Rounds 1,2,3 Playoff Recaps

**Please NOTE: Rainout date is the very next day!! All games must complete 9 innings of play. Any game started will be a suspended game if 9 innings are not completed, regardless of how many innings you get in.
Thursday August 2: First Round – elimination game
Watertown Blaze  13  Burlington Hunters  0
Jay Spear led Watertown with four hits in a first round victory over Burlington. Adam Roderick recorded three hits, including a triple, for the Blaze and Conner McEvoy added two hits and a double. Chris Comeau chipped in with a triple, Mike Mastrocola and Chris Ayer each had doubles.
Winsted Whalers  3  Tri-Town Trojans  2
Adam Piechowski went the distance throwing all 9 innings giving up 5 hits, 2 BB, and 0 earned runs as Winsted squeeked out a win over Tri-Town. Ben Schumacher had an inside-the-park HR in the 2nd inning and later in the game scored on a sac fly by Chester Werner. Chance Rueger’s RBI single scored Drew McCarthy with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Tri-Town scored its two runs on a two base error in the 2nd inning. Miles Scribner was the hard luck loser for Tri-Town giving up just 2 earned runs over 8 innings.
Saturday August 4:  Wildcard – elimination game
Watertown Blaze  23  Terryville Black Sox  6
Terryille had five missing players, due to vacations, early college departures and injuries, included Terryville’s three, four and five hitters in the lineup. Pitching was so depleted that Dave Alacorn, still recovering from Tommy John surgery, got the start. Alacorn left after two innings, trailing 5-0. From there, the game got worse, better, then, finally horrible for Terryville.
On the other side, Watertown starter Chris Comeau posted zeroes for the first three-and-a-half innings while the Blaze doubled its lead, 10-0, with another five-run explosion in the top of the fourth inning. Then, in the bottom of the inning, the end-of-season infection reached Watertown. The Black Sox came up with six runs on three hits, three walks and two errors, suddenly making a game of it.
It didn’t last. The Blaze tagged two more runs to its lead in the fifth and sixth, then put up 11 runs in the top of the seventh, highlighted by a grand slam home run by Jay Spear (3-for-4, 5 RBI, 2 runs scored). The league is just too good to play depleted and hurt, regardless of the heart involved. Terryville asked for and got permission to end it after seven innings. While Watertown pitchers Comeau, Spear and Mike Mastracola kept the Black Sox hit total to four, Blaze sluggers besides Spear included Kyle Tehan (5-for-6, double, 2 RBI, 4 runs scored); Mastracola (2-for-4, 4 RBI, 3 runs scored); John Lovetere (4-for-4, double, 2 RBI, 2 runs scored; and Ferdinand Augusto (3-for-6, 2 RBI, run scored).
Bristol Greeners  4  Winsted Whalers  3 
 The Greeners defeated the Whalers 4-3 in a wildcard round playoff game at Fuessenich Park. Matt Niedzwiecki picked up the win for Bristol, going seven innings and allowing just 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 10. “I went out there and played my game — throw strikes,” said Niedzwiecki, whose strikes come from a fastball, curve, changeup and splitter. Bryan Wybreck slammed the door in the eighth and ninth.
The Greeners were led offensively by Dave Casanova (2-5, run scored, SB), Matt Godbout (2-4, RBI, run scored), and Marco Ross (1-4, 2 RBI). “We have a solid core of guys,” said Bristol player/coach Shawn Mirmina. “Our pitching and defense have been solid all year. We just have to get our bats coming around.”
 Austin Brochu took the loss for Winsted, allowing 4 runs over seven innings on 8 hits while striking out 5. Chance Rueger blasted a solo home run for the Whalers, while Zac Reinsdorf and Charlie Putnam each added RBI singles. “We played well,” said Winsted coach D.J. Reese. “We just ran into a good team. They pitched well.”
Sunday August 5:Best of Three’ series
Bethlehem Plowboys 6   Bristol Greeners 3
Bethlehem, the top seed in the North Division, got off to a good start in its best-of-three division semifinal series with a 6-3 win over the No. 4 Bristol Greeners at Gallup Field in Bethlehem. Jason Krajeski fired away for eight innings of three-run ball to pick up the victory. Mike Johnston pitched the ninth for the save for Bethlehem, which plays Bristol in Game 2 at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Torrington’s Fuessenich Park. Ted Gravel had two hits and a run batted in for the Plowboys. Dave Casanova had two hits, including a double, for the Greeners. Bethlehem head coach Tony Geraci noted that the grounds crew did a “phenomenal job” getting the field ready for play after a one-hour rain delay.
Two other Tri-State games weren’t so lucky. The Waterbury Wild and Watertown Blaze will play Game 1 of their series tonight at 6 at Waterville Park in Waterbury. The Brass City Brew and Wolcott Scrappers meet in Game 1 of their series tonight at 7 at Waterbury’s Bucks Hill Park.
Litchfield Cowboys 3  Amenia Monarchs 1
The Litchfield Cowboys weathered two storms and a quality lefthander against their own pair of quality lefties for a 3-1 win over Amenia in the first playoff game in their best-of-three Tri-State Baseball League playoff series with the Monarchs Sunday afternoon.
“Two good pitchers went at it,” said Amenia manager Tom Downey. “They got a couple of hits when they needed them; we didn’t. That was the story of the game.”
“It’s a big one for us,” said Litchfield’s Chris Blazek, the third lefthander in the game after Amenia’s Jim Pomeisl and Litchfield’s Joey Serafin battled for eight innings, giving up just 9 hits between them (5-4 Amenia).
“If we can get them (Tuesday at Amenia), then we’re in the driver’s seat,” said Blazek, discussing a new league format in which the second and third seeds play a best-of-three series in each division while the wildcard champions and the No. 1 seeds go at it in two other best-of-three series.
Litchfield (17-4), the defending Tri-State champion, is the No. 2 seed in the league’s North Division. Amenia, 12-9, is No. 3. Sunday’s game figured to be a pitcher’s duel from the minute Pomeisl and Serafin began warming up on opposite sides of the field. Pomeisl and many of his teammates have played together for seven years in the Tri-State League and another four years with Amenia Connie Mack before that. “They’ve improved together over the years,” smiled Coach Downey. Serafin and Blazek spent time with MLB organizations after pitching for the University of Vermont. “We’ve been waiting all year to put the Vermont connection into a game,” grinned Blazek. Sunday, the significant connections were quality pitches delivered from left hands. Each team had a chance to strike early and missed it.
Amenia’s Tom Downey Jr. and Tom Moore had back-to-back two-out hits in the top of the first inning against Serafin. Blazek, playing right field, and designated hitter Chris Beach hit back-to-back blasts deep into center field for outs in the bottom of the inning. Serafin, finishing his eight innings with 12 strikeouts, warmed up with three up, three down in the top of the second, all Ks.
Pomeisl, with fewer strikeouts (four) grooved instead on producing infield grounders. Like Serafin, he found it in the second inning: three up, three down, on an opening strikeout, then two ground-outs.
In the top of the third, Josh Wolinski, number one in the Amenia batting order, timed a Serafin fastball for a one-out solo home run. “The count was 2-0 and everybody in the park knew it was going to be a fastball,” said Serafin. The 1-0 lead held for two-and-a-half innings as Pomeisl gave up just one hit through the first five innings, a two-out double to Kyle Robinson in the third. If Pomeisl had any problems, it was location (8 walks for the game). A walk to Dylan Stiles in the third inning, just before Robinson’s double, almost ended in a tie. Robinson’s shot went deep to right field. Stiles, starting from first, hustled around third and headed for home. A perfect relay from Dave Mosher to Ken Shufelt to Tom Moore had Moore waiting for Stiles at the plate for the tag. Now, in the bottom of the sixth, Litchfield’s leadoff batter, Ed Pequignot, drew a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a fly to right. With two outs, Colin Dickinson snaked a grounder up the middle for the tying run.
Next inning, Litchfield’s Karl Quist led off with another walk. Kyle Weaver sacrificed him to second. Caleb Buck singled him to third. Robinson hit into a fielder’s choice at second, bringing Quist in for the lead, 2-1. A final lead-off walk, to Blazek in the bottom of the eighth, padded the lead for Litchfield’s lefties. Beach doubled to the fence in dead center field for the RBI, 3-1. The Monarchs made a final stab in the top of the eighth, right after a rain delay. Steve Lynehan walked, went to second on a single by Moore and third on a groundout. A fly to right ended the threat. Blazek, on the mound in the top of the ninth, plugged in the Vermont connection. It ended the threat for good: strikeout, groundout, strikeout.
Tuesday’s game begins at 7 p.m. at Amenia’s Doc Bartlett Field.
Watertown                                            vs     Waterbury  (South #1)       Rained Out
Brass City (South #2)                        vs     Wolcott       (South #3)       Rained Out
Waterbury Wild 2  Watertown Blaze 0
Jim Dimon threw a no-hitter and struck out 14 in a 2-0 win for the Waterbury Wild over the Watertown Blaze in the first game of a best-of-three Tri-State Baseball League South Division semifinal series on Monday night at Waterville Park.
Dimon allowed just two baserunners over nine innings. Jack DiBiase provided the offense for Waterbury, the South Division’s top seed, with a two-run home run. Jay Spear pitched well in defeat for Watertown, the No. 5 seed. The teams will play Game 2 on Wednesday night at 7 at Fuessenich Park.
Brass City Brew 1  Wolcott Scrappers 0
In a pitchers’ duel between Brass City’s Kellen Croce and Wolcott’s Zach Sehnal, Paul Novakowski’s home run was the difference for the Brew in a Game 1 win at Bucks Hill Park in Waterbury. Novakowski hit the first pitch he saw from Sehnal over the center field wall for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Croce gave up three hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked four. Gary Novakowski pitched the final two innings for the save for Brass City, the No. 2 seed in the South Division. Sehnal went eight innings and gave up one run on two hits for Wolcott, the South Division’s No. 3 seed. He struck out seven and walked one. The two teams hook up again on Wednesday night at 7:45 at the BAW Complex in Wolcott.
Tuesday August 7:   Game #2
Bethlehem Plowboys 8   Bristol Greeners  3       
Bristol Greener lefthander Bryan Wyrebek notched 18 strikeouts in a Tri-State Baseball League playoff game against the North Division’s No. 1 seed Bethlehem Plowboys Tuesday evening in a best-of-three series elimination game at Fuessenich Park. The strikeouts weren’t enough.
The Plowboys (18-3) got hits when they needed them in one big inning for the lead, tacked on another run late, then took advantage of a short-rest reliever for an 8-3 win that ended No. 4 Bristol’s season. Through the game’s first eight innings, great pitching on both sides kept the hit total at nine (5-4 Bethlehem). The Greeners, who finish 12-12, jumped on Bethlehem starter Tyler Erickson (5.1 innings, 2 earned runs, 3 hits, 5 strikeouts, 1 walk) in the bottom of the first inning.
Dave Casanova (2-for-4) and Tim Georgen led off with line drive hits to right field. An infield error got Casanova home. A ground-out scored Georgen from third, 2-0. Then Erickson buzzed through the next four innings without allowing a base runner. Meanwhile, just two of the first nine Plowboys who faced Wyrebek (8.1 innings, 3 earned runs, 6 hits, 18 strikeouts, 4 walks) put the ball in play. The rest struck out for a perfect three innings. “He’s been our closer all year. This is only his third start,” smiled Bristol manager Shawn Mirmina. I thought we’d get to him,” said Bethlehem play/coach Tony Geraci.
Wyrebek’s romp through the Bethlehem batting order ended in the top of the fourth through no real fault of his own. “We made some mistakes on defense,” said Greener player/coach Shawn Mirmina. Wyrebek got the first two outs in the inning on a fly to left and his eighth strikeout of the game. A ground ball went for an error. Then the roof fell in. Wyrebek walked Matt Parlato, hit Nick Chiovitti with a pitch and suffered another infield error, scoring Bethlehem’s first run.
Pat O’Neill smashed a wormburner through the left side for two more runs. Rob Geraci finished the scoring with a low line drive up the middle for a 4-2 Bethlehem lead. The Plowboys never trailed again.
Nevertheless, Wyrebek, regaining his touch, kept it close. “He threw three pitches for strikes, and they’re good pitches,” said Coach Geraci. “He threw a lot of changes,” said John Conlon, normally a Plowboy slugger, now tied up by Wyrebek. “His curve was his out pitch for me and a lot of us.” Eric O’Toole and Tony Geraci had back-to-back one-out singles in the top of the fifth. Wyrebek left them there, adding just two more base runners on walks for the next two innings.
On the other side, Erickson ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth, with a leadoff walk to Shawn Mirmina, followed by another hit from Casanova and a failed fielder’s choice struck by Matt Godbout.
Jesse Darcy, a former minor league pitcher who still looks the part took over the Plowboy mound, shutting the Greeners down in the sixth, seventh and eight. Closer Mike Johnston finished it off with two strikeouts and a fly-out in the ninth. Two more Wyrebek strikeouts started the eighth inning. Another error opened the door again for Bethlehem. Tedd Gravel scored from second on O’Neill’s (2-for-5) third RBI of the day. The Plowboys finally caught up with Wyrebek in the top of the ninth, on a walk by Dan Goscinski and an RBI hit by Geraci. Trailing 5-3, Matt Neidzwiecki, who pitched a complete game last weekend, came on, trying to stem the tide. Instead, Conlon greeted him with a towering two-run home over the left field fence. “It was a curve, surprisingly,” Conlon grinned. The Plowboys face the Litchfield Cowboys in a best-of-three series for the North Division title this weekend.
Litchfield  Cowboys 8  Amenia Monarchs 1
The Cowboys scored a run in each of the first two innings to take an early lead. Amenia answered in the bottom fifth with when Matt Wolinski (3-5) singled in Matt Hoiser cutting the Cowboy lead to 2-1. That would be the only run Cowboys starter Kevin Murray would surrender. Murray scattered six hits over 7 1/3 innings striking out 3. Quinn McKenna relieved Murray striking out 4 and allowing one hit in 2 2/3 innings of relief to close the door.
Offensively the the Cowboys where paced by catcher Karl Quist. Quist who went 5-5 (2 2B’s, 3 runs, 3 RBI’s). The Cowboys added three insurance runs in the top the ninth inning with help from Mike Odenwalder (2-5, HR, 2RBI) and Ben Murphy (2-5, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI). Oldenwalder led the ninth inning off with a solo home run. After a Chris Beach single, Ben Murphy’s double off the fence scored Beach. Karl Quist scored Murphy with a single. 
The Cowboys will face the Bethlehem Plowboys in a best of three on Sunday 11 am at Gallop Park.
Wednesday August 8: Game #2
Watertown Blaze 3  Waterbury Wild 2
Jat Spear threw a complete game 3-hitter with 12 strikeouts. Connor McEvoy had an RBI double in the first inning. Mike Mastrocola had an RBI single and Chris Comeau added an RBI single for Watertown’s 3 hits. Ken Kerski threw 8 innings allowing just the 3 hits striking out 10 and allowing 1 earned run. Kerski chipped in with two hits at the plate. Waterbury threatened in the ninth leaving the bases loaded after plating one run with two outs.
Wolcott Scrappers 6  Brass City Brew 2

Justin koutros threw a complete game 3 hitter while striking out 9 and walking 12. Mike vaccarelli had 2 singles, a triple and 3rbi. Rob Silas and Ryan Soucy each singled, doubled and scored a run for wolcott. Steve carosella and Jeff Fonti had an RBI each for Brass City.

Thursday  August 9:     Game #3
Brass City Brew 8  Wolcott Scrappers 4
The Brass City Brew defeated the Wolcott Scrappers 8-4 in game 3 of the Tri-State League’s south divisional series Thursday night at Fussenich Park in Torrington.  Brass City moves on to the south division championship to face the winner of the Waterbury Wild/Watertown Blaze divisional series.
The Brew jumped out to a quick start in the bottom of the 1st, opening up a 4-0 lead over the Scrappers.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs, Paul Novakowski drove a 2 RBI single into left center field to give Brass City a 2-0 lead.  One batter later, Justin McCulloch drove a ball high over the fence in left field for a two run homerun. “No more fastballs,” LaCapra said about the difference after the first inning. “I stopped throwing fastballs and just mixed up the curveball, knuckleball. I just tried to stay out there and I pitched my heart out.”
After a quick beginning by the Brew bats and 3 flawless innings of 9 up 9 down from Brass City starting pitcher Gary Novakowski, the game felt like it would be a run away for the Brew.  Wolcott stayed true to form with their name as they scrapped their way back into the game behind the crafty pitching of Adam LaCapra.  In the top of the 4th, Wolcott’s Mike Perugini opened the inning with a double over the left fielder’s head.  Mike Vaccarelli followed with a line drive homerun that left the park over the left field fence in a hurry and cut the lead to 4-2.  Two innings later, the Scrappers would tie the game on a 2 RBI single by Ismael Bolorin.     
After a few scoreless innings, Brass City would have another big inning in the bottom of the 8th.  A lead off hit from the Brew’s Steve Carosella knocked LaCapra out of the game. After Scrapper relief pitcher Mike Vaccarelli registered two outs, Wolcott would intentionally walk Justin McCulloch to get to the Brew’s 5 hitter.  With runners at the corners, Mark DiDominzio drove in the game winning RBI scoring Carosella for a 5-4 lead.  Brass City’s Drew Jones would provide a final push and cushion for the Brew with a 3 run homerun over the left field fence and an 8-4 lead. 
Brew starter Gary Novakowski pitched 8 strong innings allowing 4 runs, 3 earned, 5 hits while striking out 12; Mike Padovani came in to close out the game for the save and the Brass City win. 
Saturday August 11:    Game #3
Waterbury Wild 9  Watertown Blaze 3
Waterbury jumped on Waterown with six runs in the first inning highlighted by a homerun by Manny Cruz and triples by Brad DeVito and Christian Cuevas, Manny Cruz pitched a complete game with ten strikeouts,Cuevas had three hits. Steven Neile had three hits and Kyle Tehan had two for Watertown. Waterbury won the best of three series 2-1