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Season wrapup: Hard-hitting Falcons silenced in tournament loss

AVON, June 10 — In their first two tournament games, the Avon High baseball team was able to hit the ball well. The Falcons had nine hits in a 7-0 win over Maloney-Meriden and eight hits in a 5-0 victory over Woodstock Academy in the second round.

But in the Class L quarterfinals, Darien’s Devin Burke shutdown No. 2 Avon with a 5-0 victory. Burke lost a bid for a no-hitter in the seventh inning when Andrew Livingstone led off the inning with a single.

But that was it for the Falcons offense. Burke struckout 14 Avon batters and walked just one to lead Darien (18-7). Avon hurlers’ David Lavoie (5 innings) and Tyler Grouton combined to give up 11 hits. Burke also tripled while Darien C James Patton had a triple and single. Matt Anderson had a pair of two-out RBI while Chris Bruno was 2-for-4 with 3 runs scored and three stolen bases.

Livingstone was 2-for-4 with a triple in a 7-0 opening round win over Maloney. In a 5-0 second round win over Woodstock Academy, Grouton scattered four hits and fanned eight. He didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings.

BOYS GOLF: Avon finished eighth in Division II with a 317 at Tallwood Country Club in Hebron. Keegan Johnson led the way with a 75 for the Falcons.

GIRLS LACROSSE: Darien snapped Avon’s 14-game winning streak with a dominating 22-10 victory in a Division I quarterfinal match on the high school football field in Avon. Darien (14-2) is the three-time defending Division I champion and hasn’t lost to a team in Connecticut yet this season. The Blue Wave went onto to the Division I title.

All-State forward J.J. Gower had 53 goals and 34 assists for the Falcons while midfielder Lindsay Horbatuck had 42 goals and 27 assists. Gower was the NCCC offensive player of the year while Horbatuck was the NCCC defensive player of the year.

BOYS LACROSSE: Avon won the NCCC Tournament championship with a 13-8 victory over Suffield at Buckingham Field. The Falcons led 8-5 at halftime but earned the championship with a strong second half performance. Junior Joe Gruttaduria had five goals while Connor Maniatty and Chris Carlson had three goals each. Goalie Michael Munoz had 14 saves in the victory.

Playing just two days after the win over Suffield, No. 6 Avon managed just five goals in a 17-5 loss to No. 11 Fairfield Ludlowe in the second round of the CIAC Class M tournament. Maniatty, Matt Jarvis, Gruttaduria, Ian Mack and Ryan Coyle had goals for the Falcons.

Manniatty led the team with 60 points (41 goals, 19 assists) while Terrence Olsen led the team with 39 assists and 21 goals for 60 points.

BOYS TENNIS: Avon’s Jeremy Nowak was 2-1 in singles at the Class M boys tournament while teammate Alex Dahlem was 1-1 in singles. Nowak lost just one game in his first two matches before being eliminated by No. 4 Benjamin Berkowitz of Fairfield Warde, 6-4, 6-3 in the third round. In doubles, Avon’s Aaron Neopold and Zach Weiss were 2-1 before being eliminated in the third round by No. 5 Mike Platt and Joe Mauriello of Branford, 6-4, 6-2. … Avon finished the year at 10-4.

CREW: In just its second season, the Avon High crew team finished ninth in the Connecticut Public School Rowing Association championships at Lake Waramaug in Washington, Conn., earlier this month. Avon’s No. 3 girls eight boat was in second place until they slowed when an oar became stuck in the water and finished in fifth place in 6:30.3.

SOFTBALL: The return of varsity softball at Avon (3-17, 3-10 NCCC) after an absence of one year was a success with three victories and many competitive ballgames. Steve Swanson’s Falcons dropped four 1-run ballgames and a two-run decision to Northwest Catholic.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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