Playoffs: Saturday August 7

Winsted Whalers 5, Terryville Black Sox 2: The Winsted Whalers beat the Terryville Black Sox 5-2 in the first round of the Tri-State Baseball League playoffs Saturday afternoon. Non-scorekeeping fans at Winsted’s Walker Field might have thought the scoring gap was wider. Some of the impressive differences Saturday between No. 7 Winsted (14-9) and No. 10 Terryville (11-12) never made it to the scoreboard. For instance, Winsted loaded the bases in four of the first five innings, coming away with single runs in the first and second innings, then three in the fourth and none in the fifth. Meanwhile, complete-game Whaler pitcher Adam Piechowski (9 innings, 2 earned runs 7 hits, 4 walks) struck out at least every third batter he faced, often more, on his way to 16 strikeouts for the game.
More often than not, when Piechowski didn’t get the K, his defense came up with the ball, even when it required a great play. The Whalers made no errors; Terryville committed four. The first two Black Sox miscues led directly to Winsted runs; when the last two came, in the fourth and the seventh innings, the Whalers’ control of the game seemed too firm for them to matter. So nobody complained, with the possible exception of a few Winsted fans who might have thought the score should be 13-2. Winsted left 11 runners stranded in the first five innings; nevertheless, like millionaires bilked at the county fair, the Whalers could afford to be cheerful.
“It was a great team effort,” beamed Coach D.J. Reese. “I can’t ask for anything more. We had a great practice on Thursday; everybody on the team executed today.” “We were a little rusty,” said Terryville player/coach George Newsome. “We had a lot of errors in the field; we’ve had a two-week layoff.” Piechowski struck out the first two batters he faced; then Terryville’s Sam McNeil (2-for-4, RBI double) dispelled any notion that the Gilbert School graduate who’s had numerous major league conversations, is invincible. “I know I can throw strikes,” Piechowski said. “I’ve got a good defense behind me. We played real good D the second half of the season.”
McNeil grounded a hit through the right side; Pat Norton won a full count battle with a walk. But another strikeout seemed always in reach. This time, a slider caught Terryville’s third out looking. Then the Whalers began their flirt with lots of runs. Black Sox lefty Bill Armstrong (4 innings, 3 earned runs, 9 hits, 5 strikeouts, 4 walks) walked leadoff hitter Don Crossman in the bottom of the first. Zac Tuozzo, filling in for injured Ricky Langer with a perfect day at the plate (4-for-4, walk) and at shortstop, got his first hit up the middle. Charlie Putnam hit into a fielder’s choice, but Crossman scored on a bad Terryville throw, trying for the double play. Chris Davidson (2-for-5, RBI double) and Joel Castillo singled the bases full. That’s where they stayed.
Terryville tied the score in the second, 1-1, on a leadoff walk by Jim Mischke and singles by Eric Baba and Pat Mulcahy. Winsted was back in the lead with a leadoff Terryville two-base error in the bottom of the second, followed by singles from Jeoff Langill and Tuozzo (RBI) and a walk to Putnam. This time, the bases were full with just one out. The result was the same, but the Whalers had the lead; this time, it wouldn’t go away. Winsted scored three runs in the fourth inning and still left the bases full. Four straight one-out hits by Crossman, Tuozzo, Putnam (RBI) and Davidson (RBI double) scored two runs. Two straight walks scored the third, 5-1.
The Black Sox came back for another run in the top of the eighth. Tuozzo started the inning with a great play at short for the first out. But Terryville’s Pat Mulcahy walked, Kevin Larose beat out a bunt. Then, with two outs, McNeil blasted a double to left center field. Winsted’s Justin Lovetere caught up with it while Mulcahy crossed the plate, then threw a strike to Tuozzo at short to Chance Reuger at the plate to catch Larose by a step, trying for the second run. Five-two seemed awfully close; 5-3 would have seemed amazing. Even so, it’s not likely it would have scared the Whalers. On Saturday, Winsted had base runners and strikeouts to spare.
Tri-Town Trojans 14, Tribury Pavers 1: The #5 Tri-Town Trojans continued to pound away on offense with a 14-1 thrashing of the No. 12 Tribury Pavers in the first round of the Tri-State Baseball League Playoffs Saturday afternoon at Community Field. Landon Gardella led the way for Tri-Town (14-9), going 4-for-3 with three doubles, three RBI and two runs scored. Connor Murray went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Danny McCarty added a 2-for-4 day that included a double, run batted in, and run scored. Casey McDonald, Steve Price, Kyle Osolin, Troy Kobylarz, Joe Bunnell and Jon Smart drove in a run apiece for the Trojans, who advance to play the fourth-seeded Wolcott tonight at 7:30 at the BAW Complex in Wolcott. Andy Dooley picked up the win on the mound.
Tribury (10-13) was led by Dan Perez, who went 2-for-4 with the lone RBI. Tyler Elmore and Russell Stutsky each added two hits. Taylor Searles scored the only run for the Pavers, who play in an elimination game Wednesday in the losers bracket.
Bristol Greeners 7, Amenia Monarchs 2: #8 seed Bristol jump out to quick 3-0 lead after the first inning, then extended it further with single runs in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings in a win over #9 seed Amenia at Bristol Eastern High School. Doug Beaudoin went 3-for-4 with a run batted in for the Greeners in the win. Dan Rosa homered in the bottom of the fifth inning and Mike Hay pitched a complete game, giving up five hits while striking out four. Bristol advances to face top-seeded Bethlehem at 11:00 a.m. today at Gallop Field in Bethlehem. Josh Wolinski was 2-for-4 for the Monarchs (12-11 in the loss. Matt Pomeisl doubled in the first inning. Brody Fontaine took the loss for Amenia, which plays Wednesday in an elimination game in the losers bracket.
Naugatuck Dogs 9, Waterbury Wild 0: Game recap coming soon…
Sunday August 8th:
Bristol     at     Bethlehem     11:00am  Gallop Field – Bethlehem
Tri-Town    at     Wolcott        7:30pm  BAW Complex – Wolcott
Monday August 9th:
Winsted     at     Watertown      5:30pm  Deland Field – Watertown
Naugatuck   at     Brass City     5:30pm  Bucks Hill Park – Waterbury
NOTE: All 12 teams will play Wednesday August 11th.