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West Hartford sluggers handle Simsbury, 9-6, in Zone 1 action

West Hartford’s David Cantanella (33) is thrown out at third base in Wednesday night’s Zone 1 game against Simsbury. Post 84 third baseman Luke Guyer tags out Cantanella.

WEST HARTFORD, June 15, 2022 – It was nearly unthinkable to see a Simsbury American Legion baseball team go the entire season without a victory last summer. Simsbury always seems to be in contention in Zone 1.

But Post 84 played 16 games and lost them all, finishing the season with an 18-game losing streak dating back to the 2019 state playoffs.

Simsbury will be better in 2022. Post 84 already has their first victory of the season thanks to Sunday’s win in extra innings over Torrington.

On Wednesday night, Simsbury had 10 hits and five doubles but committed five errors and gave up five unearned runs in a 9-6 loss to West Hartford in Zone 1 action at Hall High.

West Hartford (2-0) got two hits each from third baseman Joseph Dooley and catcher Thomas Laspada. Dooley, who will play at the University of Hartford next year, was 2-for-2 with a single and a monster home run to left field. Laspada was 2-for-3 with one RBI.

West Hartford broke open the game in the second inning with five runs on five hits, including a two-run single from David Cantarella and RBI singles from Lucas Pyrro and Laspada to take a 5-2 lead.

Simsbury cut the lead to two, 5-3, on an RBI double from Jacob Goodwin in the top of the third inning but West Hartford added another run on Dooley’s home run to extend the lead to three runs. The winners added another three runs in the fifth inning for a 9-6 lead, sparked by a two-run single from Quinn Larock.

Simsbury had three consecutive doubles from Jacob Cohen, Colby Wilheim and Jacob Williams to score three runs in the seventh inning to trim the lead to three but that is as close as Simsbury would get.

Goodwin was 3-for-3 with three RBI for Post 84 while Williams was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

“Our goal is to play the way we know these guys can play coming out of the 17 year old (division),” said Simsbury’s first-year coach Brian Odegard, who coached many of these players on Simsbury’s U-17 Legion team a year ago.

“These guys did well last year. They know how to play together and how to work together,” he said. “They’ve been together for a while. This is where we will get our power from – our chemistry. They love playing ball together and that is why we will do well.”

Simsbury was 11-9 a year in the U-17 division, finishing second in Zone 1 behind West Hartford.

Simsbury has players from six towns (Simsbury, Granby, East Granby, Canton, Hartland, Burlington) on their roster. Players from Avon were eligible to play with Post 84 but none were selected for the team.

Simsbury returns to action on Friday night when they host Bristol at Memorial Field, beginning at 6:30 p.m. It will be the first home game of the season.

West Hartford 9, Simsbury 6
At West Hartford

Simsbury (1-1)            201  000  3  — 6-10-5
West Hartford (2-0)  051  030  x  — 9-10-1
Chas Orluk, Jacob Williams (4), Luke Guyer (7) and Jacob Goodwin, Matt Fagnant (4); Dubella Udell, Quinn Larock (4) and Thomas Laspada; WP: Udell; LP: Orluk (0-1); 2B: Colby Wilheim (S), Jacob Cohen (S), Jacob Williams (S), Jacob Goodwin (S), Lucas Pyrro (WH), HR: Joseph Dooley (WH)


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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