NAUGATUCK, July 17, 2022 – There is still life in the Canton Crushers.
The Crushers lived up to their nickname with 42 hits in a doubleheader sweep over the Naugatuck Nightmare on Sunday at Rotary Field to remain alive for the Tri-State League playoffs.
Canton had a team-record 23 hits in the 21-13 win in game one while the Crushers had 19 hits in a 11-5 decision in game two. The Crushers improve to 5-11 with two games remaining in the regular season.
Canton is chasing the Brass City Vipers (6-9) for the tenth and final spot in the playoffs. Canton faces defending league champion Tri-Town (15-1) on Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. at Bowdoin Field before meeting the Vipers on Thursday night at Bucks Hill Park in Waterbury at 7 p.m. for a potential playoff showdown.
Brass City closes out their regular season on Friday against Burlington and a win by the Hunters over the Vipers would be very helpful for the Crushers.
Canton took care of business on Sunday against Naugatuck with the two biggest hitting exhibitions in team history. The 23 hits in game one is a team record while the 19 hits in game two is No. 2 on the hit list. The previous record for hits in a single game was 18 against Bristol in 2019.
The 21 runs scored is also a new Crusher team record, erasing the previous mark of 17 set against Bristol in 2019.
Canton trailed Naugatuck, 9-4 before scoring 13 runs in the fifth and sixth inning to pull away from the Nightmare. The Crushers put five runs across the plate in the fifth inning and scored eight runs in the sixth inning.
Jake Bryant was 4-for-6 with a double, home run and six RBI while Matt Rose (3-for-4, three RBI, 2B and 3B), Jim Spirito (3-for-3, 5 RBI) and Mike Scott (3-for-5, 2 RBI, 2B) each had three hits. Bryant hit his first home run of the season.
In game two, Scott (3-for-4), Bryant (3-for-5, two RBI), Rose (3-4, 3 RBI, 2B) and Sean Bahre (3-for-4, two RBI) each had three hits for the Crushers. Jim Spirito pitched a complete game to earn the win on the mound for Canton, allowing seven hits and striking out eight. He walked four.
In the two games, Bryant was 7-for-11 and eight RBI while Rose was 6-for-8 with six RBI. Scott was 6-for-9 with two RBI.
Canton 21, Naugatuck 13
Canton (4-11) 040 058 4 — 21-23-2
Naugatuck (3-12) 051 302 2 — 13-20-2
James Michanczyk, Mike Lawrence (5) and Jeff Mulhall; Matt Venable, Braden Bean (2), Christian Cuevas (4), Terrance Noss (6), Brandon Spadalio (7) and unknown; WP: Michanczyk (3-1), LP: Cuevas; 2B: Joshua Bologh (N) 2, Jake Bryant (C), Jeff Mulhall (C), Matt Rose (C), Mike Scott (C), 3B: Heath Cotton (C), Rose (C); HR: Jake Bryant (C), Joshua Bologh (N)
Canton 11, Naugatuck 5
Canton (5-11) 100 123 4 — 11-19-4
Naugatuck (3-13) 020 300 0 — 5-7-1
Jim Spirito and unknown; Joshua Bologh and unknown; WP: Spirito (1-2); LP: Bologh; 2B: Matt Rose (C), Angel Valentin (N)