NVL Baseball: McCarthy lifts Torrington past Derby into NVL semifinals; Seymour, Ansonia advance

Torrington's Mitch Zagronik slaps hands with head coach Pat Richardson after hitting a two-run home run to tie the game 4-4.  Pete Paguaga - Register Citizen

Torrington’s Mitch Zagronik slaps hands with head coach Pat Richardson after hitting a two-run home run to tie the game 4-4. Pete Paguaga – Register Citizen

TORRINGTON >> After what he called a “slow start,” Torrington’s John McCarthy stepped up when it mattered the most, driving in Stanly Rijo, from first base, on a two-out, RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to lift the Red Raiders past Derby, 7-6, in the first round of the NVL Tournament.

Leading up to his at bat in the sixth, McCarty made two fielding errors; he got thrown out at home plate in the first and struck out looking in the second.

Slideshow: Torrington 7 Derby 6 

“It was definitely a good ending; I knew Stanly had to speed to score,” he laughed. “We grind out all the time; you’re going to have to do that in the NVL Tournament and States.”

Torrington’s Nate Manchester got the start and struggled early, allowing four runs in the first inning, before settling down, going 5.2 innings allowing six runs, striking out nine.

“Nate did a nice job, doesn’t show up in the box score,” Torrington head coach Pat Richardson said.

With the game tied at 6-6 in the top of sixth and Derby threatening with runners on second and third, Richardson pulled Manchester and brought in Shane Bierfeldt.

Bierfeldt went to work against Derby’s number three hitter, Tyler Bottino, and after a tough at bat, Bierfeldt got Bottino to pop up and it was Bierfeldt, also an outfielder, who called off his teammates to make the catch.

“A little nervous, but you have to want that,” Bierfeldt said. “Probably shouldn’t have (made the catch) but I wanted it.”

Bierfeldt went back out for the top of the seventh and after getting the first two batters, he walked Louis Cutaneo who then advanced to second on a passed ball. Bierfeldt then struck out Ricky Bartone to end the game.

“Four to nothing is tough to comeback from, especially in the NVL’s,” Bierfeldt said. “The nerves are always there.”

Derby got started early, getting its first five batters on base on four singles and one double, scoring four of them on a Bottino two RBI single and then a two RBI double by Michael Koual.

Manchester then got the next three batters out, two strikeouts and a ground out.

Torrington's John McCarthy watches his game-winning RBI double split the outfielders, scoring Stanly Rijo from first base. The Red Raiders won the game 7-6 and advance to the NVL semifinals. Pete Paguaga Register Citizen

Torrington’s John McCarthy watches his game-winning RBI double split the outfielders, scoring Stanly Rijo from first base. The Red Raiders won the game 7-6 and advance to the NVL semifinals.
Pete Paguaga Register Citizen

The Torrington bats then went to work; McCarthy singled and advanced all the way to third when Derby shortstop Ryan Landona made an error on a Dom Sabia groundball. With one out Ben Bonvinci hit a soft groundball back to Derby pitcher who fielded the grounder and threw Bonvinci out at first. Derby first baseman Bottino then turned and fired to home to get McCarthy at the plate.

After setting Derby down in order, Torrington again put runners in scoring position when Bierfeldt led off second with a triple. After a ground out by Mitch Zagrodnik, holding Bierfeldt at third and a Manny Rijo infield single, again holding Bierfeldt at third, Kobe Convington hit a ground ball to second, that easily scored Bierfeldt, but Derby’s second baseman Jake Finnucan threw it away allowing Rijo to score.

“We gave them too many runs,” Derby head coach Summer Sochrin said.

Torrington got two more runs in the bottom of the third when Zagrodnik hit his first home run of the season, scoring him and Bierfeldt.

“That’s a great feeling to be a part of a game like this,” Zagrodnik said. “After that the bats got rolling.”

After Zagrodnik hit it, Richardson knew it was gone.

“I’ve thrown enough BP here to know,” he laughed.

In the fourth Torrington scored two more runs on RBI base hits by Sabia and Bonvincini, giving them a 6-4 lead.

Derby didn’t go away quietly tying the game on a two-out two RBI, bloop base hit by Cutaneo in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough.

Torrington will play No. 2 Holy Cross, who they lost to twice the season, on Wednesday at 4 p.m. with a spot in the NVL Championship game on the line, at Fuessenich Park.

“They are a solid team,” Richardson said. “We are going to go with everything we got.”

Torrington 7, Derby 6
(at Torrington)
Derby 400 020 0 — 6 7 2
Torrington 022 201 X — 7 9 2
Mike Kreiger and Louis Cutaneo; Nate Manchester, Shane Bierfeldt (6) and Ben Thompson.
WP: Shane Bierfeldt. LP: Michael Kreiger. 2B: (DE) Sal Frosceno, Michael Koual; ; (TO) John McCarthy. 3B: (TO) Shane Bierfeldt. HR: Mitch Zagrodnik (TO); RBI: Bottino (2), Koual (2), Cutaneo (2) (DE); Zagrodnik (2), John McCarthy, Dom Sabia, Ben Bonvacini, Kobe Covington (TO);
Team records: Derby 12-9; Torrington 16-5.


Seymour 1, Watertown 0 >> Jake Walkinshaw’s home run in the bottom of the fifth inning helped Seymour advance to the NVL Tournament semifinals with this home win.

Walkinshaw had three hits and went the distance on a five-hitter, striking out eight, for the Wildcats. Nick Mondak struck out nine for Watertown.

(at Seymour)
Watertown 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
Seymour 000 010 X — 1 5 1

Nick Mondak and A.J. Cattaneo; Jake Walkinshaw and Jaylen Kelley.
WP: Jake Walkinshaw (8-2). LP: Nick Mondak (). hr: Jake Walkinshaw (SE); RBI: Walkinshaw (SE).

Ansonia 3, Naugatuck 2 >> Matt Simon, Robert Schryver and Sean Bonaparte all had RBIs for Ansonia (13-8) in this NVL tournament quarterfinal-round win at Naugatuck.

Updates every minute – View full tournament


  1. pitcching wins says

    great coverage of Ansonia—-naugy game..best time of year for baseball.league and state tourneys followed by the comical all-league teams where a 2,22 hitter can make all-state

  2. N.V.L Dad says

    I agreee with Pitchingwins comments…….What a joke…..Do these coaches pick all n.v.l and all state players from stats kids had LAST YEAR….WOW….cause theres some players that got shafted….How can a player lead a team in almost every offensive category THIS YEAR and not get All N.v.l….ARE YOU KIDDIN ME….Congrats to all the kids who got an award….But its just COMICAL

  3. crimson crusader says

    I agree with NVL Dad….Junior Tyler Bottino was the most deserving for first team honors among the four Derby players who made the All-NVL baseball team. He led the team in all of the their offensive categories which included five HRs…Maybe the coaches went with the seniors…..The other three should be on All-Brass squad.

  4. scc fan says

    NVL Dad – I see your pain – this type of B.S. goes on in each division no matter the conference. There are kids in the SCC that have put up numbers that rival last years all-state selections, however were not selected all -division for their respected leagues. It is demoralizing to these young players who work so hard just to see a named kid who mailed in their senior year get the honor. It is pathetic. But as they say coaches, what goes around comes around – wait till you have a player that deserves the honor just to be over voted by one of your own. STINGS!!

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