Simsbury’s Major Division All-Star baseball team scored twice in the top of the eighth inning to beat North Haven’s Max Sinoway, 5-4 to win the first game of the four-team, state championship series in Willimantic on Saturday.
Simsbury (10-1) will face Madison (11-1) on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Lower Legion Field with the winner advancing to the final of the double-elimination series.
Five Simsbury pitchers combined to give up two hits and struck out nine Max Sinoway batters. But Simsbury gave up eight walks, forcing the pitching staff to pitch out of several tight situations. Max Sinoway stranded 12 runners on base and had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Tied at 3-3 after seven innings, each team began the inning with a runner on second base. Simsbury catcher Patrick Matyczyk began the top of the eighth inning at second base and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Matyczyk scored on a RBI double from Maxwell Williams for a 4-3 lead.
After Simsbury’s Andrew Mikan reached on a catcher’s interference call, he moved to second on a wild pitch and Matyczyk moved to third base. Matyczyk scored on an infield ground ball for a 5-3 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Max Sinoway (9-2) began the inning with a runner on second base and loaded the bases after back-to-back walks.
Simsbury brought in Lucas Gifford in relief. The first Max Sinoway hitter was out on a fielder’s choice but one run scored to cut the lead to one run, 5-4. But Gifford got the next batter to fly out to right field and ended the game with a strikeout to secure the win and earn his first save of the summer.
Simsbury took a 3-0 lead after three innings. In the first inning, Reed Anastasio walked, moved to third on Cam Denalsky’s double and scored on Matyczyk’s sacrifice fly to center field. In the third inning, Simsbury made it 3-0 on a two-out, two-run home run to center field from Mikan – his first home run of the summer.
Trailing by two runs, Max Sinoway scored twice in the fifth inning to tie the game thanks to a single, walk, an error and two batters getting hit by a pitch.
Mikan was 2-for-2 with two RBI, a double and a home run for Simsbury while Reed Anastasio was 2-for-3. The Major Division tournament is for players ages 11-12.
Simsbury 5, Max Sinoway 4 (8)
Simsbury (10-1) 100 200 02 – 5-8-2
Max Sinoway (9-2) 000 120 01 — 4-2-1
Ryan Marella, Will Gills (4), Hunter Anastasio (5), Maxwell Williams (6), Lucas Gifford (8) and Patrick Matyczyk; Joe Mastroianni, John Slais (4), Nick Romano (5), Chris Cretella (7), Adam B (8) and Chris Cretella, Jaden Wells (4); WP: Williams (2-0); LP: Adam B; Save: Gifford (1); 2B: Andrew Mikan (S), Maxwell Williams (S), Cam Denalsky (S); HR: Mikan (S)
Major Division baseball (ages 11-12)
Final Four tournament (double-elimination)
At Willimantic (Lower Legion Field)
Saturday, July 27
Game 1: Madison (D9) 5, Brooklyn/Pomfret (D12) 3
Game 2: Simsbury (D6) 5, Max Sinoway-North Haven (D4) 4 (8)
Sunday, July 28
Game 3: Madison vs. Simsbury, 2 p.m., winner advances to final
Game 4: Brooklyn/Pomfret vs. Max Sinoway, 5 p.m., losing team eliminated
Monday, July 29
Game 5: Loser game 3 vs. winner game 4, 6 p.m., losing team eliminated
Tuesday, July 30
Game 6, Final: Winner game 5 vs. winner game 3, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, July 31
Game 7: Final: Winner game 5 vs. winner game 3, 6 p.m., if necessary