Crushers still looking for that big hit and that first victory

Canton’s Heath Cotton was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI in Sunday’s Tri-State League loss to Tri-Town. He also struck out five in 4 2/3 innings of work.

CANTON, May 30 – The Canton Crushers are still looking for that big hit and that big inning to get their season off to a rousing start. The Crushers lost their third straight Tri-State League baseball game on Tuesday night at Mills Pond Park gathering just five hits in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Blasius Chevrolet from Prospect.

The Crushers had just five hits against Blasius. Against Tri-Town on Sunday, the Crushers had five hits and in the season-opening loss to Bethlehem, Canton had six hits.

Pitching has gotten better for Canton. The Crushers gave up 18 runs in the loss to the Plowboys on opening day and gave up just nine in a 7-4 loss to Tri-Town in Litchfield. Against Blasius, veteran Jim Spirito scattered nine hits and struck out three.

On Tuesday night, Blasius took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. John Connor led off the inning with a single and moved to third on Justin McCullough double. Connor scored on Paul Navakono’s sacrifice fly and McCullough scored on a single from Fran Kadet.

Blasius (1-2) added an additional run in the fifth on a single from McCullough. Joe Deming, 37, went the distance for Blaius, striking out four and giving up just two walks. Matt Wahl, Connor and McCullough each had two hits for the winners.

For Canton, Spirito was 2-for-3 with a double. Sean Bahre had a double while Jake Bryant and Ben Sullivan had singles. The game was played at Mills Pond because the high school team was playing a Class S tournament game at Bowdoin Field.

The Crushers return to action on Thursday when they host East Mountain (1-1) at Bowdoin Field at 5:45 p.m.

On Sunday, pitcher Dan Livingston went the distance, striking out 10 and giving up five hits as the Tri-Town Trojans beat the Crusher, 7-4 at Community Field in Litchfield.

The Trojans scored twice on the first inning when Casey McDonald was picked off second base but Connor Murray raced home and on a fielder’s choice. Tri-Town extended the lead to 3-1 on a RBI single from Landon Gardella in third inning.

Canton cut the lead to 2-1 in the third inning on a bases-loaded ground ball out from Trey VandeBogart, scoring Jeff Mulhall from third base. The Crushers trimmed the lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning on a throwing error with Taylor Riley scoring from second base.

Tri-Town took control with a four-run fourth inning for a 7-2 lead. McDonald had a two-RBI double while Joe Bunnell had a two-RBI single.

Cotton led Canton with by going 2-for-4 with a single, double and two RBI. He had a two-run double in the sixth inning. Mulhall, Mike Zammit and Chris VandeBogart each had singles for the Crushers. For Tri-Town, McDonald was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI while Bunnell was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Cotton pitched well in relief of starter Taylor Riley, allowing just one hit and striking out five in 4 2/3 innings of work.

In the 18-2 season-opening loss to Bethlehem, Ben Sullivan was 2-for-5 with a double while Jon Scippa also had a double for the Crushers. Sullivan and Zammit each drove in a run as Canton managed just six hits.

Plowboys hurler Pat O’Neil pitched six scoreless innings and struck out nine. Canton fanned 14 times in the contest. Mike Milius had a triple and four RBI for the Plowboys while Dennis Poulter had two hits, two RBI and a pair of stolen bases.

Blaius Chevrolet 3, Canton 0
At Canton
Blaius Chevrolet (1-2)           000  210  0 – 3-9-0
Canton (0-3)                         000  000  0 – 0-5-0
Joe Deming and Paul Novakong; Jim Spirito, Coen (7) and Jeff Mulhall; WP: Deming (1-0); LP: Spirito (0-1); 2B: Justin McCullough (B), Matt Wahl (B); Jim Spirito (C), Sean Bahre (C)

Tri-Town 7, Canton 4
At Litchfield
Canton (0-2)                           001  102  000  — 4-5-2
Tri-Town (2-0)                         201  400  00x  – 7-9-3
Taylor Riley, Heath Cotton (4) and Jeff Mulhall; Dan Livingston and Landon Gardella; WP: Livingston (1-0); LP: Riley (0-1); 2B: Heath Cotton (C), Casey McDonald (T), Joseph Mateo (T)

Bethlehem 18, Canton 2
At Bethlehem
Canton (0-1)                     000  010  001  — 2-6-2
Bethlehem (1-0)               222  217  02x – 18-xx-2
Jake Bryant, Chris VandeBogart (4), Ben Sullivan (5) and Jeff Mulhall; Pat O’Neil, Campell (7) and Gravel; WP: O’Neil (1-0); LP: Bryant (0-1); 2B: Ben Sullivan (C), Mike Scippa (C); 3B: Mike Milius (B)

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