TORRINGTON >> Terryville, hanging just outside of fifth place in American Legion Baseball’s Zone I, helped its hopes for the zone’s fifth playoff spot with a 14-2 rout of Torrington’s P38s Tuesday evening at Fuessenich Park.
“We’ve made it the last two years,” said Terryville Coach Pat Norton. “The playoffs are our goal, so this is a big week for us. We play (6-12) Unionville Wednesday and (10-7) Wolcott Thursday. If we can come out of that above .500, we have a good chance.”
The top five teams in Zone I move on to the playoffs in a statewide single-game elimination round, beginning July 16, narrowing the state field to 16 teams for the State Tournament final rounds.
Terryville, combining good players from Thomaston and Terryville, is 8-9, benefitting from a highly competitive Berkshire League high school season, in which both teams took a turn going on a hot streak.
Now, on a three-game winning streak, Terryville is looking for another one.
Meanwhile, the P38s, starting the Legion season 3-3, are on a seemingly endless misery trail in the opposite direction after 12 straight losses.
The only consolation in Tuesday’s first game was a five-inning game, thanks to the American Legion 10-run mercy rule.
“It’s disappointing,” said P38 Coach R.J. Poniatoski. “At the beginning of the game, we were ready to go. We were hitting; then, we fell apart.”
Torrington jumped to a 2-1 lead after the first inning, but the Terryville half of the inning foreshadowed things to come.
Terryville’s run came on just one hit, as leadoff hitter Connor Levins (2 runs) drew a walk, then rounded the bases on a sacrifice bunt by Jared Kahn (2-for-3, run, 2 RBI), infield hit by Shawn Fulton (3-for-4, 3 RBI, run) and a sac fly by Joe Kolosky.
Still, Torrington’s hits came just as easily, starting with back-to-back singles by Austin Todd (2-for-3, run) and Jake Reynolds (run), followed by a two-base Terryville error. John Swanson’s sac fly earned the Torrington lead.
But Kahn, a rising senior at Thomaston High School, allowed just one more P38 hit on the mound (5 innings, 1 earned run, 3 strikeouts, 0 walks) and Torrington’s implosion was just beginning.
Torrington starter Matt McCarthy had a great second inning, then Terryville tied it in the third on just one more hit, starting with another walk, an error and a
In the fourth and fifth innings, Terryville, with 10 hits for the game, picked all the fruit in the garden.
They got four runs in the fourth inning on two walks and hits by Derek Thibideau (2-for-4, 2 runs); Jake George (2 runs); Kahn and Fulton; eight more runs in the fifth on four more walks, an error and hits by Thibideau, Kahn, Fulton and John Grimes (2 runs, RBI).
Four runs came in on wild pitches.
Thanks to state, regional and national tournaments, the American Legion regular season is short and packed with double headers.
Terryville’s goal is stretching the season out. At this point, for Torrington, a short season is as merciful as five innings were in Tuesday’s first game.
Terryville 14, Torrington P38s 2 (5)
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
WP: Jared Kahn. LP: Matt McCarthy.
Records: Terryville 8-9; Torrington 3-15.