Tri-State Baseball League

No surprise as regular season title, and final playoff spots come down to final weekend
                      Copyright Kevin Roberts   Register-Citizen    07/22/11 
The Tri-State Baseball League’s regular season comes to a close on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and just like many of the other 75 seasons, this one is coming down to the final day.
“To be honest with you, it’s like this every single year,” Tri-State Commissioner Eddie Gadomski said Friday evening. Entering play Saturday, a pair of rivals are atop the league standings. The Litchfield Cowboys and Tri-Town Trojans both sit at 14-3, although Litchfield holds the tiebreaker, and the top playoff seed at the moment, thanks to a 3-2 win over Tri-Town earlier this season. Two teams, the Wolcott Scrappers and Waterbury Wild, are just behind the frontrunners in the third and fourth spots at 13-4. Wolcott manager Ryan Soucy said his team clinched a first round bye with Thursday’s comeback win over Naugatuck. Those top four teams will get first round byes if they keep their footing this weekend. The top 12 teams overall make the double elimination playoffs.
The Watertown Blaze are a solid No. 5 seed at 11-5. After that, the standings turn into a baseball version of the Wild West. The Naugatuck Dogs are sixth at 9-7, followed by three teams at 9-8 (Bethlehem Plowboys, 7th; Bristol Greeners, 8th; and Amenia Monarchs, 9th). The wild ride continues from 10-14. The Brass City Brew are 10th at 8-9, followed by the Torrington Rebels at No. 11 (8-9); the Terryville Black Sox at No. 12 (7-9); the Thomaston Threshers at No. 13 (7-10); and Winsted Whalers at No. 14 (6-10). “We have so many good teams in the league,” Gadomski said. “Our top 12 teams are all fantastic teams.” The Prospect Homers, Burlington Hunters and Lakeville Outlaws have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Winsted looks to move up with an 11 a.m. home game Saturday against Watertown. The Whalers suffered a tough setback Thursday evening when Bethlehem’s Matt Parlatto belted a two-run walkoff home run to give the Plowboys a 4-2 win. Sunday, the final day of the season, starts bright and early with a 9 a.m. game at Deland Field in Watertown between Watertown and Waterbury.
In the 11 a.m. games, top seeds and playoff lives will hang in the balance. After a close loss Friday night at Torrington, Terryville looks to stay in the playoff chase at the Old Terryville High School against Tri-Town. The Trojans are looking to keep their spot atop the league standings and grab one of the top two seeds.
At Litchfield High School, Litchfield hosts Brass City. The Cowboys want to clinch the league’s regular season title, while the Brew are looking to stay firmly in the top 12. At Thomaston High School, Thomaston plays host to Naugatuck. The Dogs look to keep home field advantage, while the Threshers are just looking for a way into the playoffs. If Winsted wins Saturday, Sunday’s home game against Prospect (Walker Field, 11 a.m.) could be for a playoff spot, though the Whalers do need help. At 1 p.m., Bristol and Amenia battle at Doc Bartlett Field in Amenia.
Sunday’s action concludes with a pair of late evening/night games. At 6 p.m., Wolcott hosts Bethlehem at the BAW Complex. At 7 p.m., Torrington faces Burlington at Fuessenich Park. The regular season concludes Monday when Terryville hosts Naugatuck at 5:45 p.m. at Old Terryville High School. Once the playoffs start on Saturday, Aug. 6, anything goes. “We’ve had four different champions in the last four seasons,” Gadomski said.