Thursday July 21

Bethlehem wins on Parlatto walk-off
In a Tri-State League baseball game that nobody deserved to lose Thursday evening, Bethlehem’s Matt Parlatto grabbed the win with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning in fading light at Gallup Field. With just one more weekend left in the regular season, the 4-2 win made the Plowboys (9-8) feel good about their chances of finishing among the 18-team league’s 12 playoff qualifiers. The loss cranked the pressure on the Whalers (6-10).
“We have to win out the weekend, then hope for some luck,” said manager D.J. Reese, whose team’s last two regular-season games come Saturday against Watertown and Sunday against Prospect. The Plowboys, with just one more regular-season game left, against Wolcott Sunday, can celebrate Thursday’s win for a long time.“We needed the win really bad for the playoffs,” said player/coach Tony Geraci. “Anytime you can beat (Winsted pitcher) Adam Piechowski, you feel good about it.”
For most of the eight innings before Parlatto’s dramatic finish, each starting pitcher deserved to win. Bethlehem’s Rob Geraci (1 unearned run, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks) gave up a single to Winsted’s Darrin Gould in the first inning, then no-hit the Whalers for the rest of his 5 2/3 innings of work. Piechowski (7.1 innings, 2 earned runs, 6 hits, 4 strikeouts, 3 walks) gave up a hit in the second to Tony Geraci (2-for-4) and another in the third, to Eric O’Toole as the only offensive windows for the Plowboys.
From great pitching to great defensive plays, the 0-0 score after four-and-a-half innings seemed destined to stay right there in the sweltering heat. Behind Geraci, the Plowboys began with an infield error, then turned a routine double play, 4-6-3, for the first two outs of the game. Two innings later, Bethlehem’s Jon Conlon made another double play anything but conventional in right field. With one out and Whaler Gould on first with a walk, Charlie Putnam blasted a hit to right center that seemed sure to bring extra bases if it didn’t clear the fence. Conlon, with a great jump off Putnam’s bat, caught up with it at full sprint at the fence. By then, Gould rounded third, easy pickings for the surprise play at first.
An inning later, Plowboy center fielder Eric O’Toole closed out the top of the fifth with two spectacular catches in a row. If anyone was going to score in this game, he’d have to scratch it out. The Plowboys did just that in the bottom of the fifth. Lead-off batter Kevin Pettit was hit by a pitch, then replaced by Kyle Capaldo on first base. Dan Goscinski sacrificed Capaldo to second; a wild pickoff throw got him to third; an infield error sent him home for the game’s first run. With one out, Nick Chiovitti reached on a fielder’s choice. A single to right by Aaron Granahan pushed him to second. Then a wild throw to third went out of play, giving Choiovitti two extra bases and a two-run Plowboy lead. In this game, that seemed like a lock. It wasn’t. Winsted, too, can scratch.
Chance Reuger reached on a one-out error in the top of the sixth, then got home on a walk and an RBI single by Don Crossman. Next inning, with Bethlehem reliever Tim Bessette on the mound, Putnam turned a one-out walk into the tying run on a hit by Joel Castillo and another Plowboy error. “You never want to go out of the game,” said Rob Geraci, “but I was coming up on the fourth time facing the top of their order. It was time for another look.” Geraci is a righty; Bessette is a lefty. Piechowski, a righty, labored on himself, squelching Bethlehem’s hopes of breaking the tie in regulation, with two strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh. When Bessette made it through the top of the eighth against Winsted, the umpires announced this inning would be the last.
Granahan began the bottom of the eighth with a walk. Winsted second baseman Gould pulled in a pop-up to short center field for one out. Then, in the dim light against flame-thrower Piechowski, Parlatto stepped to the plate. “They had a white ball,” grinned Parlatto. Granahan stole second on the previous batter, relieving a little pressure for Parlatto. “With first base open, I figured Adam would throw me a curve,” Parlatto said. “He was tough on me all game, but I was waiting for the curve and I got it.” The bender hung just long enough to feel the fat part of Parlatto’s bat, sailing it over the left field fence. “I got lucky,” he grinned. Call the game lucky. If somebody was going to win this one, it deserved to be just as decisive a stroke as Parlatto’s.
Wolcott goes from no-no to victory
In a wild twist, the Wolcott Scrappers went from being no-hit to beating the Naugatuck Dogs 3-2 in nine innings in a Thursday night Tri-State League game at the BAW Complex. With the win, Wolcott (13-4) clinched a first round bye in the upcoming playoffs. “It was just more intense because we were being no-hit,” Scrappers manager Ryan Soucy said.
Adam LaCapra broke up Jeff Sterm’s no-hitter with a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh. A Mike Vaccarelli single put runners on first and third with nobody out. Erik Sehnal’s single made it 2-1. After a fly out and fielder’s choice put runners on first and third with two outs, Soucy beat out an infield single to short that deflected off the mound to tie the game at 2.
Naugatuck (9-7) had scored two runs off Zach Sehnal to take a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh. In the bottom of the ninth, Vaccarelli led off with a single, stole second, then reached third on a grounder. With the infield and outfield in, Jason Miller drove the ball over the left fielder’s head for the game-winning hit. The first run for the Dogs came when Jamie Kimberly led off with a triple, then scored when the throw to third sailed into the stands. Ken Graveline’s two-out single later in the inning brought in Matt Cain to make it 2-0. Sterm threw the whole game for Naugatuck.
Waterbury Wild   7    Thomaston Threshers   3
Waterbury’s Julian Cruz pitched 5 innings, allowing just one earned run to pick up the win in Waterbury Thursday evening. Christian Cuevas had a triple and double; Nick Boucher added two hits. Nick Urso had two hits for Thomaston. Waterbury improves to 13-4. Thomaston falls to 7-10.
Amenia Monarchs    5    Terryville Black Sox   4
Brotherly Love! The Monarchs, with just three hits for the game, pulled out three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for the win at Doc Bartlett Field Thursday evening. Amenia pitcher Andrew Wolinski battled through all seven innings in the heat. With Terryville runners on base every inning, the Black Sox scored led 3-1 after five innings. Tyler Wenz, on the mound for Terryville, had the Monarchs under control for five innings. Amenia scored another run in the sixth; Terryville scored one more in the top of the seventh. Then, down 4-2, in the bottom of the seventh, the Monarchs drew a walk, hit batter and an error to load the bases. Josh Wolinski, celebrating his 20th birthday, stood up, smashing a bases-clearing triple for the win to give his brother Andrew the victory on the mound. Amenia is 9-8; Terryville is 7-8.
Tri-Town Trojans   6   Brass City Brew   4
Game recap coming soon…
Watertown Blaze   10    Burlington Hunters   4
Game recap coming soon…