AVON – Pitcher Zac Crispino allowed just two hits and struck out five while catcher Cody Doyle drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the third inning as the Avon American Legion baseball team clinched its first-ever Zone 1 championship with a 2-1 decision over Unionville Monday night at Avon Old Farms.
Avon improves to 19-3 with two games remaining. Southington is 18-5 with one game left on Wednesday against Wolcott. Even if the two teams finish tied, Avon gets the championship hardware thanks to winning two of the three games between the two teams.
Crispino pitched six innings and didn’t give up a walk. Mike Castellani came in to earn the save. He struck out a Unionville batter with the tying run on the second base to secure the victory.
Avon travels to Memorial Field in Simsbury on Tuesday night to face Post 72 and concludes the regular season with a game at Terryville. The state tournament begins on Saturday (July 20) and the top five teams in Zone 1 earned playoff berths (Avon, Southington, Bristol, Simsbury, Unionville).
Avon will have to win just one game to earn a spot among the final eight teams in the double elimination portion of the tournament that begins on July 27.
Avon is just the fifth team to win a Zone 1 championship since 1980. Bristol (18) has been the dominant team in the Zone for the past 30 years while Southington (7) and Simsbury (6) have won a handful of titles. Newington also won a Zone 1 title in the late 1980s.