FIVE shutouts tossed on the day
Tri-Town Trojans 7 Bethlehem Plowboys 0
Tri-Town Trojans felt like they were on the right track heading into Thursday evening’s key Tri-State League game against the Bethlehem Plowboys at Litchfield High School. Tri-Town rode a complete game from Miles Scribner and a three-run homer from Danny McCarty to a 7-0 win. The Trojans are 7-3. The Plowboys fall to 5-5 with a suspended game from Wednesday evening against the Thomaston Threshers that still needs to be completed.
“I think when we’re more loose, we play better,” McCarty said. “We’re just a bunch of average Joes playing baseball.” Tri-Town manager Ryan McDonald also noticed that the team was more loose. “It’s clicking,” McDonald said. “We’re pitching. We’re not giving up any runs. We’re hitting the ball.” The pitching side of Thursday’s equation came from Scribner, who improved to 5-0 on the season. The Western Connecticut State right-hander baffled the Bethlehem hitters, striking out nine while walking just one. Five of the punch-outs were on called third strikes, including all three outs in the second inning. Scribner gave up a leadoff single to Kevin Pettit, then proceeded to get Kyle Capaldo, Dan Goscinski and Taylor Searles on called third strikes.
“I would usually throw a fastball, then two curveballs,” Scribner said. “They just kept looking at them, so I just kept throwing them.”To add to the confusion, when a Plowboy batter was thinking curveball, Scribner pumped in a fastball, or vise versa. “If his fastball isn’t there, his curveball is,” McDonald said. The Trojans provided the only offense Scribner needed in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Connor Murray reached first when his grounder took a tough hop and skipped off of Capaldo at shortstop. After a walk to Nick Lahoud, Casey McDonald grounded to third. The throw from third was wild, allowing Murray to score the game’s first run. Lahoud moved up to third and McDonald reached second on the error. After a tough at bat, the left-hand hitting McCarty got a pitch he liked from right-hander Rob Geraci and slammed it into the trees in right center field for a three-run home run and a 4-0 lead. “It was alright,” McCarty said of his homer. “I didn’t think I got all of it.” “That was all of it,” teammate Steve Price said with a laugh as he walked out of the dugout.
The Trojans tacked on a run in the fifth when Kyle Osolin drove in McCarty with a bloop single to center. Three Plowboy errors in the sixth led to two more runs for Tri-Town. Bethlehem made five errors in the game. The Plowboys had a chance to get to Scribner early. Searles led off the game by rifling a single to right field. Nick Chiovitti followed with a bloop just over shortstop for another single. Scribner struck out Tony Geraci for the first out, but Matt Parlato singled sharply the other way to right, loading the bases for Dave Greene. Scribner didn’t seemed fazed by the early pressure. He struck out Greene and got Pat McGee to ground into a force play to end the threat. “I kind of got here late, so I wasn’t really loose,” Scribner said, adding that he got stuck in traffic on the way to the field.
Scribner had an answer for every rally that Bethlehem attempted Thursday. In the first inning, it was the strikeout and the force out. In the second, it was three straight strikeouts after a leadoff single. A two-out single in the third was stranded with a strikeout. In the sixth, a leadoff single was thwarted by a pop up to Scribner, a called third strike, and a grounder back to Scribner. In the final inning, Scribner picked up his ninth and final strikeout after a two-out walk. Poor hitting and sloppy defense again haunted the Plowboys. Before the game, Parlato implored his teammates to play a style of ball that was more like Bethlehem baseball. Thanks to Scribner, and a tough day on defense, the Plowboys were unable to do that.
Bethlehem looks for redemption this evening at Gallup Field against the Waterbury Wild. Tri-Town takes a few days off, then resumes play at home against the Amenia Monarchs on Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. The game will be played at either Litchfield High School or Community Field. Community Field has undergone renovations recently, but is close to reopening.
Litchfield Cowboys 10 Torrington Rebels 2
“There’s a reason why they’re 10-0,” explained one of the Torrington Rebels to a Tri-State baseball fan at Fuessenich Park before Litchfield’s 10-2 win made the Cowboys 11-0 Thursday evening. “We play solid D; we hit the ball; and our pitcher didn’t allow leadoff runners to reach base,” said Litchfield player/coach Chris Beach. The Cowboys average nearly 10 runs a game. Solid defense and that kind of offensive production automatically improves an already-good pitching staff. “I have confidence in the team; I just try to throw strikes,” said complete-game winner Kyle Hawes (7 innings, 2 earned runs, 8 hits, 4 strikeouts, 3 walks), a lefthander who graduated from Wamogo in 1998.
“Their pitcher did great,” said Torrington player/coach Curtis Anthony, who took a turn on the mound himself, trying to stop Litchfield’s scoring. It was a daunting task. Rebel lefthander Ian Pierce started the game. Litchfield leadoff batter Ed Pequinot blasted the second pitch Pierce threw over the left field fence into the river beyond. “You couldn’t ask for a better start,” smiled Litchfield’s Hawes, his confidence building before he even stepped on the mound.
Pierce recovered beautifully, for two quick outs. Then the Cowboys began again: a hit by Beach (2-for-4, 2 runs scored), two walks and a two-run single by Lee McKenna at the beginning of a perfect night at bat (4-for-4, 4 RBI, 2 runs). “This is only my sixth game of the season,” said McKenna. “We have such a good team, I was worried I wasn’t going to crack the lineup.” Not to worry. McKenna tees off from the No. 7 slot in the batting order, an estimate of how good the batters are above him and how fearsome the Cowboy lineup is throughout. Nevertheless, Anthony was right. Torrington had chances. The chances just disappeared.
The bottom of the first inning was a good example. Down 3-0 already, the Rebels suffered two quick outs. Then Anthony lined a single to left; Dave Alexander followed with a solid double. Anthony tried to get home on the hit. Pequinot, in center field, threw a strike to the plate to beat him. In the second inning, leadoff hits by Greg Bodnar (2-for-3) and Angelo Calabrese paled with a Cowboy double play. Pierce, too, escaped disaster in the second. In the top of the inning, he loaded the bases on a hit by Ben Murphy (2-for-3) and two walks, then put up a strikeout for the third out before the Cowboys could add to their total.
Mistakes against the Cowboys are deadly this summer. Pierce hit leadoff batter Collin Dickinson (2 runs scored) in the top of the third. Dickinson stole second; McKenna drove him home. The Rebels got on the board in the bottom of the third, on a hit by Chris Beck, Litchfield’s only error and a sac fly by Anthony. Reliever Austin Poucher held the Cowboys down briefly. Then they were back for one run in the fifth, on hits by McKenna and Pequinot (2-for-4, 2 RBI); a four run explosion in the sixth, on three Torrington errors, a walk and hits by Mike Jeanfavre, McKenna and Murphy (2 RBI single); and a final run in the seventh on hits by Adam Claire and Jeanfavre (2-for-2, 2 RBI).
Torrington made a last gasp in the bottom of the seventh when Matt Harrington scored on a walk, steal and RBI single by Cody Santore (2-for-4). The Rebels, 6-5, tried. So has everyone else Litchfield has played. There are lots of reasons the Cowboys are 11-0, the only undefeated team left in the league.
Amenia Monarchs 4 Watertown Blaze 0
Reliever turned starter for a day Andrew Wolinski fired a complete game in a shutout win over Watertown at Doc Bartlett Field in Amenia. Wolinski scattered four hits, struck out five and walked four. “Wolinski did a good job,” Monarchs manager Tom Downey said. Ken Shufelt had a solid day on offense and defense. Shufelt had two hits, including a solo homer in the sixth that made the score 4-0. Shufelt also played great at first base, making several solid plays, including a diving catch on a line drive over the first base bag. “[Watertown] hit the ball,” Downey said. “We played good defense.” Jimmy Robertson added two hits and two RBI for Amenia, which is looking for consistency with a young team that is 5-6, Downey said. Chris Comeau doubled for Watertown (5-4).
Wolcott Scrappers 11 Winsted Whalers 0
Mike Vaccarelli had four hits to lead a 15-hit attack for Wolcott in a thrashing of undermanned Winsted at the BAW Complex in Wolcott. Vaccarelli went 4 for 4 with a double, two runs scored, and a run batted in. Ryan Soucy had two hits and three RBI while Adam LaCapra added two hits and two RBI. Kyle Dean added a two-run double while Ed Belval also doubled for the Scrappers (9-1). On the mound, Erik Sehnal put up a dominating effort, striking out 15 while scattering three hits in a complete game. He walked just one batter. “He was throwing hard,” Soucy said, adding that Sehnal’s curve had good bite to it. The Whalers are 4-5.
Thomaston Threshers 11 Lakeville Outlaws 0
Thomaston pounded away for seven runs in the first inning of a win over Lakeville at Thomaston High School. Jay Lafontaine had two singles and two RBI while Jordan Gomes added a two-run single for the Threshers (4-5). Rob McHugh added a double and run batted in. Justin Chere threw the first six innings, giving up five hits while striking out seven. Ramon Santiago threw a scoreless seventh. Lakeville is 0-11.
Naugatuck Dogs 8 Prospect Homers 0
Naugy beat Prospect 8-0 as Jeff Sturm tossed a complete game shutout going 7 innings allowing only 2 hits and 1 hit batter while striking out 8. Mackey Cianciolo led the dogs at the plate going 3-3 with a double and an RBI. Matt Kane went 2-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBI while Ryan Russell added 2 RBI and a run scored. Mike Valente went 1-2 at the plate for Prospect and pitched the distance taking the loss. Naugy moves to 6-4 while Prospect is 2-10.
Thursday June 30
FIVE shutouts tossed on the day