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Connecticut Mirage outlasts Farmington to win Junior Division championship

The Connecticut Mirage outlasted Farmington, 21-12 to win the Junior Division baseball title in the Farmington Bank/Vantis Life league.

SIMSBURY, Aug. 3 – It wasn’t a championship game that will be remembered for its stellar play on the diamond. Thursday night’s Junior Division championship game in the Farmington Bank/Vantis Life baseball league had 16 errors.

But one item won’t be forgotten – the Canton-based Connecticut Mirage captured a championship with a 21-12 victory over defending champion Farmington. The Mirage had 16 hits in the game, including three each from Avon’s Jackson Chard, Simsbury’s Cayden Thomas and Simsbury’s Collin Crowe.

It was the first-ever Junior Division title (ages 14-15) for a Canton-based team in the league’s long history that dates back to 1946 when it was the Jaycee-Courant baseball league.

“This was one of our goals,” Mirage manager Tom Scarfuri said. “Championships are hard to come by. A lot of things have to right for you to win one. I’m very proud of this team. They’ve come a long way. You never take a championship for granted.”

The Mirage’s Collin Crowe slides into third base as Farmington third baseman Joe Scully reaches for the throw. Crowe was safe at third base.

It was the 36th game of the season for the Mirage, who played in several tournaments throughout the summer along with their games in the Farmington Bank/Vantis Life league. Their home field is Bowdoin Field in Canton but they are a collection of players from Canton (three), Avon (three) and Simsbury (seven).

The Mirage went 12-3 and were the top team in the Junior Division this summer. They went won their opening round playoff game against Tri-County, 16-3, before beating the Connecticut Tides in Berlin in the semifinals, 3-1.

They faced a Farmington team that won the Junior Division championship a year ago and played in the Prep Division (age 13) final two years ago.

Collin Crowe won his second straight playoff game to lift the Mirage to the Junior Division title.

The Mirage (19-17, 15-3 Farmington Bank/Vantis Life) had 16 hits in the game, led by Avon’s Jackson Chard, who was 3-for-5 with four RBI and four runs scored. Simsbury’s Cayden Thomas also went 3-for-5 with four RBI and a double while Crowe went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI. He scored three runs.

Crowe also got the job done on the mound, earning the win. He went 5 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and striking out eight.

Farmington grabbed an early 2-0 lead before Canton’s Ryan Scafuri had a RBI single in the first inning and Daelan Mangiafico had a two-RBI single to take a 3-2 lead.

Farmington grabbed the lead again only to see the Mirage take a 5-4 lead on Thomas’ two-RBI double. In the third inning, the Mirage extended their lead again on a two-RBI double by Crowe for an 8-4 lead.

The Mirage scored in every inning and put up 21 runs – their second-highest run total of the season.

“I think both teams were pretty tight today,” Tom Scarfuri said. “We scored every inning. Our offense obviously put a lot of pressure on them and put us in a spot where we could play from ahead. We gave them a lot of chances but offense was there all night and that helped a lot.”

Farmington’s Ben Scudder was hit back by the Mirage in Thursday’s Junior Division championship game.

NOTES — Canton won Senior Division titles in 2003 and 2010. Nate Clark, Justin Conforti and Ryan Scafuri were from Canton with Jackson Chard, Gage Doormann and Max Wice were from Avon. Rory and Shane Walker are from Simsbury along with Cayden Thomas, Collin Crowe, Daelan Mangiafico, Andrew Oken and Patrick Kerr.

Connecticut Mirage 21, Farmington 12
At Simsbury
Farmington (14-5)                        220  305  0 – 12-7-10
CT Mirage (19-17)                        324  435  x – 21-16-6
Ben Scudder, Jackson Ferigno (4), Fishman (6), Joe Scully (6) and unknown; Collin Crowe, Cayden Thomas (6) and unknown; WP: Crowe; LP: Scudder; 2B: Thomas (CT), Crowe (CT), Scudder (F), Ferigno (F); 3B: none; HR: none

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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