MIDDLETOWN >> Stamford will play Waterbury Wednesday at 6:30 at Palmer Field for the right to play RCP for the state American Legion baseball championship this weekend at Palmer Field.
Waterbury forced tonight’s game by handing Stamford its first loss of the tourney, 5-2, in front of a crowd of 200 — 180 of whom paid — at Palmer Field Tuesday evening. The winners scored five times in the seventh, wiping out a 1-0 Stamford lead. Stamford got two in the ninth, but winning pitcher Shea Dooley, who threw 150 pitches, got Shaw Urbano, who was the potential tying run, on a pop-up to end it.
Meanwhile, at South Windsor, defending Northeast Regional champion RCP completed an undefeated run (3-0) through the Northern Division playoffs with a 5-2 win over Zone 1 champion Simsbury.
RCP built up a 4-0 lead behind winning pitcher Tucker Lord (7-0), but when Lord walked the first two batters in the seventh inning, coach T.J. Grande took him out in favor of Dave Sevigny, who did not pitch well.
Sevigny eventually walked two with bases loaded as Simsbury climbed to within two. Grande then brought in Cole Ogorzalek, who got a big assist from right fielder Kevin Larkin, who ran down a line drive up the right-center field gap with the bases loaded.
“That was a great catch,” said Grande. “Kevin doesn’t make that catch, they score three runs and take the lead.”
Ogorzalek pitched the eighth and ninth to earn the save.
RCP (26-3) took a 1-0 first inning lead when Kevin Radziewicz singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
The winners built the lead to 3-0 in the second. Kevin Radziewicz (2-for-3, four runs scored) had an RBI single and eventually scored on a passed ball. The lead went to 4-0 in the fourth when Radziewicz walked, was bunted up, stole third and scored on a ground ball by Cory Baldwin.
After Simsbury cut the lead to 4-2, RCP tacked on a seventh inning with some A-B-C baseball. Radziewicz — again — started the rally with a walk. He was bunted along by Ogorzalek, went to third on a single by Baldwin and scored on a base hit by Chris Bouchard.
The championship series opens Friday at Palmer Field at 6:30 p.m. The second game will be Saturday at 11 a.m. and if a third is needed, ti will be played immediately following game No. 2.