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One run is enough for Branford to eliminate Avon

SOUTH WINDSOR, July 23 – Two first inning errors came back to haunt Avon in a 1-0 loss to No. 10 Branford that eliminated Post 201 from the American Legion state tournament Thursday at Rotary Field.

With a runner on first base and two outs, Branford’s Kevin Korwek reached on an error and Casey Dadio scampered from first to third base. Dadio scored when Avon pitcher Brendan Telfer tried to pick him off and threw wildly.

That was enough for Branford pitcher Rob Neagle, who limited Avon to just two hits in seven innings. Neagle struck out three and walked four but the Branford defense didn’t let him down. Shawn Coughlin pitched two innings of scoreless relief, aided by a pair of double plays, to earn the victory.

In the eighth inning, Avon (20-11) had runners on first and second with one out thanks to a pair of walks to Mike D’Onofrio and T.J. Stolzenberg. But Coughlin got Jason Moore to ground into a double play to end the inning. In the ninth, Connor Doyle dropped a bloop single into right field for a one-out single. But again, Coughlin got Andy Livingstone to ground into a game-ending double play.

Avon had just three hits on the day. Doyle had two hits, including a fourth inning single. Russell Martens had the other single. Telfer was solid on the mound, allowing one unearned run and five hits in seven innings of work.

Branford (22-6), which finished second in Zone 2, advances to the final 16 portion of the tournament, which becomes a double-elimination tournament.

Listen to a taped broadcast of the game

Avon 3, East Hartford 1

SOUTH WINDSOR, July 22 – Avon pitcher Tyler Grouten pitched eight strong innings and Sean Lanahan struck out the side in the ninth inning as Avon won its first-ever American Legion playoff game with a 3-1 victory over East Hartford. Russ Martens had a pair of doubles and 2 RBI and Andrew Livingstone delivered a clutch bases-loaded RBI single in the eighth to increase Post 201’s lead to two runs, 3-1.

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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