BRISTOL, July 11 – The Avon American Legion baseball controls their own fate when it comes to winning a Zone 1 championship. Post 201 can capture their second-ever Zone 1 title with a win over Bristol Tuesday night at Muzzy Field at 5:30 p.m.
Avon (16-5) can also win the pennant with a victory over Terryville (10-12) on Wednesday night in Plymouth or Unionville (7-14) on Thursday at Buckingham Field.
Avon put themselves in control with a 4-0 decision over Bristol (15-7) on Monday at Muzzy Field to clinch the three-game season series between the two teams. Post 201 has captured the first two games in the series.
Pitcher Connor Harris scattered eight hits and struck out two as he went the distance to improve to 6-0 on the season. Andrew LeDuc’s two-RBI single in the sixth inning broke open the game as Post 201 scored four times.
The Avon defense played flawlessly behind Harris, not committing an error for just the fifth time this season.
It was a scoreless duel between Harris and Bristol pitcher Troy Micale going into the sixth inning. Micale also went the distance for Post 2, allowing six hits and striking out two.
But Micale ran into trouble in the sixth. With one out, Sean Del Gallo and Will Thramann walked. Micale hit Justin Olson to load the bases.
Jeremy Zarwanski’s sacrifice fly put Avon on the board as Del Gallo scored from third base for a 1-0 lead. LeDuc followed with a two-RBI blast to center field to extend the lead to 3-0. LeDuc stole second base and moved to third on an error. He scored on a RBI double from Chris Jacobs for a 4-0 lead.
LeDuc was 2-for-3 for Avon with two stolen bases. Jacobs was 2-for-3 with a double. Del Gallo’s 17-game hitting streak came to an end. He was 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored.
Avon is looking for its first Zone 1 championship since 2013. Avon’s victory eliminated Simsbury from Zone 1 championship consideration. Post 84 had captured the past two Zone 1 titles.
Bristol’s pitching staff was further depleted Monday night. After the Avon game, Post 2 played Southington to conclude a game that was suspended earlier this season. It went into the 12th inning before Southington prevailed, 5-4.
Bristol can win their first Zone 1 title since 2011 if they beat Avon on Tuesday and Torrington on Wednesday and hope that Avon loses to both Terryville and Unionville.
The benefit of being a zone champion is missing the first round of the state tournament – a two-day, single elimination tournament on Saturday and Sunday. Teams that advance will need at least 18 innings of pitching to move to the second round – a best-of-three series with the eight zone champions beginning Wednesday, July 22.
NOTES: Avon hasn’t allowed a run in the last two games and just one run in the last three. … On Sunday, Avon beat Unionville, 5-0 in a rain-shortened game. Last Thursday, Torrington upset Avon, 1-0. …. Bristol’s Nick Sassu, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup, was 3-for-3 on Monday night. … Avon has won three straight games over Bristol and six of the last seven contests.
Avon 4, Bristol 0
Avon (16-5) 000 004 0 – 4-6-0
Bristol (15-6) 000 000 0 – 0-8-1
Connor Harris and Ryan Ollestad; Troy Micale and unknown; WP: Harris (6-0), LP: Micale; 2B: Chris Jacobs (A)