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Despite no-hitter, Canton falls in NCCC final to Coventry

Canton pitchers Sammy Lincoln and Ben Biskupiak teamed to throw a no-hitter against NCCC champion Coventry in the championship game of Friday’s NCCC Tournament at Suffield High.

However, the Warriors committed a season-high six errors, allowed four unearned runs and walked seven batters as Coventry won the NCCC Tournament for the first time since 2019 with a 5-2 decision.

The Patriots (19-3) took advantage of Canton’s miscues, scoring two runs on a two-out error in the fifth inning and scoring a third run on a two-out error in the third inning. Canton did throw out two Patriot runners at the plate during the course of the contest.

Lincoln (4-2) struck out four batters but walked seven. He gave up five runs but only one was earned. Biskupiak pitched two innings and fanned one. He didn’t allow a walk.

Canton (15-6) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly from catcher Noah Asmar but the Patriots tied the game in the bottom of the first inning on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice.

Coventry extended their lead to 3-1 with a pair of runs in the third inning. The Patriots scored one run after Jacob Wojkowiak walked, stole second and scored on a throwing error. An error with two outs gave the Patriots a two-run lead.

The Patriots played defense, too. They threw out a Canton runner at the plate to end the first inning and threw a runner trying to steal second base to end the second inning.

Coventry advanced to the NCCC Tournament title game with a 9-5 win over East Granby in an earlier semifinal contest. Four Coventry hitters had a pair of hits led by Evan Menzel with a pair of triples and Gavin Covell, who was 2-for-3 with three RBI.  The Crusaders were making their first NCCC Tournament appearance since 2018.

Canton advanced to the NCCC Tournament final for the first time since 2010 with a 12-3 win over Suffield in the first semifinal game of the day. The Warriors built a quick 6-0 lead before the Wildcats got on the board.

Pitcher Vin Forte improved to 3-1 on the year by going five innings, scattering five hits and striking out five. Michael Archangelo pitched two innings of scoreless relief, striking out four.

Third baseman Joseph Nadeau was 3-for-3 with three RBI and three stolen bases. Canton was 6-for-7 stealing bases against Suffield. Asmar was 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBI while Lincoln was 2-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored.

Jackson Senecal was 3-for-5 with one RBI while Ian Clark had a pair of singles.

The no-hitter was the first no-hit performance for the Warriors since Nate Hiscox threw a five-inning no-hitter against Thomaston on May 14. Hiscox struck out nine in five innings of work and walked three in a 12-0 win.

The most recent seven-inning no-hit performance by Canton came in April 2022 when Lincoln pitched 4.2 innings and Tanner Quinn pitched 2.1 innings in a 8-3 win over Bolton.

Friday’s no-hitter against Coventry was the third no-hit performance that Lincoln has been a part of high school. He had a five-inning no-hitter in an 11-0 win over East Windsor/International co-op team in May 2023.

NOTE: Information from this story was from the Canton scorebook and scorekeeper. A reporter from GameTimeCT at the final scored the championship game with Coventry having two hits and Canton with three errors.

Canton 12, Suffield 3
At Suffield
Canton (15-5)             231  102   3  — 12-16-1
Suffield (13-5)            002  010  0   — 3-5-3
Vin Forte, Michael Archangelo and Noah Asmar; Logan Bonzanelli, Winiarski (5) and Schermerhorn; WP: Forte (3-1); LP: Bonzanelli; 2B: James Canny (C), Sammy Lincoln (C), 3B: Schermerhorn (S), Joseph Nadeau (C), Noah Asmar (C)

Coventry 9, East Granby 5
At Suffield
East Granby (15-6)     010  022  0  — 5-10-3
Coventry (18-3)           121  041  x  – 9-12-1
Kieran Berman, Kyle Anthony (4) and Jacob Guilmartin; Ethan Hunt, Brandon White (5) and Dustin Menzel; WP: Hunt; LP: Berman;  3B: Evan Menzel (C) 2, J. Moore (EG)

NCCC Tournament championship
Coventry 5, Canton 2
At Suffield
Canton (15-6)             100  001  0  — 2-7-6
Coventry (19-3)          102  020  x  — 5-0-2
Sammy Lincoln, Ben Biskupiak (6) and Noah Asmar; Aidan Hecht, Kyle Hecht (3) and Dustin Menzel, Mather Spear (3); WP: K. Hecht; LP: Lincoln (4-2); 2B: Ian Clark (C)

Recent NCCC Tournament champions
2023: Ellington 14, Rockville 3
2022: Ellington 7, Coventry 4
2021: No tournament held
2020: Season cancelled, COVID-19 pandemic
2019: Coventry 4, Granby 3
2018: Suffield 5, Coventry 2
2017: Tournament rained out
2016: Ellington 4, Coventry 0
2015: Avon 9, Coventry 8
2014: Suffield 7, Avon 5
2013: Tournament rained out
2012: Ellington 7, Enfield 2
2011: Avon 2, Enfield 1
2010: Canton 8, Ellington 3

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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