Copyright Kevin Roberts Rep-American 6/26/22
The defending Connecticut Tri-State Baseball League champion Tri-Town Trojans are off to a good start again this season.
Tri-Town (8-1) grabbed a 6-1 comeback victory over the Valley Thunder Ducks on Thursday evening at Wolcott High School. The Trojans had to piece together a lineup to an extent, but those young pieces fit well. Joey Grantmeyer, 21, who was a catcher at Northwestern High, was in right field while Max Quinn, 21, who played at The Hotchkiss School, was behind the plate. Connor Gannon, 20, normally a pitcher at Western Connecticut State University, was inserted at second base. “I stuck him out there because I was missing my starting second baseman and starting center fielder,” Tri-Town player/manager Danny McCarty said. “He’s an athlete, and he had one hell of a game. Two hits, two stolen bases, and he had something like six assists.” Who plays for each team could very well depend on whether the game is during the week or on the weekend. “For weekend games, you might see more guys that can show up,” McCarty said.
Things have changed for McCarty, 34, and Tri-Town since it celebrated a championship on the diamond at Municipal Stadium. Longtime catcher Landon Gardella moved to Vermont. “I’m missing Landon because of his leadership, but skill-wise we have great people behind the plate,” McCarty said. “We’re always going to miss Landon because of his leadership and his experience. His presence was unmatched for sure for anybody in the league.” The league itself has also changed since last year. There are just 13 teams in a league that once had as many as 19. The Torrington Rebels folded, and the Terryville Black Sox left for the Connecticut Twilight League. Less teams mean more games against top competition, McCarty said. “Now with the shorter league, we play some of the top teams twice, so hopefully we can split against people and maybe take a series against people, and that will help,” McCarty said.
One of those top teams is the Winsted Whalers (8-2). Winsted is young but has some solid players, McCarty said. Player/manager Chester Warner is happy with the team he has put together, according to McCarty, who knows him well. “He’s pretty proud of this team that’s been put together, and they’re no joke,” McCarty said.
Tri-Town’s loss was to the Bethlehem Plowboys (6-3) by a score of 1-0 on Tuesday. McCarty said Bethlehem has strong hitters and is a fundamentally sound ballclub. The Amenia Monarchs (5-3) are just a win behind the Plowboys. “There’s still a good top eight teams that are still pretty good in this league, and it’s anybody’s ballgame, I think,” McCarty said. “It’s about finishing in the top six this year for the playoffs so you can get a bye, then you go to best-of-three series.”
Tri-Town will be in the mix because of the starting pitching it gets from Miles Scribner, Bobby Chatfield and Dan Livingston. There’s also veterans in the lineup like McCarty, Austin Patenaude and Casey McDonald who will help keep the Trojans going in the right direction.