CANTON, July 17 – The Canton Crushers rallied from a four-run deficit and scored nine runs in two innings to beat the East Mountain Cougars, 9-7 and capture its final game of the Tri-State League campaign.
Canton (5-13) won two of its final three games with the win over East Mountain and Southington earlier in the week. The Crushers finish with the best record in team history. Canton won a combined three games in their first two seasons in the Tri-State League.
East Mountain led 4-0 into the bottom of the seventh. The Cougars limited Canton to just two hits in the first six innings of the contest but in the seventh, the Crushers caught fire.
Jim Spirito led off the inning with a single and that was followed by an RBI triple from Heath Cotton (2-for-3). Cotton scored on a RBI double from Jake Bryant (2-3) to cut the Cougar lead to two runs, 4-2. Taylor Riley singled and Devon Warren was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Chris Van deBogart ripped a two-RBI single to tie the game at 4-4. Jeff Mulhall waked and two more runs scored on a RBI single from Jon Scippa. The inning ended with Canton ahead by a 7-4 advantage.
East Mountain added another run in the eighth but Canton tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning on Steve Dubois’ two-RBU single.
The Cougars threatened in the ninth, scoring twice to cut the lead to two runs. But Cotton came on and struck out three of the last four batters to earn his second save of the season and secure the victory.
Riley got the start for Canton and pitched nearly seven innings. He gave up four runs on nine hits and struck out nine. Spirito came on in relief and took the Crushers into the ninth inning before Cotton could earn the save.
Former Crusher pitcher Mike Bowes took the loss for East Mountain but he had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-4. For Canton, Chris Van deBogart had two hits.
NOTES: Canton beat Southington, 5-3 on Tuesday. The Crushers were supposed to play against the expansion Valley Thunder on Thursday in Wolcott. Rain washed out the game and Valley decided to forfeit, not wanting to reschedule at a later date. …. Canton finished 15th with the top 12 teams in the 19-team league making the Tri-State League playoffs. Tribury and Brass City were the final two teams in the tournament with 7-10 marks. … Canton lost two games by one run (Winsted, 1-0 and Watertown, 1-0) and two games by two runs (Bethlehem, 2-0 and Amenia, 2-0). Watertown finished first in the regular season with a 17-1 record.
Canton 9, East Mountain 7
East Mountain (1-15) 000 200 212 — 7-14-1
Canton (5-13) 000 000 72x — 9-10-1
Mike Bowes, Anthony (7) and Maddox; Taylor Riley, Jim Spirito (7), Heath Cotton (9) and Jeff Mulhall; WP: Spirito (2-4); LP: Bowes; Save: Cotton (2); 2B: Jake Bryant (C), Tyler (E), Travis (E); 3B: Heath Cotton (C)