WATERBURY, Aug. 14, 2022 – Pitching carried the day Sunday at the Albany Athletics won their first AABC Northeast World Series championship since 2016 with a sweep of the Terryville Black Sox at Municipal Stadium.
The Athletics forced a decisive game for the championship with a 3-1 win in 10 innings in the opening contest, striking out 11 Terryville batters and giving up just three hits.
In the title game, the A’s erased a 4-1 deficit with two runs in the fifth and sixth innings and reliever Chris Salamida pitched 2.1 scoreless innings and struck out three as Albany (38-5-4) won the tournament with 5-4 decision.
“This was a tremendous accomplishment for us,” said Albany general manager and head coach Joe Altieri. “It was a crazy week winning (Albany) Twilight League playoffs then immediately getting ready for the World Series but the guys came together and played outstanding.”
Salamida picked up a save and had two wins. In 10.1 innings in the tournament and was named the most valuable player. On the weekend, he gave up seven hits and struck out 12.
“The pitching was reliable once again especially with Salamida and our hitting didn’t give up,” Altieri said. “When were down today, we put together great at bats and fought through a long day. This is a great accomplishment for our team.”
Terryville (20-6) went undefeated in pool play with three wins and needed just one win on Sunday to win the title.
The Black Sox took a 3-1 lead in game two in the third inning. The Black Sox loaded the bases with singles from Alex Rauso and Justin McColluch and a walk to Kevin Skidmore. Rauso scored on a ground ball out to tie the game at 1-1. Terryville took a 3-1 lead on Chris Goggins’ two-run double to left field.
Terryville made it 4-1 in the top of the fifth inning on a RBI single from Goggins that drove in McColluch from second base. When the Black Sox tried to extend the lead with a double steal, Albany came up with a big play.
Goggins stole second base and Eric Schlitter tried to steal home from third base. But A’s second baseman Mike Talavera got the ball to catcher Craig Mastroianni, who tagged out Schlitter for the third out of the inning.
Talavera’s two-out double in the fifth inning cut the Black Sox lead to one run, 4-3.
Albany took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Nick Hansen doubled with one out which a high chopping ground ball that soared over the head of Rauso at second base and R.J. Pingitore walked. With two outs, both advanced to third and second bases, respectively, on a double steal. Both scored on Jared Russell’s two-out, two-run single for a 5-4 lead.
Salamida retired the side with two strikeouts looking to give the A’s the championship. McCoulluch, Goggins and Chris Ayer each had two hits for the Black Sox in the game.
In Sunday’s opening game, Albany got a RBI triple from Talavera to snap 1 1-1 tie in the tenth inning before Nate Novak followed with a RBI single to give the A’s a 3-1 victory.
Albany took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning when Nate Pingitore’s sacrifice fly scored Hansen from third base.
But Terryville responded immediately in the bottom of the fifth inning. Catcher Chris Linnell led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice from Billy Armstrong. Linnell moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly from Tony Patane to tie the game at 1-1.
In the 10th inning, Pingitore led off with a double. Pinch runner Mark Teson scampered to third on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out triple from Talavera. Nate Novak’s RBI single drove in Talavera for a 3-1 lead.
Terryville threatened in the bottom of the 10th. With two outs, Patane singled to left field and moved to third base on Rauso’s double. But Salamida got pinch hitter Kevin Skidmore to ground out to end the threat and game one.
Three Albany pitchers combined to strikeout 11 Terryville batters in game one and allowed just three hits.
Terryville’s Kody Kerski went 8.1 innings for the Black Sox, allowing six hits and striking out seven. Joe Rivera pitched 1.2 innings of relief, allowing three hits and struck out five.
“Albany is a tough team. They never quit,” Terryville’s Dan Patrane said. “They have a lot of fight in them. We fought hard but we really didn’t have that (key) putout.”
Terryville, the top seed in the Connecticut Twilight League, was in the finals for the second time. The Black Sox finished second in 2018. Terryville resumes action in the CT Twilight League playoffs on Monday.
This was the third time that Albany has won the AABC Northeast World Series title. The A’s won in 2012 and 2016 when the A’s had to beat the Watertown Blaze twice on the final day to win the tournament. Talavera hit .375 for the A’s, going 6-for-16 with Hansen hitting .357 (5-14) and Tim Carroll hitting .312 (5-16).
The last Connecticut team to win the AABC Northeast World Series title was the Stratford Storm in 2013.
Albany 3, Terryville 1 (10)
Albany (37-5-2) 000 010 000 2 — 3-9-1
Terryville (20-5) 000 010 000 0 — 1-3-0
James Rubino, Zach Breen (5), Chris Salamida (10) and Craig Mastroianni; Kody Kerski, Joe Rivera (9) and Chris Linnell; WP: Salamida; LP: Rivera; 2B: R.J. Pingitore (A), Alex Rauso (T); 3B: Mike Talavera (A)
Albany 5, Terryville 4
Terryville (20-6) 003 010 0 — 4-8-0
Albany (38-5-2) 100 022 x — 5-6-0
Dave Alarcon and J. Rich; Bryan Carr, Joe Pokrentowski (4), Chris Salamida (5) and Craig Mastrioanni; WP: Salamida; LP: Alarcon; 2B: Nick Hansen (A), Mike Talavera (A), Chris Goggins (T)
2022 AABC Stan Musial Northeast World Series
At Municipal Stadium, Waterbury
Friday, August 12
Albany (NY) A’s 2, Braintree (MA) White Sox 0
Terryville Black Sox 4, Milford Hunters 3 (12)
Saturday, August 13
Braintree (MA) 3, Milford 0
Terryville 3, Albany (NY) 2 (FP)
Terryville 5, Braintree (MA) 2 (FP)
Albany 2, Milford 0
Records: Terryville 3-0, Albany 2-1, Braintree 1-2, Milford 0-3
Sunday, August 14
Albany 3, Terryville 1 (10)
Championship: Albany 5, Terryville 4
FP: Games at Fuessenich Park, Torrington
Recent AABC Northeast World Series champions
2021: Braintree (MA) White Sox 9, Albany (NY) Athletics 0
2020: No tournament, COVID-19 pandemic
2019: Braintree (MA) White Sox 3, Fedell’s Mechanics-Trumbull (CT) 0
2018: Braintree (MA) White Sox 11, Terryville (CT) Black Sox 1
2017: Braintree (MA) White Sox 5, North Halendon (NJ) Reds 4
Stan Musial World Series (national event)
2016: Albany (NY) Athletics 6, Watertown (CT) Blaze 5
Stan Musial North Atlantic Regional (winner advances to national championship tournament)
2015: Braintree (MA) White Sox 8, Milford (CT) Hunters 0
2014: Braintree (MA) White Sox 4, Milford (CT) Hunters 0
2013: Bellows Chiropractic/Stratford (CT) Storm* 7, Braintree (MA) White Sox 1
2012: Albany (NY) Athletics*
2011: Long Island Storm
2010: Albany (NY) Athletics 11, Long Island Storm 7
2009: Long Island Storm
2008: Easton (MA) Huskies 4, Long Island Storm 1
2007: Easton (MA) Huskies
2006: Long Island Storm*
*Won Stan Musial national championship