AVON, June 30 – Less than 24 hours ago, the Avon American Legion team allowed four unearned runs in a one-run loss to Terryville. On Thursday night, Post 201 gave up a three-run lead to Winsted.
But Avon didn’t wilt. They scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a wild pitch to send the game into extra innings. And in the eighth inning, Justin Olson rapped a shot past the second baseman and into right field to give Avon an exciting 6-5 win over Winsted in Zone 1 action.
Avon led by three runs after one inning, 4-1. But Winsted scored four runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a one-run lead, 5-4.
“I love these kids,” Avon manager Donny Annicelle said. “I remember when I was playing (baseball for Trumbull High), the whole team the (dugout) fence the whole game. When they came to life (in the seventh inning), everyone was up and it made things easier.”
Lucas Gryniuk’s two-RBI single to center field drove in two runs for Winsted in the fifth inning to cut the Avon lead to one, 4-3.
In the sixth, Winsted had bases loaded with one out. Avon hurler Chris Jacobs got the play he wanted – Vincent Tancreti hitting a ground ball to Olson at shortstop. Olson tossed the ball to Thramann for the second out but Thramann’s throw pulled first baseman Sean Del Gallo off the bag and two runs scored to give Post 43 the one-run lead, 5-4.
Avon stood tall in the seventh. Jeremy Zarwanski led off the inning with a walk and Sam Leopold came on to pinch run. Andrew Leduc was hit by a pitch and Jacobs followed with a sacrifice bunt that moved Leduc and Leopold to second and third base, respectively.
Leopold tied the game on a wild pitch and Leduc moved to third base with just one out. But Winsted reliever Mitchell Gryniuk was able to get out of the jam and send the game into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Winsted had runners on first and second base with out. But Avon reliever Kyle Emery was able to get Austin to pop up the ball and got Tancreti to ground out to the shortstop.
Emery pitched two innings of relief to get the win, allowing just two hits. “Kyle pitched a great game,” Annicelle said. “I’m glad he got the win because he didn’t deserve what happened to him (Wednesday night).” Emery took the loss against Terryville on Wednesday.
In the eighth, Sean Del Gallo continued his red-hot play. He singled to left field and stole second base. Del Gallo, 4-for-5 with a double, moved to third base on a successful sacrifice bunt by Thramann. Del Gallo scored easily when Olson, 3-for-4, singled to left field for the walk-off victory.
“It was a good rebound win for us after a bad loss (against Terryville) when we made those errors,” Annicelle said.
Del Gallo has hit in 11 straight games for Avon. In the last nine games, he has 18 hits, four doubles and 10 stolen bases.
Avon scored four runs in the first inning to take a 4-1 lead. Thramann and Olson singled and that was followed by RBI singles from Zarwanski, Leduc and Chris Jacobs for a 3-1 lead. The fourth run came on a Winsted error.
Avon (11-3, 11-3 zone) won for the fifth time in the last six games and remains in first place in Zone 1. Post 201 has a half-game lead on Bristol (9-4) and a one-game lead on Simsbury (11-5).
Avon concludes the week with a doubleheader at Simsbury’s Memorial Field beginning Saturday at 5 p.m.
After beginning the season with four straight losses, Winsted won six of their next seven games. But now Post 43 has lost three straight. Winsted was looking for its first win over Avon since 2012.
Avon has won the last 12 games against Winsted and 22 of the 23 games between the two squads since Avon revived its American Legion program in 2009. This was the first extra inning game between the two teams.
Avon 6, Winsted 5 (8)
Winsted (6-10) 100 022 00 — 5-12-1
Avon (11-3) 400 000 11 — 6-12-2
Cameron Goulet, Mitchell Gryniuk (6) and unknown; Chris Jacobs, Kyle Emery (7) and Jeremy Zarwanski, Ryan Ollestad (7); WP: Emery (2-1); LP: Gryniuk; 2B: Sean Del Gallo (A), Jeremy Zarwanski (A)