TORRINGTON, August 13, 2022 – The Terryville Black Sox fought through adversity to win their first two games in the AABC Stan Musial Northeast World Series.
Then, the Black Sox took charge and beat defending champion Braintree (Mass.) White Sox, 5-2 on Saturday afternoon to earn a spot in Sunday’s championship round. Justin McCullough had a two-run home run in the first inning to spark the Black Sox.
Terryville (20-4) will face the Albany Athletics Sunday at 11 a.m. at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury with the Northeast World Series title on the line. Terryville needs to win once to become the first Connecticut team since 2013 to win the tournament while the A’s will need to beat the Black Sox twice to win this tournament for the first time since 2016.
It hasn’t been easy for Terryville.
On Friday night, the Black Sox tied the game thanks to an error with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Milford Hunters. In the 11th inning, it was a two-out single from Alex Rauso with two strikes on him that tied the game again and kept the Black Sox alive.
Terryville finally put Milford away in the bottom of the 12th inning thanks to a one-out single from Gavin Lavallee and a walk-off double from Eric Schlitter to give the Black Sox a 4-3 victory.
On Saturday morning, the Black Sox lost starting pitcher Andrew Hinckley after one inning when he hurt his elbow. And Terryville trailed by two runs after four innings.
But the Black Sox scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to beat the A’s 3-2 at Fuessenich Park. Rauso had a two-out, two-run single that tied the game. The go-ahead run scored on a balk by Albany hurler Joe Pokrentowski.
“It shows a lot of grit. We have guys who are not giving up,” Terryville manager Dave Alarcon said after beating the A’s. While the Black Sox are not undefeated, they frequently have the lead in games this season in the Connecticut Twilight League.
Terryville rallied three times to tie Milford before winning in the 12th inning on Friday night.
“For guys to come up big like (Rauso) last night – it was two strikes and two outs – with a base hit to tie the game,” Alarcon said. “(This morning,) Joe Rivera came in and got the save.”
Reliever Chris McGrath jumped in when Hinckley left the mound against Albany. He pitched 4 1/3 innings, scattered five hits, struck out two and walked just one. He set the table for Rivera, who pitched a scoreless seventh with three strikeouts to get the save.
Terryville’s defense stood tall against Albany.
With runners on first and third base with one out in the third inning, Schlitter, the Black Sox third baseman, scooped a hard hit down the third base line from Albany’s Cam Overbaugh. Schlitter dove back to the bag and tagged out the A’s Jodin Ross, who had creeped down the third base line and couldn’t get back in time. McGrath retired the side with a fly ball to center field.
And the Black Sox turned a double play to end the inning in the sixth inning.
Albany took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Tim Carroll doubled and scored on a RBI triple from catcher Nick Hansen. The A’s made it 2-0 in the fifth inning when Jodin Ross singled and moved to third base on a single from Salamida. Ross scored from third base on a fielder’s choice.
Terryville took the lead in the fifth inning. Catcher Colby Lindell singled to center field and moved to third when Chris Ayer reached on an error. The bases were loaded when Tony Patane was hit by a pitch. Two runs scored on Rauso’s two-run single and the third run scored on a balk from Pokrentowski, who thought of throwing to first base but stopped in mid-motion.
It was a tough game for Pokrentowski, who allowed five hits and no earned runs while striking out 10.
Albany (36-5-2) earned a shot at the championship with a 2-0 win over Milford on Saturday afternoon at Municipal Stadium. Mike Talavera had a RBI double and Nate Novak had a sacrifice fly for another RBI as the A’s took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and held on for their second win in the tournament.
Tommy Kretzler picked up the win on the mounds for the A’s, pitching seven scoreless innings. He allowed four hits, struck out nine and had no walks.
Terryville 3, Albany 2
Albany (35-5-2) 000 110 0 — 2-5-2
Terryville (19-4) 000 030 x — 3-5-1
Joe Pokrentowski and Nick Hansen; Andrew Hinckley, Chris McGrath (2), Joe Rivera (6) and Colby Linnell; WP: McGrath; LP: Pokrentowski; Save: Rivera; 2B: Tim Carroll (A); 3B; none; HR: none
Albany 2, Milford 0
Albany (36-5-2) 200 000 0 — 2-8-1
Milford (22-7) 000 000 0 — 0-4-1
Tommy Kretzler and Craig Mastrioanni; Heenan, Wynn (4) and Demarino; WP: Kretzler; LP: Heenan; 2B: Mike Talavera (A), Nate Novak (A)
Terryville 4, Milford 3 (12)
Milford (22-5) 100 001 000 010 — 3-7-2
Terryville (18-4) 000 100 100 011 — 4-10-1
2B: Hunter Phillips (M), Mike DeMartino (M), Eric Schlitter (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
Championship game: Terryville (3-0) vs. Albany (2-1), 11 a.m.
Championship game: if necessary, 2 p.m.
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
2016: Albany (NY) Athletics 6, Watertown (CT) Blaze 5
2015: Braintree (MA) White Sox 8, Milford (CT) Hunters 0
2014: Braintree (MA) White Sox 4, Milford (CT) Hunters 0
2013: Stratford (CT) Storm 7, Braintree (MA) White Sox 1