Avon Legion can’t get started in 10-0 season-ended loss to Tolland

Avon's Will Thramann had one of three hits Sunday for Post 201 in the American Legion state tournament.

Avon’s Will Thramann had one of three hits Sunday for Post 201 in the American Legion state tournament.

SOUTH WINDSOR, July 24 – There were two big plays in Avon’s loss to defending Northeast Regional champion RCP American Legion baseball team on Saturday.

The most visible one was the ejection of Avon catcher Jeremy Zarwanski and manager Donny Annicelle for the use of an illegal bat. But the play that resonated into Sunday’s elimination game against Tolland was Justin Olson’s single in the first inning.

Olson accidentally stepped on the foot of RCP first baseman Leo Thomas and rolled his ankle, injuring his left foot. Olson was able to finish the game at second base but he ran into trouble when he came into the game as a relief pitcher in the eighth inning. When he pitches, Olson lands on his left foot. RCP scored twice in the bottom of the eighth Saturday to beat Avon, 3-2.

It wasn’t much better on Sunday. Olson tried to pitch and had one good inning of work. But Tolland was able to get bats going and eliminated Avon, 10-0 in six innings in the Northern Division finals of the Connecticut American Legion state tournament at Rotary Field.Continue Reading

Use of illegal bat results in ejection from game for Avon player, manager

How can you tell if you have a composite wood bat? Each bat is marked as BBCOR certified.

How can you tell if you have a composite wood bat? Each bat is marked as BBCOR certified.

SOUTH WINDSOR, July 24 – The Avon American Legion baseball team was jarred in the first inning of Saturday’s state tournament game with RCP (Rocky Hill, Cromwell, Portland) when catcher Jeremy Zarwanski and manager Donny Annicelle were ejected from the game for the use of an illegal bat.

Zarwanski used a composite wood bat that contained some metal in it. A year ago, it was legal to use composite wood bats in American Legion baseball games in Connecticut. But the state American Legion baseball committee voted to use pure wood bats this season.

Zarwanski, the No. 4 hitter in Avon’s lineup had an RBI single Saturday. But RCP coach T.J. Grande asked the umpires to inspect Zarwanski’s bat. Grande said he is familiar with the look of composite wood bats since they were used by teams across the state a year ago.

“I know what they look like,” Grande said. “I was looking at my catcher and it caught my eye. I felt bad about it but I have to look out for my guys.”Continue Reading

Legion: RCP, Stamford move into divisional finals

Baseball ImageDefending state and Northeast Regional champion RCP moved into the Northern Division final on Tuesday night with a 1-0 win over New London Sunday in the Connecticut American Legion baseball tournament. In the Southern Division, Stamford beat Waterbury, 5-1, to move into the Southern Division final. Continue on for all of the results thus far in the 2016 American Legion state tournament.
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RCP scores twice in eighth to rally past Avon in Northern Division opener, 3-2

Avon's Connor Harris pitched five strong innings but didn't get a decision in Wednesday's 5-3 loss to Terryville.

Avon’s Connor Harris pitched more than seven strong innings in a 3-2 loss to RCP in the Northern Division finals Saturday.

SOUTH WINDSOR, July 23 – The Avon American Legion baseball team isn’t afraid of a little adversity.

Post 201 played toe-to-toe with defending state champion and Northeast Regional champion RCP (Rocky Hill, Cromwell, Portland) in Saturday’s Northern Division tournament at Rotary Field in South Windsor.

Avon pitcher Connor Harris scattered seven hits over seven innings and held RCP to just one run, which came in on a balk. Avon’s cleanup hitter Jeremy Zarwanski and manager Donny Annicelle were ejected in the first inning after Zarwanski used an illegal bat (composite not wood), according to a report in the Hartford Courant. But Avon came right back, scoring a run on Andrew LeDuc’s single to right field to take a 1-0 lead.

Post 201 took the lead in the eighth inning on a RBI single from Will Thramann. But RCP didn’t wilt, winning the game with a RBI single to left field from Trevor Whalen to earn a 3-2 decision in eight innings.

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Two-run home run in second inning is the difference in Avon’s 2-0 loss to Berlin

Avon pitcher Matt Leopold allowed just two hits but one was a home run in Friday's 2-0 loss to Berlin.

Avon pitcher Matt Leopold allowed just two hits but one was a home run in Friday’s 2-0 loss to Berlin.

BERLIN, July 22 – Berlin Little League baseball coach Kevin Ouellette has been in the ear of his son, Kasey throughout the post-season. He has been urging his son to swing the ball with authority and to get on top of the ball.

Kasey Ouellette came through in a big way Friday night in the Section II Major Division (ages 11-12) championship game. The Berlin second baseman drove a pitch from Avon’s Matt Lepold over the center field wall in the second inning and that was the difference in a 2-0 Berlin victory.

The win puts undefeated Berlin (11-0) into the four-team state tournament final that begins Wednesday in Manchester. “He’s had five hits in 11 games. I’ve been telling him to get on top of the ball,” Kevin Ouellette said. “Today, (Kasey) stayed back and got a hold of it.”

Avon, the District 6 champion, had four hits but couldn’t push a run across the plate. Berlin’s winning pitcher James Ellis went the distance and struck out eight. “We just couldn’t hit tonight,” Avon skipper Steve Nyberg said. “I’ve been coaching these boys for five years (at different age levels) and this is the first time we’ve never scored a run.”Continue Reading

Avon Legion sweeps Berlin to advance to final eight in state tournament

Avon pitcher Kyle Emery scattered five hits and struck out two to lead Post 201 to a 4-1 decision over Berlin in the state tournament Thursday.

Avon pitcher Kyle Emery scattered five hits and struck out two to lead Post 201 to a 4-1 decision over Berlin in the state tournament Thursday.

AVON, July 21 – Avon American Legion baseball Donny Annicelle likes to make things happen on the basepaths. He likes to keep his Post 201 players in motion to put pressure on the opposing team’s defense.

In Thursday’s Northern Division regional, Avon scored the first run of the game by stealing home. They got their second run on a passed ball. Avon also had had some big two-out hits as Post 201 advanced to the Northern Division finals with a 4-1 decision over Berlin. The win gives Avon a sweep of the best-of-3 series and leaves Post 201 as one of the final eight teams remaining in the state tournament.

Avon, which has won six of their last seven ballgames, will be facing Tolland, defending state and Northeast Regional champion RCP (Rocky Hill, Cromwell, Portland) and New London in the Northern Division finals, a double-elimination event on Saturday and Sunday in South Windsor at Rotary Field.Continue Reading

Olson helps Avon Legion to beat Berlin and take lead in state tournament series

Avon hurler Justin Olson scattered nine hits and struck out three to lead Avon to a 3-2 win over Berlin in the American Legion state tournament Wednesday.

Avon hurler Justin Olson (4-2) scattered nine hits and struck out three to lead Avon to a 3-2 win over Berlin in the American Legion state tournament Wednesday.

AVON, July 20 – It’s been nearly a week since the Avon American Legion baseball team had hit the diamond in a meaningful contest. Post 201 had three, clutch two-out hits to help beat Berlin on Wednesday afternoon, 3-0 in game one of the best-of-3 state tournament quarterfinal series.

The two teams resume the series on Thursday at Buckingham Field with game two at 1:30 p.m. If necessary, game three will begin at 3:30 p.m. The series winner will advance to the four team, double-elimination Northern Regional final this weekend in South Windsor.

Avon (19-6), which beat Unionville in a rain-shortened contest last Thursday, won its first state tournament game since 2012. Pitcher Justin Olson went the distance, scattering nine hits and striking out two. He walked three batters and hit two. But he still earned the victoryContinue Reading

Thousands enjoy the music, food and fun at Collinsville HOT

The artists from Matica Arts thrilled the crowds at Collinsville HOT with a their fire performance.

The artists from Matica Arts thrilled the crowds at Collinsville HOT with a their fire performance.

Kais and Dollz entertained the crowds at Collinsville HOT.

Kais and Dollz entertained the crowds at Collinsville HOT.

CANTON, July 16 – Thousands of people from Canton, Avon and around the area flocked to Collinsville on Saturday to enjoy the second annual Collinsville HOT festival in downtown Collinsville. There was plenty of outstanding music, excellent food, crafts, shopping and fun for all.

One could browse on the artisans on Main Street or River Street, enjoy a cold beverage, cool off with a paddle on the Farmington River or watch for a moonlight cruise on the waters of the Farmington.

We were proud to be one of the sponsors that helped bring this event to you. We snapped a few photos on Saturday. Take a minute to relive the fun. We had a great time. We hope you did, too.

Canton rallies to hold off East Mountain for a victory in the season finale

The Canton Crushers won two of their final three games to end the 2016 campaign on a high note. They rallied to beat East Mountain Sunday, 9-7.

The Canton Crushers won two of their final three games to end the 2016 campaign on a high note. They rallied to beat East Mountain Sunday, 9-7.

CANTON, July 17 – The Canton Crushers rallied from a four-run deficit and scored nine runs in two innings to beat the East Mountain Cougars, 9-7 and capture its final game of the Tri-State League campaign.

Canton (5-13) won two of its final three games with the win over East Mountain and Southington earlier in the week. The Crushers finish with the best record in team history. Canton won a combined three games in their first two seasons in the Tri-State League.

East Mountain led 4-0 into the bottom of the seventh. The Cougars limited Canton to just two hits in the first six innings of the contest but in the seventh, the Crushers caught fire.

Jim Spirito led off the inning with a single and that was followed by an RBI triple from Heath Cotton (2-for-3). Cotton scored on a RBI double from Jake Bryant (2-3) to cut the Cougar lead to two runs, 4-2. Taylor Riley singled and Devon Warren was hit by a pitch to load the bases.Continue Reading

Canton peppers the ball in a doubleheader sweep of Windsor

Softball graphicCANTON, July 17 – Canton pitchers Annie Pitkin and Chelsea Eckert combined to strike out 24 Windsor Angel batters in two games as Canton swept a pair from Windsor, 6-1 and 16-4 in Connecticut Women’s Softball League play Sunday at Canton High School.

Canton (7-3) had 29 hits in the two games led by Bella Coletti, who was a combined 6-for-6 with a double and one RBI. Savannah Thibault was 4-6 with four RBI and a double in the two games while Amy Mantha was 5-for-7 with two doubles and two RBI in the victories.

In the opener, Pitkin (3-1) struck out 11 and allowed just two hits to get the complete game victory for Canton. Colletti was 3-for-3 with an RBI while Thibault, Amanda Massad and Mantha each had two hits.Continue Reading

Hard-hitting Avon thumps Simsbury to capture District 6 Little League pennant

Avon's Danny Galliher, center, celebrates with Masaya Yamada and catcher Emmett Bornstein after Avon won the District 6 championship Saturday in Torrington.

Avon’s Danny Galliher, center, celebrates with Masaya Yamada and catcher Emmett Bornstein after Avon won the District 6 championship Saturday in Torrington.

TORRINGTON, July 16 – Six days earlier, the Avon’s Major Division (ages 11-12) Little League baseball team fell to Simsbury in the District 6 tournament. Simsbury pitcher Dylan Scudder shut down Avon, which struggled at the plate.

It was much different in Saturday’s District 6 championship at the Oak Avenue Field. Avon swung the bat early and often, rapping out 12 hits and two home runs in a dominating 12-2 victory over Simsbury to win their second straight District 6 title and their eighth D6 pennant in the last 13 years.

“We told our hitters to come out very aggressive tonight and that is what we did,” Avon manager Steve Nyberg said. “(Sunday’s loss) was uncharacteristic. We took a lot of pitches and got behind (on the count).”Continue Reading

Avon spanks Canton to advance to District 6 final in Little League baseball

The Avon Little League baseball team celebrates after one of three home runs they hit against Canton in Wednesday's District 6 tournament game in Simsbury.

The Avon Little League baseball team celebrates after one of three home runs they hit against Canton in Wednesday’s District 6 tournament game in Simsbury.

SIMSBURY, July 13 – After three tight ball games in three evenings, the Avon’s Major Division (ages 11-12) Little League baseball team exploded Wednesday night in the District 6 tournament.

With 17 hits and three home runs, Avon won its third straight elimination game with a resounding 14-4 win over Canton in four innings. The game was called due to the mercy rule once Avon extended its lead to 10 runs.

The victory places Avon (6-2) into Saturday’s District 6 championship game against Simsbury, who beat Avon on Sunday by three runs, 5-2, in the first game of the double-elimination portion of the tournament. The title game begins at 5:45 p.m. at the Oak Avenue Field in Torrington and the winner advances to next week’s Section II state tournament in Berlin.Continue Reading

Finishing with a flourish, Avon dominates Bristol to win Zone 1 championship

A happy Avon American Legion baseball team at Bristol's Muzzy Field after beating Post 2 for the second consecutive evening to win the Zone 1 championship.

A happy Avon American Legion baseball team at Bristol’s Muzzy Field after beating Post 2 for the second consecutive evening to win the Zone 1 championship.

BRISTOL, July 12 –It was 10 days ago in Simsbury that the Avon American Legion baseball team let an early lead slip away in a two-run loss. It was Avon’s tenth straight loss to Post 84. It could have started a slide or an end-of-the-season fade.

But Post 201 didn’t let it happen. Avon scored three runs with one out in the top of the seventh inning to beat Simsbury, 4-2 in the second game of a doubleheader at Memorial Field. That sparked a late-season surge that has seen Avon win six of their last seven games and their second Zone 1 championship.

Avon (17-5) clinched its first Zone 1 title since 2013 with a dominating 9-2 win over Bristol at Muzzy Field on Tuesday night, beating Post 2 for the second straight evening. On Monday night, Avon beat Bristol, 4-0.

Post 201 led by five runs after the first three innings. Pitcher Kyle Emery went the distance on the mound, scattering four hits and striking out three as he improved to 5-1 on the season. Justin Olson was 2-for-3 with a double and four RBI. Jeremy Zarwanski and Emery each had two-RBI singles for Avon.Continue Reading

Canton holds off late Southington rally to beat 66ers for third victory, 5-3

Canton shortstop Heath Cotton had a key RBI double in Tuesday night's Tri-State League win over Southington.

Canton shortstop Heath Cotton had a key RBI double in the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s Tri-State League win over Southington.

CANTON, July 12 – The Canton Crushers scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning and reliever Chris Van deBogart worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh inning to lead the Crushers to a 5-3 win over Southington 66ers Tuesday night in Tri-State League action at Bowdoin Field.

After Southington cut the Canton lead to one run, the Crushers scored twice in the sixth to take a 5-2 lead. Jim Spirito led off the inning with a single and scored on Heath Cotton’s RBI double. With two outs, Cotton scored on Van deBogart’s RBI single to extend the lead to three runs.

Southington (6-10) cut the lead to two on a RBI double from Adam Wilson and proceeded to load the bases with one out. But the Crushers were able to slip away with Van deBogart striking out leadoff hitter Steven Roy to secure the victory and pick up his first save of the year.Continue Reading

Mirage handcuff Canton softball in CWSL doubleheader sweep

Softball graphicCANTON, July 10 – Canton was held to four hits in two games and dropped a pair of games to the Connecticut Mirage from Suffield Sunday in Connecticut Women’s Softball League play at the high school.

Mirage beat Canton in the opener, 12-0 in five innings and swept the doubleheader with a 3-0 victory in game two. The Mirage remain in first place in the league at 8-0 while Canton slips to 5-3.

Mirage hurlers Meg Maliga and Colby Norris combined to strike out 15 batters in the two games. In the opener, Mirage’s Rachel Monroe had a pair of triples to lead the winners while Norris struck out seven.Continue Reading