Seventeen teams will battle for the right to be called “League Champion” when the Tri-State Baseball League opens play for its 86th season on Sunday May 19. The Tri-Town Trojans will be back to defend their 2018 crown -but just how hard will it be for the Trojans to repeat? Picking a pre-season winner is no lock as Tri-State has seen nine different league champions in the past twelve seasons. The Trojans will be in the mix after appearing in seven of the previous nine Tri-State World Series. Head Coach Danny McCarty returns a veteran lineup for 2019 that also has two AABC State Championships under their belt.
On their coat tails are the 2018 AABC co-State Champs as Blasius Chevrolet and the Terryville Black Sox both qualified to advance to the Stan Musial Northeast World Series last year. Weather prevented a one game state championship to be played but both teams earned victories at the World Series level with Terryville being the runner-up in the tournament which was held in MA. Tri-State sent three teams into last years’ State tournament and had the final three teams standing before Blasius eliminated the Naugatuck Dogs. Naugy has three state championships under their belt and a Tri-State league championship and is sure to be in the hunt again this season.
First year coach Brooks Belter led the Litchfield Cowboys to a regular season #4 seed and will be sure to contend again this year. The Cowboys do own three Tri-State Championships over the past eight seasons. Two of the surprise teams in 2018 were the Bristol Greeners, coached by AJ Lorenzetti and the Valley Thunder, coached by John Griffin, and both teams have high expectations heading into 2019. First year coach Rich Revere takes over the legendary Bethlehem Plowboys, who advanced to the semi-finals of the 2018 Tri-State playoffs. Long-time standouts Amenia Monarchs, and Winsted Whalers look to advance deeper into this years’ playoffs as well.
First year coach Bob Warren takes over the Wolcott Franchise with a young team drawing from very successful farm teams in Wolcott High School and the Wolcott Mickey Mantle; with both teams having had recent success in their post season tournaments. Ben Brown takes the reigns for the Tribury Cave who have qualified for the playoffs each of the past three seasons. The Southington 66ers have also qualified for the playoffs each year of existence in the Tri-State league and look to be a factor in 2019 as well. The Burlington Hunters, Canton Crushers, and Torrington Rebels have their sights set for a return to the playoffs in 2019. The East Mountain Cougars have folded following the 2018 season but the league welcomes the Northwest Orioles as the seventeenth entry into the league. Northwest will be managed by Chris Brady and will play their home games at Housatonic Valley Regional High School.
Save the Date – Saturday June 29 at 2:30pm Fuessenich Park in Torrington as the Tri-State League will hold its annual All-Star game teaming up with FOCUS Center for Autism to bring awareness and raise funds for the charity. There will be a first pitch ceremony on the field and all donations taken that day will be given to FOCUS. The AABC state tournament will be held from Sunday July 28 – Thursday August 1st. The Stan Musial World Series for 2019 will be returning to CT with all games played at Municipal Stadium and Fuessenich Park. Dates are set for Thursday August 8 – Sunday August 11. Tri-State commissioner Ed Gadomski will serve as tournament director for both the State tourney and Stan Musial World Series. The 12 team league playoffs begins end of July and finishes up the season with the Tri-State World Series from August 20-22. Details on the entire season can be found on the Tri-State league website: TristatebaseballCT.com
Tri-State would like to announce its 2018 award winners and All-Star team:
MVP: Ryan Plourde (Naugatuck)
Silver Slugger: Tony Patane (Terryville)
Cy Young: Kody Kerski (Terryville)
All-Star team: Catcher: Landon Gardella (Tri-Town) First Base: Devin Murphy (Naugatuck) Second Base: Matt Warren (Wolcott) Shortstop: Danny McCarty (Tri-Town) Third Base: Kyle Skidmore (Terryville) Outfield: Chris Callahan (Terryville) Outfield Chris Ayer (Terryville) Outfield Shane Beirfeldt (Tri-Town) Des. Hitter Sam Shurberg (Tri-Town) Pitcher: Miles Scribner (Tri-Town)
Sunday May 19
Southington 66ers vs Blasius Chevrolet 10am Hotchkiss Field
Amenia Monarchs vs Terryville Black Sox 11am Old Terryville HS
Bristol Greeners vs Tri-Town Trojans 11am Community Field
Wolcott Scrappers vs Litchfield Cowboys 11am Litchfield HS
Naugatuck Dogs vs Bethlehem Plowboys 11am Gallup Field
Tribury Cave vs Valley Thunder 12pm Tyrell MS
Winsted Whalers vs Canton Crushers 5pm Bowdoin Field
Burlington Hunters vs Torrington Rebels 6pm Fuessenich Park
NOTE: Northwest Orioles will make their debut on Tuesday May 28