SOUTHINGTON, July 12 – Winning a Zone 1 championship isn’t supposed to be easy. And if the Avon American Legion baseball team wins its first-ever zone championship, it won’t be easy.
Post 201 dropped a doubleheader to Southington on Thursday night lifting Southington into a first place tie with Avon at 18-6 in the zone. However, if the two teams finished tied, Southington would win the zone championship because they won two of three games with Avon this season.
Southington scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning to win a game that had been suspended earlier this season after nine innings due to darkness at Avon Old Farms. Post 72 prevailed, 6-4. In the regularly scheduled game, Southington hurler Brett Soucy scattered six hits and struck out four as Southington prevailed, 2-1.
“It was two big wins for us,” Southington Legion coach Marc Verdame said. “We punched them in the mouth in the first game and they didn’t know what hit them. In the second game, Brett pitched tremendously. He let them hit it but we have one of the better defenses in the zone and a lot of guys made plays out there tonight.”
Avon (18-7, 18-6 Zone 1) took a 1-0 lead in the second game when Nick Sanderson singled, moved to second base on a ground ball and scored on Connor Doyle’s RBI single in the first inning. But Southington didn’t wait long to respond with two runs in the second inning.
John Santowasi singled and moved to second base on an error. After an out, Trevor Dalia ripped an RBI triple to centerfield off Avon starter Michael Castellani. Dalia scored on Ted Shaw’s RBI single to right field to a 2-1 lead.
“We made some mistakes and against a good team that will cost you,” Avon coach Brian Doyle said. Two Avon runners were picked off first base in the two games. “We played well at times but we made a few costly mistakes.”
Avon completes its regular season with games at Unionville on Friday night before home games against Simsbury (July 17) and Terryville (July 18) to close out the regular season. Southington also has three games remaining and Post 72 is looking for its first Zone 1 champion since 1999.
“They’re disappointed,” Doyle said. “But they all understand that the season is still in front of them. We just have to keep winning.”