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Crushers host Winsted on Sunday as Tri-State League season opens

Naugatuck’s Jeff Rustico slides into third base before Canton third baseman Jeff Mulhall can apply a tag in a Tri-State League contest last July in Canton.

CANTON, May 18 – The Tri-State League opens their 86th season on Sunday with the hometown Canton Crushers hosting the Winsted Whalers at Bowdoin Field at 5 p.m.

It is the sixth year for the Crushers in the league and the team will be looking to be among the top 12 teams in the league to make the postseason. The Crushers had a rough season last summer, winning just one of 18 games.

There are seventeen teams in the league this year. Waterbury’s East Mountain Cougars didn’t return but there will be a new entry – the Northwest Orioles, who will play their home games on the campus of Housatonic Valley Regional in Falls Village.

Defending league champion Tri-Town Trojans won their first league championship since 2013 with a 2-1 victory over Terryville Black Sox in the best-of-three championship finals but they are no lock to repeat. There have been nine different league champions in the past 12 seasons. Still, the Trojans (20-6) will be a contender. Manager Danny McCarty has a veteran squad that has also won two AABC state championships since 2013.

The Black Sox (27-7) had the best record in the regular season a year ago and shared the AABC Stan Musial state championship with Blasius Chevrolet. The Black Sox advanced to the final of the Stan Musial East Coast World Series before falling to Braintree, Massachusetts.

There are some new coaches in the league. Rich Reeve takes over in Bethlehem with the Plowboys while Bob Warren takes the rein of the Wolcott Scrappers, a young team hoping to draw talent from the successful Wolcott High and Wolcott Mickey Mantle baseball teams in town.

Tribury has a new nickname (Cave instead of Twisters) and a new head coach in Ben Brown. Chris Brady is the skipper of the new Orioles franchise in Falls Village.

With the new season on the horizon, the league announced their 2018 award winners and last summer’s All-Star team.

MVP: Ryan Plourde (Naugatuck)

Silver Slugger: Tony Patane (Terryville)

Cy Young: Kody Kerski (Terryville)

2018 Tri-State League All-Star team
Catcher: Landon Gardella (Tri-Town); First Base: Devin Murphy (Naugatuck); Second Base: Matt Warren (Wolcott); Shortstop: Danny McCarty (Tri-Town); Third Base: Kyle Skidmore (Terryville); Outfield: Chris Callahan (Terryville); Outfield Chris Ayer (Terryville); Outfield Shane Beirfeldt (Tri-Town); Des. Hitter Sam Shurberg (Tri-Town); Pitcher: Miles Scribner (Tri-Town)

Opening Day schedule
Sunday May 19
Southington at Blasius Chevrolet, 10 a.m., Hotchkiss Field (Waterbury)
Amenia at Terryville, 11 a.m. (Old Terryville HS)
Bristol at Tri-Town, 11 a.m. (Community Field, Litchfield)
Tribury at Valley Thunder, noon (Tyrell MS, Wolcott)
Winsted at Canton, 5 p.m. (Bowdoin Field)
Burlington at Torrington, 6 p.m. (Fuessenich Park)

2018 Tri-State League final standings

Team Record Pct. GB
x-Terryville Black Sox 15-3 .833
x-Naugatuck Dogs 14-4 .777 1
x-Tri-Town Trojans 14-4 .777 1
x-Litchfield Cowboys 14-4 .777 1
x-Blasius Chevrolet-Wtby 13-5 .722 2
x-Wolcott Scrappers 12-5 .705
x-Bristol Greeners 11-7 .611 4
x-Bethlehem Plowboys 10-8 .555 5
x-Amenia Monarchs 9-9 .500 6
x-Southington 66ers 8-10 .444 7
x-Winsted Whalers 8-10 .444 7
x-Tribury Twisters 7-11 .388 8
Burlington Hunters 6-12 .333 9
Thunder 6-12 .333 9
Torrington Rebels 3-15 .166 12
East Mountain Cougars 2-15 .177 12½
Canton Crushers 1-17 .055 14
x-clinched playoff berth

2018 Tri-State League playoffs
First round (Best of three)
Thursday, July 26
Tribury Twisters 9, Blasius Chevrolet 8
Wolcott Scrappers 9, Winsted Whalers 6
Southington 66ers 6, Bristol Greeners 1
Bethlehem Plowboys 4, Amenia NY Monarchs 2
Friday, July 27
Blasius Chevrolet 4, Tribury 2
Wolcott 8, Winsted 2, Wolcott wins series, 2-0
Southington 7, Bristol 2, Southington wins series, 2-0
Bethlehem 7, Amenia NY 1, Bethlehem wins series, 2-0
Saturday, July 28
Tribury 10, Blasius Chevrolet 5, Tribury wins series, 2-1

Round two (best of three)
Saturday August 4

Tri-Town Trojans 6, Southington 66ers 0
Sunday August 5
Tri-Town 3, Southington 2 (10), Tri-Town wins series, 2-0
Terryville Black Sox 3, Bethlehem Plowboys 2 (10)
Tribury Twisters 5, Litchfield Cowboys 4
Litchfield 6, Tribury 4
Naugatuck Dogs 1, Wolcott Scrappers 0
Monday August 6
Litchfield 7, Tribury 1, Litchfield wins series, 2-1
Bethlehem 9, Terryville 7
Naugatuck 6, Wolcott 5, Naugatuck wins series, 2-0
Tuesday August 7
Terryville 3, Bethlehem 2, Terryville wins series, 2-1 

Semifinals
Tuesday, August 14
Terryville Black Sox 6, Litchfield Cowboys 4
Naugatuck Dogs 9, Tri-Town Trojans 7
Wednesday, August 15
Terryville 12, Litchfield 3, Terryville wins series, 2-0
Tri-Town 5, Naugatuck 3
Thursday, August 16
Tri-Town 3, Naugatuck 2, Tri-Town wins series, 2-1

2018 Tri-State League finals
At Torrington
Game 1: Tri-Town 3, Terryville 0
Game 2: Terryville 10, Tri-Town 7
Game 3: Tri-Town 4, Terryville 2, Tri-Town wins series, 2-1


2018 Stan Musial
state baseball championships
Top two teams qualify for the AABC Northeast World Series in Braintree, Mass., August 9-12

Sunday, July 29
Game 1: Fedell’s Mechanics-Trumbull 2, Blasius Chevrolet-Waterbury 0
Game 2: Terryville Black Sox 13, Diamond Zone-North Haven 2
Game 3: Milford Hunters 8, All-Star Batting 0
Game 4: Danbury Pirates 5, Naugatuck Dogs 1
Monday, July 30
Game 5: Terryville 4, Fedell’s Mechanics 1
Game 6: Milford 9, Danbury 0
Game 7: Naugatuck 7, All-Star Batting 1, All-Star eliminated
Game 8: Blasius Chevrolet 5, Diamond Zone 0, Diamond Zone eliminated
Tuesday, July 31
Game 9: Terryville 5, Milford 4 (11)
Game 10: Blasius Chevrolet 6, Danbury 1, Danbury eliminated
Game 11: Naugatuck 7, Fedell’s Mechanics 3, Fedell’s eliminated
Thursday, August 2
Game 13: Naugatuck 9, Milford 5, Milford eliminated
Sunday, August 5
Game 14: Blasius Chevrolet 6, Naugatuck 4
Stan Musial state championship
Game 15: Terryville vs. Blasius Chevrolet, declared co-champions

Recent Stan Musial state champions
2018: Terryville Black Sox and Blasius Chevrolet (co-champions)
2017: Watertown Blaze
2016: Watertown Blaze
2015: Naugatuck Dogs
2014: Tri-Town Trojans
2013: Tri-Town Trojans
2012: Naugatuck Dogs
2011: Naugatuck Dogs


2018 Stan Musial AABC East Coast World Series
At Braintree, Mass.
Thursday, August 9
Round 1
Terryville Black Sox 15, Blasius Chevrolet-Waterbury 2
Braintree MA White Sox 14, Manchester, N.H. 0
Bourne MA Mariners 12, New York Hawks 4
Albany NY Athletics 1, Rowley Nor’easters- Tewksbury, MA 0

Round 2
Terryville 7, Braintree MA 5
Bourne MA 6, Albany NY 5
Consolation
Blasius Chevrolet 9, Manchester 4, Manchester eliminated
New York Hawks def. Rowley Nor’easters, Rowley eliminated

Friday, August 10
Round 3
Terryville 5, Bourne Mariners 4
Consolation
Albany Athletics 3, Blasius Chevrolet 1, Blasius eliminated
Braintree MA 5, New York Hawks 3, New York eliminated

Round 4
Albany Athletics 5, Terryville White Sox 0
Braintree MA 5, Bourne Mariners 3, Bourne eliminated

Saturday, August 11
Round 5
Braintree MA 4, Albany Athletics 1. Albany eliminated
Terryville bye

Round 6: Championship
Braintree MA 11, Terryville 3

 

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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