CHESHIRE >> All season long Middletown Legion coach Tim D’Aquila said the task was to win three out of four of each series. That was the way to win the zone.
In the end he was right. But that’s exactly what Cheshire did in the final series of the season, taking three of four from Middletown to eliminate the Post 75ers from zone contention. The winners capped that with a dramatic 1-0 win over the 75ers at Burt Leventhal Field at Cheshire High School Friday evening.
Here’s the Cliff Notes version: Both teams had only two hits. Cheshire scored the only run of the game on a wild pitch in the third inning, turning the only walk it received into a run. Middletown had a runner thrown out at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch.
Middletown had its chances. A leadoff single by Jordan Swilling in the second was wasted. A leadoff walk in the fourth plus a throwing error by shortstop Jay Schaff produced nothing as Swilling tried to score from third on a wild pitch in front of the plate with only one out and was an easy out.
The 75ers got two on with walks with two outs but got nothing in the fifth. And a leadoff infield hit by Nick Roy and a successful bunt produced nothing in the seventh as wining pitcher Jon Koski got a strikeout of pinch-hitter Nick DeShais and ended the game by catching a line drive right back to him from Malcolm Alleyne that was ticketed for centerfield and a run.
“It’s frustrating,” said Middletown coach Tim D’Aquila, whose team only had to win two of the four games to win the title. “We didn’t get hits in big spots and we didn’t run the bases very well either.
“But I thought Griffin [Bremer] was good, especially considering he was making his first start in five weeks [injury from high school]. He threw strikes and the only run came on a wild pitch.”
Koski, who had pitched only 14 innings all year, got the win.
“He had Tommy John surgery,” said Cheshire coach Bill Robertson. “But he’s been working hard and they had him at 87 to 91 on the gun.”
D’Aquila was impressed.
“He had us off-balance, especially throwing curve balls in fast ball counts,” he said. “Frustrating to lose a 1-0 championship game.”
The only run of the game came in the third. Bremer walked Joe Anderson to open the inning. Kyle Hodgdon bunted him up. He tagged and went to third on a long drive to center on which Roy made a very good catch.
Then he scored on a strike two, wild pitch to Wes Robertson, who then flied out harmlessly to left field.
One run, no hits, ball game.
Koski struck out seven and walked four. Bremer struck out three and walked one. Luke Sorenson pitched the seventh, allowing no hits and striking out one.
Cheshire won the Zone with a 5-3 record against Middletown and Meridan, Middletown is second at 4-4 and Meridan is third at 3-5.
Middletown will open postseason state play Sunday at home with a 1 p.m. game against an opponent to be determined Saturday evening.