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Shock prevail in pivotal game 3 to win CCBL title

SOUTHINGTON, Aug. 5 – Southington pitcher Matt Cole had a no-hitter for six innings and struck out four to lead the Shock to a 4-1 victory over the Tobacco Valley Renegades in game 3 of the Connecticut Collegiate Baseball League championship game Friday night at Southington High.

The Shock (23-5, 4-1 playoffs) had eight hits to win the best-of-3 series, 2-1 and claim their third straight league championship. Tobacco Valley’s C.J. Schoeherr broke up Cole’s no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the seventh inning.

The only baserunner through six innings was Tobacco Valley’s A.J. Johnson, who was hit by a pitch in the first inning. Renegade batters struck out looking on three times.

“He had good stuff,” Schoeherr said. “He was a little guy but he threw pretty hard. He was deceptive. He had great, great command. He kept the ball low and worked it in and worked it outside.”

Cole attends the University of Connecticut, where he plays on the club baseball squad. He allowed just one hit.

Southington took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Steve Clout led off the game with a single, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a RBI single from veteran Ben Schumacher, playing in his final CCBL game.

Southington extended its lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning. Torrington’s Conor Bierfeldt singled, moved to second on Ryan Giovani’s single and took third base on a fielder’s choice. He scored on an error. Clout and Schumacher each had RBI singles in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 4-0.

Tobacco Valley (16-13, 4-2) scored its run when Schoeherr doubled, moved to third on a ground ball and scored on a sacrifice fly from catcher Alex Bulger.

The Renegades, playing in the final for the second straight year, finished at 16-13. They won seven of their last nine games, including the playoff surge.

“We were scrappy, always positive and they never quit,” Tobacco Valley’s first-year coach Bill Kelley said. “Our buzzword was battle, battle, battle.”

Collinsville Press, Aug. 4: Renegades win 8 to force deciding game 3

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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