CANTON, June 17, 2023 – Jack Rose hit the first grand slam in team history Saturday to lift the Canton Crushers to an 8-5 win over the Winsted Whalers at Bowdoin Field in Tri-State League play.
Trailing by four runs, the Crushers scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead. Veteran pitcher Jim Spirito threw his second complete game of the season to earn the win and enable Canton (3-5) to snap a three-game losing streak.
Winsted (1-7) led 5-1 in the sixth inning when Canton came to the plate. Tom Calzone led off the inning for the Crushers with a walk and moved to third base on Ben Sullivan’s double. Both scored on Jake Bryant’s two-run double to trim the lead to two runs, 5-3.
Spirito helped his own cause with a single to left field and Sullivan scored on Matt Rose’s RBI single to left field to cut the Winsted lead to one run, 5-4.
Heath Cotton drew a walk to load the bases before Jack Rose hit his first Tri-State League home run over the centerfield fence, giving Canton an 8-5 edge and their first lead of the game.
Spirito scattered 11 hits, struck out two and walked just two to earn his tenth career win on the mound for the Crushers, extending his own team record for career victories.
Johnny Lippincott’s two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning gave Winsted a 5-1 lead. Lippincott went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and two RBI. Andrew Billings, Brookes Better and Peter Greenwood were each 2-for-3 for the Whalers.
Canton, which snapped a three-game losing streak, was led by Matt Rose, who was 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Good hustle baseball helped Canton tie the game at 1-1 in the first inning. Sullivan reached base when Winsted catcher Brooks Better dropped a third strike and Sullivan beat the throw to the bag. After taking second on a passed ball, Sullivan moved to third on a groundball out from Bryant and scored on a ground ball out from Spirito to shortstop.
The Crushers beat Winsted for just the second time since they joined the league in 2014. Canton’s last win over Winsted came in 2019 and Saturday’s win snapped a four-game losing streak against the Whalers.
Canton returns to action on Tuesday night when they visit Gallop Field to challenge the Bethlehem Plowboys at 5:45 p.m.
Canton 8, Winsted 5
Winsted (1-7) 100 103 0 — 5-11-0
Canton (3-5) 100 007 x — 8-7-1
Mark Cummings and Brooks Better; Jim Spirito and Mike Lawrence; WP: Spirito (2-1), LP: Cummings; 2B: Johnny Lippincott (W), Ricky Langer (W), Brooks Better (W), Jake Bryant (C),Ben Sullivan (C), HR: Jack Rose (C), Lippincott (W)