SOUTH WINDSOR, July 26 – After twice giving up leads in Saturday’s American Legion state tournament game and falling in the 11th inning to RCP (Rocky Hill/Cromwell/Portland), the Simsbury American Legion baseball team bounced back on Sunday with a strong 8-0 win over South Windsor at Rotary Field.
Simsbury (24-4) had nine hits from six different players and six different players drove in runs as Post 84 remained alive with the win. Simsbury faces New London Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at Rotary Field with the loser being eliminated.
Simsbury’s Ryan Gothers, the right-hander from East Granby, pitched seven strong shutout innings for Post 84, scattering four hits and striking out two. It was his first victory of the season on the mound. Reliever Kevin Gurry pitched the final two innings, allowed just three hits and no runs.
Simsbury has been aggressive in the tournament bunting the ball, making the opposition make plays in the field. Post 84 used a sacrifice bunt from Jacob Cassano in the second inning to advance Gothers to third base and Mike Amato to second base. Gothers was thrown out at home when Jake Nichols grounded to the third baseman and Amato moving to third.
With Jordan Whalley at the plate, Amato and Nichols, who reached on a fielder’s choice, each stole a base. Amato stole home for the 1-0 lead and Nichols went to second.
Simsbury added to its lead in the third inning. Jake King and Jack Lavigne singled and Jack Patrina walked to load the bases. Gothers reached on an error, scoring King. Patrina scored on a sacrifice fly to right field from Amato for a 3-0 lead.
In the sixth, Simsbury pushed its lead to 7-0 thanks to two errors, a sacrifice fly from Lavigne and a RBI walk from Patrina. Brendan Reilly had a two-out RBI single for Simsbury in the ninth inning. Jake King was 3-for-5 for Simsbury with one RBI while Lavigne was 2-for-3 with a RBI.
It was a tough loss for Post 84 on Saturday against RCP, the defending Northeast Regional champion. Twice, Simsbury had leads only to see RCP tie the game. Simsbury led 2-0 after seven innings before RCP scored twice in the bottom of the seventh.
Simsbury took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 11th inning only to see RCP rally with a pair of two-out hits to take away a 4-3 decision.
Post 84 took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Back-to-back singles from Jack Patrina and Jack Lavigne put runners on first and third base. Patrina scored from third on a sacrifice bunt from Gothers.
Simsbury extended the lead to 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning. Whaley doubled and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Brendan Reilly. Whaley scored on a sacrifice bunt by Jack Nedorostek to the pitcher.
Hurler Chris Enns pitched six shutout innings for Simsbury. He didn’t allow a hit and struck out three. Whaley relieved Enns in the seventh. In the eighth, Whaley got in trouble after he hit RCP’s Nick Queiroz and Corey Baldwin.
Jake Nichols took over and got Chris Bouchard to fly out to the first baseman but RCP’s Kevin Larkin hit a two-RBI single to tie up the game, 2-2.
Simsbury took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 11th inning on Whaley’s RBI single, scoring Gothers from second base. In the bottom of the 11th, Nichols walked Leo Thomas. After a strikeout, RCP catcher Kevin Radziewicz ripped a two-out double to tie the game at 3-3. Nick Queiroz coaxed a walk from Nichols before shortstop Corey Baldwin’s RBI single won the game, scoring Radziewicz from second base.
RCP had just four hits in the game – two in the 11th inning. For Simsbury, Patrina was 3-for-5 while Lavigne was 3-for-4. Whaley was 2-for-3 for Post 84, which had 10 hits.
Simsbury 8, South Windsor 0
At South Windsor
Simsbury (23-4) 012 004 001 — 8-9-1
South Windsor (23-6) 000 000 000 — 0-7-3
Ryan Gothers, Kevin Gurry (8) and Mike Amato; xxxxx and Derek Chouinard; WP: Gothers (1-0)
RCP 4, Simsbury 3 (11)
At South Windsor
Simsbury (22-4) 100 000 100 001 — 3-10-4
RCP (24-3) 000 000 020 002 — 4-4-1
Chris Enns, Jordan Whaley (7), Jake Nichols (9) and Ryan Gothers; Cole Ogorzalek, Dave Sevigny (11) and Kevin Radziewicz; WP: Sevigny; LP: Nichols; 2B: Radzeiwicz (R), Whaley (S)
Northern Division finals
At South Windsor (Rotary Field)
Saturday, July 25
Game 1: New London 2, South Windsor 0
Game 2: RCP 4, Simsbury 3 (11)
Sunday, July 26
Game 5: Simsbury 8, South Windsor 0
Game 6: RCP 5, New London 1
Monday, July 27
Game 9: Simsbury vs. New London, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 28
Game 11: Final — Winner game 9 vs. RCP, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, July 29
Game 13: Final — Winner game 11 vs. loser game 11, 6 p.m., if necessary
At Palmer Field, Middletown
Friday, July 31
Game 1: Northern Division champion vs. Southern Division champion, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 1
Game 2: 11 a.m.
Game 3, 2:30 p.m., if necessary