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Tri-State Baseball

Crushers start off season with a win over Scorpions

Canton pitcher Jim Spirito struck out seven in five innings to help the Crushers to a season-opening win over Naugatuck on Sunday.

NAUGATUCK, May 19, 2024 – Pitcher Jim Spirito allowed just one hit and struck out seven in five innings of work and his teammates rapped out 14 hits as the Canton Crushers opened the 2024 Tri-State League baseball season with an 11-4 win over the expansion Naugatuck Scorpions on Sunday at Rotary Field.

Canton opened the season with a victory for just the second time in team history. Their last win on opening day came in 2019.

Shortstop Angel Valentin was 3-for-5 with one RBI while Matt Rose was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Second baseman Steve Dubois was 2-for-3 with one RBI with third baseman Brandon Spaldolino getting two hits in his Crusher debut.

Canton took command of the game early with seven runs in the first two innings. Valentin scored the first run of the season for the Crushers with a steal of home. Two bases-loaded walks and a RBI single from Jeff Mulhal gave Canton a 4-0 lead after one inning.

A sacrifice fly from Spirito, a RBI double to center field from Matt Rose and a RBI single from Dubois gave the Crushers a 7-1 lead after two innings.

After giving up three runs in the sixth inning, Rose pitched three innings of scoreless relief to secure the win for the Crushers.

Canton returns to action on Thursday night when they travel to Bethlehem to take on the Plowboys at 5:45 p.m. at Gallop Field. 

Canton 11, Naugatuck 4
At Naugatuck
Canton (1-0)             430  011  101  — 11-14-7
Naugatuck (0-1)       100  003  000  — 4-5-0
Jim Spirito, Matt Rose (6) and Jeff Mulhall; pitching battery unavailable; WP: Spirito (1-0); 2B: Matt Rose (C): NOTE: Angel Valentin (C) 3-for 5 with 1 RBI, Matt Rose (C) 2-5 with 2 RBI; Steve Dubois (C) 2-3, 1 RBI, Spirito allows 1 hit and strikes out 7 in 5 IP

Wolcott 13, Torrington 10
TORRINGTON, May 19, 2024 – Devin Fuegen was 3-for-5 with five RBI, including a big three-run double in the eighth inning as the Scrappers beat the expansion Torrington Thunder on Sunday night at Fuessenich Park, 13-10. Wolcott scored six runs in the eighth inning to take command.

Wolcott took advantage of 14 walks from Thunder pitching. Kyle Gordon was 3-for-4 with one RBI in the Tri-State League debut for the Thunder.

Wolcott 13, Torrington 10
At Torrington
Wolcott (1-0)             040  020  160  — 13-7-2
Torrington (0-1)       000  105  202  — 10-9-4
Ashe, Yachtis (6), Dunne (7), Fuegen (9) and Dunne; Scott, Dombrowski (2), Doherty (4) and Gordon; WP: Dunne (1-0); LP: Doherty (0-1); 2B: Fuegen (W), Scott (T)

Burlington 9, Valley Kracken 8 (10)
NEW MILFORD, May 19, 2024 – Ty Morin went the distance for Burlington, scattering 13 hits and striking out nine as the Hunters opened their season with a 9-8 win over the Valley Kracken in 10 innings.

Burlington had an 8-3 lead after 7½ innings of play but the Kracken scored four runs in the eighth inning and tied the game in the ninth.

The Hunters started off the 10th inning with a runner, Tommaso Tollis, on second base. He moved to third base on a ground ball out and scored on a passed ball to give Burlington the lead.

In the Kracken tenth inning, Bob Stellato started on second base and moved to third on a ground ball out. But Morin struck out one batter and got the next batter to ground out to second base to end the game.

Tollis had a two-out double for the Hunters while Tim Krol and Andrew Bunger each had solo home runs.

Burlington 9, Valley Kracken 8 (10)
At New Milford
Burlington (1-0)        002  011  040  1  — 9-11-0
Valley (0-1)                300  000  041  0  — 8-13-0
Corgan, Kane (7), Granata (8), Hafele (10) and Granata, Tanone; Morin and Rossi, Donofrio; WP: Morin (1-0); LP: Hafele (0-1); 2B: Granata (V) 2, Kane (V), Labelle (B), Tollis (B); HR: Bunger (B), Kroi (B); NOTE: Morin pitched a complete game, striking out 9 and walking four. Bunger was 2-for-5 with 2 RBI while Kroi was 2-3 with 1 RBI

Bethlehem 6, Amenia, N.Y. 3
BETHLEHEM, May 19, 2024 – Nate Cormier was 3-for-4 with three runs scored to lead the Plowboys to an opening day win over the Monarchs at Gallop Field. Isaiah Johnson and Joe Rupe had three hits each for the Plowboys while league MVP Greg Campbell went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Bethlehem 6, Amenia NY 3
At Bethlehem
Amenia (0-1)            000  201  000  — 3-4-2
Bethlehem (1-0)       203  100  00x  — 6-9-2
Reilly, Spencer (6), Dunlop (8) and Lamping; pitching battery unavailable; LP: Reilly; 2B: Dunlop (A)

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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