AVON, July 16 – There will be no backing in for the Simsbury American Legion baseball team. Bristol beat Avon for the third straight night on Tuesday with a 3-0 Zone 1 victory.
If Simsbury wants to win their first Zone 1 title since 2015, they need to beat Avon on Wednesday night at Memorial Field beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The win gives Bristol (20-7, 18-6 Zone 1 North) a share of the Zone 1 Northern Division title. Simsbury (18-7, 17-6 Zone 1 North) can tie Bristol for the championship with a win over Avon. However, Simsbury would get the Zone 1 North championship because they won two of three games against Bristol this summer.
A win by Avon over Simsbury Post 84 would give Bristol the Zone 1 Northern Division title – their first Zone 1 pennant since 2011.
The winners of the zones get home field advantage in the first weekend of the American Legion state tournament. Simsbury and Bristol have already secured bids to the state tournament that begins on Saturday.
Bristol pitcher Trevor Mays went the distance to beat Avon Post 201 Tuesday night at Buckingham Field. Mays (4-2) allowed five hits, struck out two and walked just one. Avon scored just two runs in three games with Post 2.
Bristol took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Evan Bouchard scored from second base on a two-out single from Alex Diloreto to right field. Bouchard advanced to third on the hit and went home when Diloreto got caught in a rundown between first and second base.
Bristol picked up two insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning. Joshua Nohilly led off the inning with a walk and moved to second base on Bouchard’s single to centerfield. Nohilly was replaced at second base by pinch runner Nicholas Ruffino.
Ruffino moved to third base and Bouchard went to second base on Steve Warkoski’s sacrifice bunt. Ruffino scored on a sacrifice fly from Diloreto while Bouchard scored on a single by catcher Carson Sassu for a 3-0 lead.
Bouchard was 2-for-3 for Bristol with a double.
For Avon, Max Raha was 2-for-3 for Post 201. Pitcher Jake Coppen (2-4) went the distance on the mound for Avon, giving up four hits, striking out one and walking two. Avon has lost eight straight games.
NOTE: The state committee of the American Legion restructured the zones before the season began creating two divisions in each zone. It will be the first time in Zone 1 history that there will be two divisional champions. Zone 1 had two divisions in the early 1990s but the two divisional winners played for the zone championship.
Bristol 3, Avon 0
Bristol (20-7) 010 000 2 — 3-4-1
Avon (6-20) 000 000 0 — 0-5-1
Trevor Mays and Carson Sassu; Jake Coppen and Emmett Borenstein; WP: Mays (4-2); LP: Coppen (2-4); 2B: Evan Bouchard (B); 3B: none; HR: none
Zone 1 standings
x- won division title; y-clinched state tournament berth. Two division champions qualify along with three wild cards.
Bristol 4, Avon 0
Simsbury 8, Southington 7
Newington 1, Hartford 0 (forfeit)
Berlin 4, West Hartford 3
Bristol 3, Avon 0
Berlin at West Hartford
Avon at Simsbury, 5:30 p.m.