadelphia Eagles pop-up in Left! Leshawn Thrasher came in relief of Hyatt and got the last 6 outs. For Canton Riley and Jimmy Spirito had 2 hits apiece.

Bethlehem Plowboys 3    Burlington Hunters 2

Plow wins 3-2 in an entertaining game in Bethlehem. Plow was led by Jon Wilson with 2 hits and 2 RBI. After taking a 2-0 lead, Burlington tied the game in 4th on a 2 RBI double by LoRusso, Teddy Gravel singled and Jon Wilson’s double brought in the go ahead run in the bottom of the 4th. Jason Clayborn threw a gem for Bethlehem throwing a complete allowing 2 unearned runs striking out 7 and working quickly in the heat. Jay Pelletier for Burlington finally got an at bat and got a base knock with a broken wrist.

Shaking off the rust: SHS baseball alum is still going

Copyright By KEVIN ROBERTS Southington observer 8/29/19

Southington native Jeff Rustico has been catching since he was seven or eight years old. Rustico’s father and former coach, Dave, was also a catcher. “That’s all I know how to do,” he said.

Jim Gugliotti, an assistant coach under Dave Rustico when he was the head coach of Southington Post 72 American Legion baseball, had this to say about Jeff back in 2004 after the younger Rustico earned all-star accolades: “He’s the best catcher in the state. Hands down,” Gugliotti said to the Observer. “I’ve seen him kill so many rallies by throwing kids out on the bases that it’s unbelievable. He’s got an unbelievable arm. He’s a great hitter. He’s got it all. He’s smart, knows the game really well and he’s a good kid.”

Fast forward 15 years to 2019, and much of the same is still said about former Blue Knight. “When you talk about someone and say he’s a good player but an even better person, that’s Rustico,” said Ray Gulick, assistant coach of the Naugatuck Dogs in the Connecticut Tri-State Baseball League. According to his current coach, Rustico is willing to do what it takes to get on the field and help his team win. Now, at 33, he was slowed by an uncooperative back when the Tri-State season began. Catching wasn’t much of an option, but Rustico found another way to help out the Dogs. He became a pitcher, and a solid one at that. Rustico won the clinching game of the best-of-three Tri-State semifinal series against the Tri-Town Trojans. He pitched a nine-inning complete game in the 7-2 victory and gave up two runs on eight hits. He struck out 10 Trojan batters as the Dogs swept the semifinal series and reached the World Series. Postseason games in Tri-State are nine innings, seven in the regular season. “I think he pitched against Tri-Town early in the season, threw a complete game. I think we beat them 4-1,” Naugatuck manager Jay Harlamon said. “He’s just a veteran, knows how to mix up his pitches. He doesn’t throw real, real hard, keeps you off-balance, he just knows the game.” Rustico deferred to his teammates and their offensive output. “We were short on arms,” Rustico said when asked why he decided to pitch. “I feel like if you can just throw strikes in this league, we’ve got a really good defense. As you can see, they put a ton of balls in play. I think they had [eight hits], but our defense is phenomenal, so I just let them put the ball in play.”

The Dogs saw their run end against the Terryville Black Sox in the World Series, where they were swept, 2-0. Rustico pitched in relief in the second game of the series, a 5-1 loss, and gave up a run on two hits. He walked two and struck out one in 2.1 innings. Rustico walked twice and scored a run in the first game, a 4-2 loss. “I always said until I can’t walk anymore,” Rustico said about still playing the game at 33. “It’s getting there.”

At Southington High School, Rustico’s Blue Knights shared the CCC South Division title with Bristol Central in his senior year in 2004. He was selected to the 31st Connecticut Coaches Baseball All-Star Game and represented the state in the annual all-star game between Connecticut and Massachusetts. Rustico’s rise began the year before as a SHS junior, when he earned the Abate Family Most Improved Player Award. He was also a three-time Zone 1 all-star (2002, 2003, 2004) for the Post 72 Legion squad.

Rustico went on to play at American International College in Springfield, Mass., for four seasons from 2005-2008. Rustico’s ability as a catcher stood out, to say the least. As a freshman, he threw out 26 of 42 runners (61.9 percent) who tried to steal on him. Even Rustico’s “lowest” percentage of runners thrown out—38.7 (12-31) in his senior season in 2008 – is still much higher than the major league average. For his career, Rustico threw out 54.3 percent of those who tried to swipe a base (69-127). Rustico served as an assistant coach at AIC for a season in 2009, then had a one-game stint with the Worcester Tornadoes of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball in 2010. Rustico played for the Dohren Wild Farmers, a German professional baseball team, in 2011 and 2012. Rustico was a major offensive leader for Dohren in both seasons, and he compiled a .982 fielding percentage behind the plate in 2012.

Rustico caught on with the Naugatuck Dogs in 2013 and has been playing for them since. “I knew Murph [teammate Devin Murphy], I used to work with him, and he asked if I wanted to come play,” Rustico said. “We used to play together in the [Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League] on People’s. He left there, skip [Harlamon] had this team, and that’s all she wrote. A great group of guys, that’s kind of why I come out and still play.” Even if it means slipping on shoes that don’t have laces. Before his back began to bother him, Rustico was a force behind the plate in Tri-State. “He really knows the game. He was by far the best catcher in the league,” Harlamon said.

On a team with some muscular players, Rustico doesn’t stand out initially. “If you were picking a catcher out of our team, you wouldn’t pick Rustico, just by looking at him,” Gulick said. That perception changed when Rustico assumed his position behind home plate. “He’s the general behind the plate, he sees everything,” Harlamon said. “He sees things before they happen, he’s that kind of kid.”

As long as he’s able, Rustico will be there to help the Dogs be the best they can be. That’s all he’s known in his baseball life.

Thursday July 18

Tri-Town Trojans 8    Winsted Whalers 7

Game recap coming soon…

Blasius Chevrolet 14   Amenia Monarchs 2

Game recap coming soon…

Thunder Ducks/Canton Crushers

Game cancelled – Field unplayable.

Wednesday July 17

Games Wednesday Cancelled.