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Tri-State Baseball

Crushers close out Tri-State League campaign with two defeats

Canton’s Jake Bryant had three hits including a double in the final two games of the season for the Crushers.

WATERBURY, July 21 – Jay Lafontaine pitched 8 1/3 strong innings to lift Blasius Chevrolet-Waterbury to a 4-1 Tri-State League victory over the Canton Crushers on Saturday and earn a spot in the Stan Musial state tournament on the final day of the regular season.

With the win, Blasius (13-5) earned the third and final Tri-State League berth in the upcoming Stan Musial state tournament along with Terryville and Naugatuck. The eight-team, double-elimination tournament begins July 29 and runs through August 1.

Gary Novakowski picked up the save for Blasius while teammates Fran Phelan and Jeff Fonti combined for two runs scored and two RBI.

Taylor Riley got the start on the mound for Canton, going six innings and striking out three. Jake Bryant, Jeff Mulhall, Tom Dubois and Brian Kulik each had singles for Canton. Kulik had a RBI single.

The loss was the 14th straight for the Crushers (1-17), the second longest losing streak in team history.

The Tri-State League playoffs began on Thursday with a best-of-3 first round. Blasius faced off against Tribury.

On Wednesday, July 18, pitcher Pat O’Neill pitched a complete and struck out nine to lift the Bethlehem Plowboys to an 9-2 win over the Crushers in the final game of the season at Bowdoin Field. Kevin McDonnell was 3-for-3 for the Plowboys (9-8). Joe Aniki drove in two runs while Kyle Guisto, Teddy Gravel and Will Gerski drove in one run each.

It was a 2-2 game after five innings but the Plowboys scored seven runs in the final two innings to break the game open.

Jake Bryant got the start on the mound for Canton and pitched five innings. He was 2-for-3 at the plate with a single and a double. Taylor Riley, Trey VandeBogart and Jeff Mulhall also had singles for the Crushers.

Bethlehem 9, Canton 2
At Canton
Bethlehem (9-8)                   100  014  3  — 9-8-1
Canton (1-16)                        001  010  0  — 2-5-1
Pat O’Neill and Teddy Gravel; Jake Bryant, Jamie Coen (6) and Jeff Mulhall; WP: O’Neill; LP: Coen (0-1); 2B: Fainer (B), Bryant (Ca)

Blasius Chevrolet-Waterbury 4, Canton 1
At Waterbury
Canton (1-17)                        010  000  000 – 1-4-1
Blasius Chevorlet (13-5)    020  002  00x – 4-7-1
Taylor Riley, Heath Cotton (7) and Jeff Mulhall; Jay Lafontaine, Gary Novakowski (9) and unknown; WP: Lafontaine; LP: Riley (0-5); 2B: Fran Phelan (B); 3B: Phelan (B)

2018 Tri-State League final standings

                                              Rec      Pct.     GB    RF-RA   +/-
Terryville Black Sox        15-3-0     .833    0       122-25       97
Naugatuck Dogs              14-4-0      .777    1       143-37       106
Tri-Town Trojans            14-4-0      .777    1       115-53       62
Litchfield Cowboys         13-5-0      .722    2       126-68       58
Blasius Chevrolet-Wtby  13-5-0      .722    2       110-55       55
Wolcott Scrappers          12-5-0      .705    2.5    98-57         41
Bristol Greeners              11-7-0      .611     4       69-98         -29
Bethlehem Plowboys     10-8-0      .555    5       118-103     15
Amenia Monarches        9-9-0        .500    6       71-91         -20
Southington 66ers         8-10-0      .444    7       94-83         11
Winsted Whalers           8-10-0      .444    7       86-108       -22
Tribury Twisters            7-11-0      .388     8       61-109       -48
Burlington Hunters       6-12-0      .333    9       56-99         -43
Thunder baseball           6-12-0      .333    9       79-131       -52
Torrington Rebels          3-15-0      .166    12     48-133       -85
East Mt. Cougars            2-15-0      .117    12.5  59-112       -53
Canton Crushers            1-17-0      .055    14     35-128       -93

Playoffs
First round (Best of three)
Thursday, July 26
Tribury 9, Blasius Chevrolet 8
Wolcott 9, Winsted 6
Southington 6, Bristol 1
Bethlehem 4, Amenia 2
Friday, July 27
Southington 7, Bristol 2, Southington wins series, 2-0
Blasius Chevrolet 4, Tribury 2, series tied 1-1
Saturday, July 28
Tribury at Blasius Chevrolet
Wolcott at Winsted
Bethlehem at Amenia
Sunday, July 29
Wolcott at Winsted, if necessary
Bethlehem at Amenia, if necessary

Second round (Best of three)
August 4-6
Tribury/Blasius winner at Litchfield
Wolcott/Winsted winner at Naugatuck
Southington at Tri-Town
Bethlehem/Amenia winner at Terryville

Tri-State semifinals (best-of-three)
August 14-16

Tri-State championship series (Best-of-three)
August 21-23

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. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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