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Tri-State Baseball

Crushers end season with hard-fought losses to Thunder Ducks, Amenia

Canton third baseman Nick Michanczyk was 3-for-4 in the season-ending loss to the Thunder Ducks and had a hit in Saturday’s loss to Amenia.

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

Team League Overall
y-Terryville 16-2 16-2
y-Tri-Town (Litchfield) 16-2 16-2
y-Blasius Chev.-Wtby 14-4 14-4
y-Litchfield 14-4 14-4
y-Wolcott 10-7 10-7
y-Naugatuck 9-8 9-8
y-NW Connecticut-Falls Village 9-9 9-9
y-Bethlehem 9-9 9-9
y-Thunder Ducks-Prospect 9-9 9-9
y-Tribury-Middlebury 8-10 8-10
y-Burlington 7-10 7-10
y-Amenia 6-10 6-10
Winsted 6-11 6-11
Southington 6-12 6-12
Canton 5-13 5-13
Bristol 3-14 3-14
Torrington 2-15 2-15

y-clinched playoff berth

Tri-State League playoffs
First round (Best of 3)
Thursday’s games
Thunder Ducks at Bethlehem, 5:45 p.m.
Tribury at Wolcott, 7 p.m.
Friday’s games
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.
Saturday’s games
Thunder Ducks at Bethlehem, noon, if necessary
Tribury at Wolcott, noon, if necessary
NW Connecticut at Amenia, 1 p.m.
Monday’s games
Amenia at NW Connecticut, 5:30 p.m., if necessary
Burlington at Naugatuck, 8 p.m.
Tuesday’s game
Naugatuck at Burlington, 5:45 p.m.
Wednesday’s game
Burlington at Naugatuck, 8 p.m., if necessary

Stan Musial state championship tournament
Double elimination
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

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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