Best of Three Series
Wednesday August 19
Litchfield Cowboys 3 Tri-Town Trojans 0
Thursday August 20
Tri-Town Trojans 5 Litchfield Cowboys 2
Friday August 21
Litchfield Cowboys 4 Tri-Town Trojans 1
Game 3 Recap
Copyright Tim Gaffney 8/22/15 LitchfieldCountySports.com
For most of us who have known Litchfield High School Athletic Director, Kyle Weaver, he has always been a stand up, welcoming kind of guy who will do just about anything for you. He’s always been truthful with us, he’s always been welcoming. There may be one thing, however, that needs to be amended. It’s how he is when it comes to his playing career with his summer baseball gig as a member of the Litchfield Cowboys, the team that just walked away with the Tri-State Baseball League Championship after a 4-1 win over Tri-Town.
Many have heard of how often Mr. Weaver has come to hanging up the competitive spikes but when push comes to shove, he has been less than truthful about stepping away and his Cowboys are certainly glad he has stayed. “It’s a great one to end on,” Weaver said, “This one right here.” Aha! Headline: “Weaver to hang ‘em up in Tri-State.”
“I don’t know,” Weaver retracted, “You know, I’m hurting but the best way to cure the pain is with this win. I love these guys, I love playing this game.” Never mind, he might just be back.
Litchfield took the game and the series on the backs of two other players on Friday night as Kevin Murray pitched into the eighth inning and Joey Serafin (he of what seemed to be 500 pitches over the last week or so) came in and closed things out after pitching a complete game on Wednesday night in the Cowboy’s 3-0 win in game one.
The Trojans struck first in the first inning on an RBI double to the base of the left field wall by Mike Fabiaschi that scored Connor Murphy but Murray got out of that jam by retiring three straight after three consecutive batters reached to start the game.
“Murray is like that,” Weaver said, “He’s loose the first couple of innings but then he settles down after that.” After the opening frame, Murray allowed just two more hits, the second double of the night by Fabiaschi and an infield hit off the bat of James Cramphin.
The ageless one (Weaver) had himself a game he certainly will remember fondly for a good long time, it’ll be one to tell the youngsters about years from now when he actually retires. Four singles, a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base to boot. It was his single to center to lead off the bottom of the fourth that helped the Cowboys tie things up at a run apiece. After a perfect sacrifice bunt by Serafin moved him to second, Weaver came around to score on a key, two-out RBI single by Brian Hungerford to short right field. The Cowboys would go ahead for good in the fifth when Steve Harrison scored from second on another timely two-out hit by the champions, this time off the bat of Weaver.
Bobby Chatfield started for the Trojans and went five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits before being replaced by Miles Scribner who also threw on Wednesday and was not his usual sharp self. The Cowboys would put this one away with two runs in the bottom of the sixth as Scribner had trouble finding the plate, walking in a run while the second came in on a fielder’s choice.
“I love competing with these guys and against the Trojans and everybody else in this league,” Weaver said, “This would be a great game to end on but I don’t know. I’m going to take some time and think about it. Nobody believes me anyhow, I don’t believe myself half the time.”
Serafin, who had said Wednesday night that he loves to pitch at Fuessenich Park, came in with two on and nobody out in the top of the eighth and retired the next three to end the threat. “He’s a gamer,” Weaver said, “Ever since he came on the scene with us he’s an absolute gamer. He’s our go to guy. He’s a shut-down pitcher and we obviously had enough confidence to bring him back out after a complete game (on Wednesday).”
Two runners reached base with one out in the top of the ninth on an error and a walk but the hard throwing lefty struck out Murphy for the second out and got Casey McDonald to sky to short right and the trophy was heading to Litchfield.
The aches and pains might stay around a couple of days for the Litchfield AD but the healing power of winning may just triumph in the long run. As for retirement, we’ll believe it if and when we see it, Mr. Weaver.
Game 2 Recap
Copyright Tim Gaffney 8/20/2015 LitchfieldCountySports.com
Scheiner shines as Tri-Town evens series
Jordie Scheiner has always felt he was very fortunate to grow up in a family that not only loved him but loved what he loved outside of the family as much as he did.
That love was of baseball.
His family loved it so much that not only did they support the knuckleball throwing right handers passion with trips to work out with big leaguers (see RA Dickey when he pitched for the Mets) and of late with the purchase of a franchise in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (Bristol). His father, Grammy Award winning music producer Elliott Scheiner, brought the Bristol Blues to the city this past season and the team made a run all the way to the finals in year one. Jordie Scheiner was brought on as the pitching coach.
So imagine pitching in an elimination game for a team (The Tri-State Trojans) and a league (The Tri-State baseball League) that you love with one of the most important people in your life in the hospital recovering from major surgery. Well, somehow on Thursday night, Jordie Scheiner managed to keep him composure and put on a performance that was worthy of a statue of its own in a 5-2 win over Litchfield to knot the best of three series at a game apiece.
The championship deciding game will be played (weather permitting) on Friday night at 7 p.m. right back at Fuessenich Park.
Scheiner went eight solid innings, giving up two runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and not a single walk. How did he manage to keep his focus on the task at hand knowing his father was still recovering from a successful but serious a surgical procedure? Was dad on his shoulder or in his ear?
“I had extra motivation for sure,” Scheiner said. “He was out there with me. I’m so thankful to have a father who loves baseball and wanted to start something so mazing like what is happening in Bristol. He’s one of the biggest supporters in my life and he would want me to be here.” A day after being shut down by Cowboy lefty Joey Serafin 3-0, the Trojans looked to a pitcher who, when his knuckler is on, can be one tough out and he was on Thursday.
Tri-Town took advantage of a first inning error to plate a pair of unearned runs right out of the chute. Cowboy starter Chris Blazek appeared to be out of a two on, two out jam when he induced a fly to right off the bat of Landen Gardella that bounced off the glove of right fielder Dylan Clark which allowed a run to score. Another run scored a batter later on an RBI single by Sam Shurberg for the 2-0 gift inning.
Litchfield threatened in the top of the second when the first two runners got on and were sacrificed to third on a great bunt by Kyle Weaver, but Scheiner retired the next two hitters on harmless pops to the infield and a chance went by the wayside.
Tri-State would throw another run on the board in the second and two more came home when catcher Landen Gardella drove a single to center in the fifth, plating Casey McDonald and Michael Fabiaschi for a 5-0 lead.
With a knuckleball pitcher, the later the game gets, the sooner it seems to get late early, if you know what I mean. Scheiner only had two clean innings, the first and third but worked around trouble thanks in one frame to a double play and another when he retired three straight after a leadoff single in the fifth.
Litchfield broke through in the seventh when Serafin, the hero on the mound the night before, stroked a two-run single that brought the Cowboys back to within three but the rally fizzled after a close call at second on an attempted steal went against them for the second out.
James Cramphin would come in and close the door in a hurry in the ninth, striking out the side in order.
One more game for the trophy.
A delay helps both teams rest weary arms so rain may not be the worst thing that can happen to either group who will no doubt throw everything they have whenever they get back on the diamond.
Game 1 Recap: Copyright Peter Wallace 08/19/2015 Register-Citizen
Litchfield pitcher Joey Serafin had the magic touch Wednesday along with the patience to wait out 14 stranded Cowboy base runners in a 3-0 win over Tri-Town in Game One of the Tri-State Baseball League’s best-of-three championship series.
“I knew my guys would score,” said Serafin, after watching the Cowboys load the bases three times against Tri-Town pitcher Miles Scribner with nothing to show for it through six innings. “You have to give credit to Scribner,” said Litchfield player/coach Chris Blazek. “I don’t think he had his best stuff tonight, but he’s a battler. We only had three hits through the first six innings.” Some of Scribner’s problem was the strike zone. In the second inning, an error, hit batter and misplayed fielder’s choice put three on with two outs.
In the third, Ed Pequignot (2-for-4, run scored) and Steve Harrison (2-for-5, run scored) got hits while Dylan Clark joined them with a walk. In the fourth, three straight walks followed two straight strikeouts. “Scribner’s pitch count was up,” said Tri-Town player/coach Kyle Oselin. Serafin could identify. He threw 186 pitches in a semifinal series loss to Watertown Friday. “My arm was still a little sore today, so I didn’t overthrow,” he said. “I stuck to the inside of the plate.” Casey McDonald and Joe Bunnell (2-for-3) had hits in the second inning. Bunnell was the only other Tri-Town hitter in the game, with a single in the seventh inning. Like Serafin last Friday, the pitch count finally got to Scribner Wednesday. Pequignot, Blazek and Harrison led off the seventh inning with singles, including a perfect bunt by Harrison. With the Litchfield bases loaded for the fourth time, Clark drew an RBI walk.
Tri-Town shortstop Mike Fabiaschi got Blazek at home on a fielder’s choice. Then Litchfield’s Brendan Roden blew the game open with a two-run double to the left field corner. “I was just looking for a pitch up in the zone and I got it,” he said.
The teams start up again tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Fuessenich, with two more great pitchers going to work. Blazek starts for the Cowboys. Jordie Scheiner is on the mound for Tri-Town. The Torrington Board of Umpires presents its annual scholarship immediately before the game.
SEMI-FINALS RECAP/PREVIEW: copyright Peter Wallace Register Citizen 8/16/2015
Pitchers’ duels carried the first two games of Litchfield and Watertown’s best-of-three Tri-State baseball semifinal series.
Sunday, at Fuessenich Park, hitters ruled the day, from a first-inning home run by Litchfield’s Chris Blazek to a five-run seventh-inning in an 11-10 Litchfield win for an all-Litchfield best-of-three championship series beginning Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Fuessenich Park. While Litchfield and Watertown labored in the daytime heat Saturday and Sunday at Fuessenich, Tri-Town and the Brass City Brew started the deciding game of their semifinal series Saturday night at Waterbury’s Buck’s Hill Park. Lightning postponed the game in the seventh inning, Tri-Town leading 4-1. The Trojans finished their win Sunday, 4-2, following the Litchfield/Watertown scoring fest.
Aces battled it out in Games One and Two. Sunday, the Blaze led 10-6 by the fifth inning. “It was not the kind of game we wanted to get into with them,” said player/coach Blazek, thinking Watertown had a deeper bench than he did. Still, the game played out as a test of depth. “We’ve got ball players,” Blazek said. “If we have 10 guys on the team, they’re not just filling a slot, they’re ballplayers.”
Blazek led the way with a solo homer off Blaze starter Tony Consiglio in the first inning. Watertown batters hit Litchfield starter Kevin Murray hard for the first two innings – right at his fielders. In the third inning, Murray lost his direction. Watertown’s Chris Comeau (3-for-3, 2 runs scored) threaded a hit through the left side. Murray walked four of the next five batters, forcing in two runs.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the third, Brian Hungerford tied it with another Litchfield homer.
Next inning, the Cowboys used two Blaze errors and hits by Brenden Roden (2-for-4, 2 runs scored), Kyle Weaver (2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs scored), Dustyn Marfyak (2 runs scored, 2 RBI) and Bryan Failla (3-for-4, double, 3 RBI) for four more runs and a safe-seeming 6-2 lead. Not this game. Murray got great catches from Eddie Pequignot in center field and Roden at first for a perfect fourth inning.
The fifth went the other way fast. Watertown’s Comeau; D.J. Ouellette (double); Conor McEvoy (double); Brian Fay and Tony Patane (3-run homer) all hit safely, together with two walks and an error.
Four runs poured across the plate.
Justin Binkowski came in to put out the fire, but Watertown led 10-6. That lead wasn’t safe either.
Binkowski, a recent graduate of King’s College (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), allowed the Blaze just two more hits. “I was just trying to keep it low and throw strikes,” he said. “I knew our team was going to hit.” It took two innings for the Cowboys to get their bearings against Blaze reliever Andrew Reel. In the seventh inning, they hit, but more often walked. “Walks killed us today,” said Blaze player/coach Chris Ayer. Five free passes in the seventh, between Reel and reliever Jay Spear, plus a double by Drew Gauvain and RBI singles by Hungerford and Failla. Five runs brought the lead back to Litchfield. Binkowski, keeping it low and throwing strikes, kept it there.
In the other semifinal, Brass City, who knocked off top seed Naugatuck, threatened to force a Game Three against Tri-Town in the 2.3 innings that followed. Trailing 4-1, the Brew loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, no outs. A run scored on a fly-out to deep center field, but the Trojans turned it into a double play – centerfielder Casey McDonald to shortstop Mike Fabiaschi to third baseman Steve Price – in plenty of time to catch the runner at third.
Tri-Town heads for its fourth straight championship series, winning the title two years ago. Litchfield won back-to-back crowns the two years before that.
Litchfield Cowboys Tri-State Champions
Best of Three Series