PROSPECT, July 21 – A day after seeing their Tri-State League playoffs melt away in the scorching heat in a seven-run loss to Amenia, N.Y., the Canton Crushers baseball team finished the 2019 regular season with a hard-fought three-run defeat to the newly-renamed Thunder Ducks on Sunday.
The Thunder Ducks scored seven times in the third inning to erase an early three-run Canton lead and beat the Crushers, 9-6 on the final day of the regular season despite 11 hits from the Crushers. The Ducks (9-9) will move on in the Tri-State League playoffs that begin this weekend.
Canton (5-13) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when one run scored on an infield ground ball and a RBI single from Jeff Mulhall. The Crushers extended the lead to 3-0 in the third inning on a RBI single from Nick Michanczyk.
The Thunder Ducks, who changed their name earlier this month, scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 7-3 lead. The Ducks, who began the season as (Naugatuck) Valley Thunder, had six hits in the inning and took advantage of two Canton errors.
Jovanni Torres had a two-run double in the third inning for the Ducks while teammates’ Nick Forino and Tyler Pelletier each RBI singles.
Shortstop Ben Sullivan and Michanczyk were each 3-for-4 for the Crushers while Mulhall had two hits. Jake Bryant ripped a two-run triple for Canton in the fourth inning.
It was a hot day to play baseball with temperatures in the mid-90s and the heat index over 100 degrees.
It was just as hot on Saturday in Amenia as the Monarchs (6-10) clinched a spot in the playoffs with an 8-1 win at Doc Bartlett Field over the Crushers, who were eliminated with the loss. Canton needed to win these final two games this weekend to have a shot at a playoff berth.
Pitcher Travis Hyatt gave up nine hits in five innings of work but allowed just one run to lead Amenia.
Amenia took a 1-0 lead in the second inning off a single from Hunter Goodacre before adding additional runs in the third and fourth inning for a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Amenia’s Andy Thrasher hit a two-run single before teammate Kenny Shufelt hit a two-run home run for a 7-0 advantage. Leshawn Thrasher pitched the final two innings to secure the win for the Monarchs.
Canton’s Taylor Riley and Jim Spirito each had two hits. Riley had a single and a double.
Canton (5-13) finishes with five wins for the third time in the last four seasons.
The Crushers scored the most runs in a single game in team history this season (17) in a 17-1 victory over Bristol on July 2. It also set the team record for largest win (16 runs). With their first-ever win on Opening Day against Winsted on May 19, the Crushers snapped a 14-game losing streak – their second longest in six-year history of the franchise.
Thunder Ducks 7, Canton 6
At Propsect (July 21)
Canton (5-13) 201 300 0 — 6-11-2
Thunder Ducks (9-9) 007 011 x — 9-10-3
Jeff Mulhall, James Michanczyk (3) and Jake Bryant; Pat Romano, Nick Forino (7) and Joevanni Torres; WP: Roman; LP: Mulhall (0-1); 2B: Joevanni Torres (TD), Nick Forino (TD); 3B: Jake Bryant (Ca)
Amenia 8, Canton 1
At Amenia, N.Y. (July 20)
Canton (5-12) 000 100 1 — 1-9-3
Amenia (6-10) 011 105 x — 8-8-0
Jake Bryant, Jim Spirito (6) and Jeff Mulhall; Travis Hyatt, Leshawn Thrasher (6) and Thrashur; WP: Hyatt; LP: Bryant (1-3); 2B: Will Perotti (A), Nick R. (A); Taylor Riley (Ca); HR: Ken Schufelt (A)
2019 Tri-State League standings
|y-NW Connecticut-Falls Village||9-9||9-9|
y-clinched playoff berth
Tri-State League playoffs
First round (Best of 3)
Thunder Ducks at Bethlehem, 5:45 p.m.
Tribury at Wolcott, 7 p.m.
Bethlehem at Thunder Ducks (Wolcott HS), 5:45 p.m.
Wolcott at Tribury (Waterville Park), 8 p.m.
Amenia at NW Connecticut (Housatonic), 5:30 p.m.
Thunder Ducks at Bethlehem, noon, if necessary
Tribury at Wolcott, noon, if necessary
NW Connecticut at Amenia, 1 p.m.
Amenia at NW Connecticut, 5:30 p.m., if necessary
Burlington at Naugatuck, 8 p.m.
Naugatuck at Burlington, 5:45 p.m.
Burlington at Naugatuck, 8 p.m., if necessary
Stan Musial state championship tournament
Top two teams qualify for the AABC Northeast World Series
Sunday June 28
Blasius Chevrolet vs Fedells Mechanics, 7 p.m., Fuessneich Park
Wolcott Scrappers vs Milford Hunters, 4 p.m., Foran HS
Wallingford Diamondzone vs Danbury All-Star Batting, 7 p.m., Danbury HS
Terryville Black Sox vs Danbury Pirates, 2 p.m. Abbott Tech-Danbury