The Canton Crushers are going to the Tri-State League playoffs. The Crushers will be facing Winsted on Friday in game 1 of the best-of-three series at Walker Field in Winsted beginning at 5:45 p.m.
Game two and game three, if necessary, will be Saturday at Bowdoin Field in Canton, beginning at 10 a.m.
OK, it’s not a big surprise that the Crushers are in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. All 13 teams in the Tri-State League will be participating in the playoffs this year.
In 2019, there were 17 teams in the league and the top 12 made the playoffs. But the COVID-19 pandemic was hard on teams. Three teams folded and one left for another league.
But Canton is still here and still playing and now, they get their first crack at the Tri-State League playoffs. The Crushers went 4-13 this season and earned the No. 12 seed in the field of 13-teams.
The top three teams – Terryville, Tri-Town and Amenia, N.Y. — earned first round byes. Terryville won the last Tri-State League championship in 2019 and nearly won the Connecticut Twilight League title a year ago when they joined that league when the Tri-State League was off due to COVID-19.
Canton has lost their last three games. The Crushers fell to Winsted last week, 12-3 and dropped a doubleheader to Southington on Saturday at Bowdoin Field, 11-2 and 4-0.
Against Southington, Steve Dubois and Matt Rose were each 2-for-3 for Canton in game one. But Southington had 12 hits led by Matt Hochberg, who was 3-for-4 with four RBI and Nick Crocker, who was 2-for-4 with one RBI. Southington hurler Pat Raymond went the distance and struck out nine.
In game two, Southington pitcher Mike Fernandes went the distance and allowed just two Canton hits in a 4-0 win. Heath Cotton had a double for the Crushers while Jake Bryant had a single. Crocker had an RBI double and a RBI single for Southington.
Winsted shut down the Crushers a week ago with pitchers Mark Cummings and Lucas Gruniuk combining to limit Canton to one hit. They did give up 10 walks which helped Canton score three runs in a 12-3 defeat.
Bryant’s single in the third inning broke up the no-hit bid.
Gruniuk was 3-for-4 with a double for Winsted (9-7) while Austin Brochu was 2-for-3 with four RBI and T.J Kent was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Seeding for the playoffs will be finalized on Wednesday after several postponed games are made up this week.
Stan Musial state tournament
Terryville has shared the last two Stan Musial state championship wins with Blasius Chevrolet out of Waterbury in 2018 and 2019. The 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic.
This year, the Black Sox will be the Tri-State League’s only entrant in the state tournament.
Only four teams are entered into the tournament with the top two advancing to the AABC Northeast Regional World Series in early August.
Southington 11, Canton 2
Southington (6-8) 040 050 2 — 11-12-0
Canton (4-12) 100 001 0 – 2-8-3
Pat Raymond and unknown; Jim Spirito, Matt Rose (6) and Jake Bryant; WP: Raymond; LP: Spirito (1-4); 2B: Spirito (Ca), Lorezetta (S), Carr (S); 3B: Hochberg (S), Taylor Riley (Ca)
Southington 4, Canton 0
Canton (4-13) 000 000 0 — 0-2-3
Southington (7-8) 100 210 x — 4-3-0
Taylor Riley and Jake Bryant; Mike Fernandes and unknown; WP: Fernandes; LP: Riley (2-4); 2B: Nick Crocker (S), Heath Cotton (Ca)
Winsted 12, Canton 3
At Canton (July 13)
Winsted (8-7) 142 140 — 12-11-0
Canton (4-11) 000 030 — 3-1-0
Mark Cummings, Lucas Gruniuk (6) and unknown; Taylor Riley, Matt Rose (3), Mike Sullivan (5), Mason Goodell (6) and Jake Bryant; WP: Cummings; LP: Riley (2-3); 2B: L. Gruniuk (W), Smith (W), Torres (W)
as of Sunday, July 18
Sunday, July 18
Terryville 6, Valley Ducks 1
Amenia 7, Burlington 4
Saturday, July 17
Southington 11-5, Canton 2-0
Winsted 5, Torrington Twisters 2
Valley Ducks 3, Blasius 1
Bethlehem 12, Torrington Rebels 1
Terryville 4, Tri-Town 3 (10)
Thursday, July 15
Amenia 4, Winsted 1
Bethlehenm 6, Torrington Twisters 1
Blasius 2, Southington 0
Wednesday, July 14
Terryville 1, Burlington 0
Thunder Ducks 6, Torrington Twisters 0
Tuesday, July 13
Winsted 12, Canton 3
Bethlehem 5, Blasius 1
Tri-Town 13, Torrington Rebels 0
Wolcott 14, Torrington Twisters 0
Amenia 11, Thunder Ducks 10
CTL Angels 7, Southington 2
Monday, July 19
CTL Aftershocks at Torrington Twisters
Burlington at Winsted
Tuesday, July 20
Burlington at Blasius
Terryville at Amenia, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, July 21
Terryville at Tri-Town
Regular season complete
Tri-State League playoffs
First round (top 3 teams get byes)
Best of three
(4) Bethlehem vs. (13) Torrington Rebels
(5) Winsted vs. (12) Canton
(6) Wolcott vs. (11) Torrington Twisters or Burlington
(7) TBA vs. (10) Torrington Twisters or Burlington
(8) TBA vs. (9) TBA
Friday, July 23
Game 1: Canton at Winsted (Walker Field), 5:45 p.m.
Saturday, July 24
Game 2: Winsted at Canton (Bowdoin Field), 10 a.m.
Game 3: Winsted vs. Canton (Bowdoin Field), noon, if necessary
Best of 3
July 30-August 1
Best of 3
Best of 3