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Timely hits lift Southington to fourth straight win in decision over Canton

Canton pitcher Jim Spirito struck out four and had two hits in Tuesday’s Tri-State League loss to Southington, 4-1.

CANTON, June 14, 2022 – Reliever Mike Nanai pitched five innings of shutout baseball and struck out five to lead the Southington Gamecocks to a 4-1 win over the Canton Crushers Tuesday night at Bowdoin Field in Tri-State League baseball action.

The Gamecocks had eight hits to win their fourth straight game after beginning the season with a pair of losses.

The Crushers (2-4) also had eight hits but three errors handcuffed Canton’s chances to earn a victory. Canton has lost three in a row after beginning the season with a 2-1 record.

“We hit the ball all day but unfortunately, it was right at people,” Canton co-manager Jake Bryant said. ”If a few (more baseballs) more find the grass, then it is a different outcome in this game.”

The game was tied, 1-1, after four innings when Southington came to bat in the top of the fifth inning.

Soutington’s Nate Crocker led off the inning with a single and stole second base. Canton reliver Jim Michanczyk fanned Southington’s Pay Raymond before Pat Smith singled, moving Crocker to third base. Crocker scored on Ty Fernandez’s RBI single to boost the lead to 2-1.

Michanczyk got Angel Torres to fly out to left field for the second out. With Fernandez at first base and Smith at second base, Michanczyk got Dan Neal to loft a fly ball to right ball. Canton outfielder Scott Sperl chased down the ball and saw the ball bounce off his glove as he attempted to catch it.

Two unearned runs scored to boost the Southington lead to three runs, 4-1.

“I thought the guys did a good job of getting big hits in key situations,” Southington’s Smith said. “We were short a few guys due the (early start) time and guys who started in their place picked up the slack and that helped us out.”

Nanai struck out three of the final seven batters than the Crushers sent to the plate.

Southington took a 1-0 lead on a RBI single from Fernandez in the first inning. Canton responded quickly with Ben Sullivan scoring on a RBI single from Jim Spirito. Canton had five hits in the first inning and had the bases loaded before Southington starter Christian Peterson struck out Steve Muller to get out of the jam.

The Crushers had runners on first and second base with one out in the third inning but Nanai was able to get a strikeout and a ground ball to get out that jam.

Michanczyk took the loss for the Crushers, despite striking out seven. He gave up four hits and one earned run. Spirito worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning. With one out, the Gamecocks loaded the bases on a single from Smith, a double from Fernandez and a walk.

But Spirito got Neal to fly out to catcher Jeff Mulhall in foul territory and Peterson to fly out to Bryant, playing first base, in foul territory to end the inning.

Spirito and NIck Michanczyk each had two hits for the Crushers. Jack Rose nearly hit a ball out of the park in the fifth inning but Angel Torres was backed up against the chain link fence in left field and caught a hall that could have been a home run. For Southington, Smith and Fernandez were each 3-for-4 with Fernandez having an RBI and a double.

Canton returns to action on Saturday when they host the Thunder Ducks from Wolcott at 11 a.m. at Bowdoin Field.

Southington 4, Canton 1
At Canton
Southington (4-2)            100  030  0  – 4-8-1
Canton (2-4)                     100  000  0  — 1-8-3
Christian Peterson, Mike Nanai (3) and Jack Kurnick; Jim Spirito, James Michanczyk (4) and Jeff Mulhall; WP: Nanai; LP: Michanczyk (2-1); 2B: Ty Fernandez (S)

2022 Tri-State League standings

Team Rec. Pct.
Tri-Town 6-0 1.000
Winsted 5-2 .714
Southington 4-2 .666
Bethlehem 4-3 .571
Amenia, N.Y. 3-3 .500
Valley Ducks 3-3 .500
Wolcott 3-3 .500
Blasius Chevrolet 3-3 .500
Brass City 3-4 .426
Torrington Twisters 2-3 .400
Canton 2-4 .333
Burlington 2-5 .285
Naugatuck 1-6 .142

Sunday’s results
Brass City 7, Torrington 3
Wolcott 8, Naugatuck 2
Burlington 9, Canton 1
Valley Ducks 5, Bethlehem 4
Southington 5, Blasisu Chevorlet 3
Winsted 4, Amenia NY 3
Tuesday’s result
Southington 4, Canton 1
Thursday’s games
Wolcott at Bethlehem
Valley Ducks at Winsted
Southington at Amenia
Blasius Chevrolet at Brass City
Friday’s game
Naugatuck at Torrington
Saturday games
Valley Ducks at Canton, 11 a.m.

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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