TORRINGTON >> Big innings helped Simsbury’s American Legion baseball team sweep a pair of games from Torrington’s P38s Sunday at Fuessenich Park.
Six runs in the fifth led to an 11-4 win in the first game.
Fourteen runs in the third was most of a 17-1 five-inning stomping in the second game, shortened by the Legion’s 10-run mercy rule.
“It was just a loose day,” said Torrington coach R.J. Poniatoski, after the P38s rang up a total of six errors in the two games.
Still, it was big Simsbury hits that did the real damage.
Dakota Hunter (2-for-4) belted a triple in Game One; E.J. Lavoie (2-for-3) and Brendan Reilly doubled.
That was just a warm-up for Game Two.
Simsbury, in second place in Zone I behind Avon, made four errors of its own in Game One.
The defense tightened in Game Two and the long ball got longer.
Torrington ace Shane Bierfeldt (2 innings, 11 earned runs, 8 hits, 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 2 hit batters) and Simsbury’s Jamie Coen (5 innings, 1 earned run, 3 hits, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks) made a pitcher’s duel out of the first two innings.
Simsbury posted a run on a hit by Jake Cassano in the first, followed by Torrington’s first error.
Torrington got it back in the bottom of the inning on a walk to Mitch Zagrodnik and RBI single by Sam Shurberg.
Bierfeldt worked three strikeouts around Torrington’s second error in the top of the second.
In the bottom of the inning, Simsbury third baseman Hunter got the second out of a one-two-three inning for Coen on a dive for a ground ball, rising for the throw in time for the out.
It looked to be that kind of game.
Jake King (2-for-5, double, 2 runs), Lavoie (3-for-5, home run, 4 RBI) and Cassano (3-for-4, RBI, 3 runs) started the third with hits.
“We laid off (Bierfeldt’s) good pitches,” said Simsbury coach Tom Vincent. “It’s nice to see our batters being patient.”
The patience got to Bierfeldt, whose history this year includes several one-run extra inning iron-man games.
Sunday, it all went the other way as two hit batters, a walk and an RBI hit by Brendan Reilly loaded the bases with four runs already in, no outs.
Jake Wood (2-for-4, run scored), a Canton High School graduate headed for Division I Towson University (Towson, Maryland) took one pitch, then lined a grand slam over the left field fence.
Chris VandeBogart walked, King doubled. Then Lavoie did it again – a high fly carrying for three more runs.
By the time Andrew Girard pounded the third homer of the inning for three more runs, off reliever Perry Weingart, the game was so far gone the P38 dugout could play it for laughs.
The plate umpire asked for more baseballs. A voice in the dugout responded, “They’re all in the river.”
Fourteen of Simsbury’s 17 runs happened that inning, nine of its 16 hits.
Another five hits – by Jack Nedorostek, Hunter (double), Marty Cayne-Yackel (RBI single), Lavoie (RBI single) and Cassano earned the final two Simsbury runs in the fifth.
Simsbury, 11-3-1, continues its tie game with Avon (7-7 after seven innings) next Sunday, along with a second game against the zone leaders.
Torrington, in seventh place in the nine-team zone, is 7-12 with just five games left to climb into fifth place, the cutoff for post-season play.
Simsbury 11, Torrington 4
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
Simsbury 301 060 1 – 11 9 4
Torrington 000 211 0 – 4 7 2
WP: Chris Enns. LP: Sam Shurberg. 3B: S – Dakota Hunter. 2B: S – E.J. Lavoie; Brendan Reilly. T – John McCarthy.
Records: Simsbury 10-3-1; Torrington 7-11.
Simsbury 17, Torrington 1 (5)
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
Simsbury 10(14) 02 – 17 16 0
Torrington 100 00 – 1 3 4
WP: Jamie Coen. LP: Shane Bierfeldt. HR: S – E.J. Lavoie; Andrew Girard; Jake Wood. 2B: S – Jake King; Dakota Hunter.
Records: Simsbury 11-3-1; Torrington 7-12.