TORRINGTON, August 23 – Pitcher Kodi Kerski allowed just four hits and struck out 15 to lead the Terryville Black Sox to a 5-1 victory over the Naugatuck Dogs Friday night at Fuessenich Park and their first-ever Tri-State League baseball championship.
The victory gives the Black Sox (27-6) a 2-0 sweep in the best-of-3 championship series. The Black Sox won game one on Tuesday, 4-2.
Terryville took a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning to take the early lead. Billy Armstrong walked with one out and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Armstrong scored on a RBI single from Kyle Tehan.
The Dogs (15-10) tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kyle Murphy reached with a two-out double and scored on Devin Murphy’s RBI single to left field.
Terryville took command with three runs in the seventh inning. Justin McCullough doubled to center field and moved to third base on Christian Callahan’s single. A walk to Nick Delotto loaded the bases with no outs.
Naugatuck hurler Lance Stevens struck out Terryville’s Kyle Skidmore but Ian Schmidt’s sacrifice fly to center field drove in a run to extend the lead to 2-1. Catcher Tyler Wenz followed with a two-run single to left field for a 4-1 lead.
A walk and an error loaded the bases with two outs but Naugatuck reliever Jeff Rustico got Tony Palane to foul out to the catcher to end the threat.
Terryville extended the lead to 5-1 in the eighth inning when they loaded the bases with two walks and a single by McCullough, who scored on a sacrifice fly to center field from Skidmore. McCullough was 2-for-3 for the Black Sox while Wenz was 1-for-4 with two RBI.
It’s the first league championship for Terryville, which was making their second straight finals appearance. The Black Sox were 16-2 in the regular season – the best record in the league.
However, it’s not the first Tri-State title for a team from Terryville. A team from Terryville that had no nickname won Tri-State championships in 1996 and 2000. That team played from 1995 through 2003. The Black Sox joined the Tri-State League in 2007.
Naugatuck was playing in their fourth final since 2013. They won a championship in 2017.
Terryville 5, Naugatuck 1
Terryville (27-6) 000 001 310 — 5-6-0
Naugatuck (15-10) 000 001 000 — 1-4-2
Kodi Kerski and Tyler Wenz; Lance Stevens, Jeff Rustico (7) and Matt Lehane; WP: Kerski; LP: Stevens; 2B: Kyle Murphy (N), Justin McCullough (T)