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Tri-State Baseball

Defending champion Tri-Town, Valley Ducks, Bethlehem advance to semifinals

The two-time defending league champion Tri-Town Trojans got seven innings from pitcher Bobby Chatfield to beat the Connecticut Gamecocks Sunday, 9-2 to advance to the semifinals of the Tri-State League championship tournament.

The Trojans (20-2) swept the Gamecocks in the best-of-3 series and will face No. 4 seed Valley Ducks beginning on Friday in the semifinals.

The Ducks beat the Brass City Vipers, 15-9, to sweep their best-of-3 series while No. 2 seed Bethlehem advance with a 5-2 win over Winsted. The Plowboys also swept their series, 2-0.

Burlington took a 1-0 lead in their series with a 8-4 win over Amenia, N.Y. The Hunters hope to advance with a victory on Monday at Lewis Mills High in Burlington while the Monarchs hope to force a decisive game three.

Tri-Town received two strong innings of relief from Aidan Donohue with teammate Evan Scribner going 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI. Joey Grantmeyer added a double and triple for the Trojans. Angel Torres had a double and one RBI for the Gamecocks (7-16).

Bethlehem (18-4) got a two-run double from Ricky Descoteaux in the fifth inning as the Plowboys scored three runs to take command of the contest. Johnny Lippincott had a triple in the sixth inning and scored on Mike Cumming’s RBI single.

Reliever Blane Russo struck out five of the seven hitters he faced to close the door for Bethlehem.

Valley pitcher Chris Oliwa struck out nine in seven innings of work to lift the Ducks into the Tri-State League semifinals for the first time in each history with their victory over Brass City. Oliwa also contributed at the plate, going 3-for-6 with two doubles, a triple and five RBI. Ty Pelletier went 5-for-6 for the Ducks with teammate Zach Royka going 3-for-4 with three RBI.

Delayed by rain on Saturday, Burlington (14-7) took a 1-0 lead over Amenia, New York on Sunday with an 8-4 decision. The Hunters scored six times in the sixth inning with five hits to take control of the contest.

Dave Alarcon threw six strong innings for the Hunters, scattering three hits and allowing two runs. George Zaruba hit a two-run home run for Burlington in the seventh inning.

With two runs on base in the bottom of the ninth, Burlington’s Ty Morin got three outs to earn the save.

Game two is Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Lewis Mills High in Burlington. The winner of the series will face No. 2 Bethlehem in the semifinals.

Wednesday, July 26
Connecticut Gamecocks 7, Canton 2

First round: Best of three
Saturday, July 29
Tri-Town 9, Connecticut 2
Bethlehem 4, Winsted 2
Amenia NY at Burlington, ppd., rain
Brass City at Valley Ducks 5

Sunday, July 30
Tri-Town 9, Connecticut Gamecocks 2, Tri-Town wins series, 2-0
Bethlehem 5, Winsted 2, Bethlehem wins series, 2-0
Burlington 8, Amenia NY 4, Burlington leads series, 1-0
Valley Ducks 15, Brass City 9, Valley wins series, 2-0

Monday, July 31
Amenia NY at Burlington (Lewis Mills), 5:30 p.m.

Semifinal round (Best of three)
Friday, Aug. 4
Tri-Town at Valley Ducks
Burlington/Amenia winner vs. Bethlehem at Fuessenich Park, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 5
Valley Ducks at Tri-Town
Bethlehem at Burlington/Amenia winner
Sunday, Aug. 6
Tri-Town at Valley Ducks, if necessary
Bethlehem at Burlington/Amenia winner, if necessary

Tri-State League championship series (best-of-3)
Friday, Aug. 11
Game 1: At Fuessenich Park, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 12
Game 2: At Municipal Stadium, noon
Sunday, Aug. 13
Game 3: At Municipal Stadium, noon, if necessary

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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