Monday, May 21, 2018

ADULT BASEBALL: Locals hit the diamonds in three different leagues

The Connecticut Tri-State Baseball League began another season on Sunday, and locals were right in the middle of wins by three different teams.
The Wolcott Scrappers knocked off the Tribury Twisters 5-1 behind the pitching of Justin Koutros, who threw the first six innings and struck out 12. Offensively, Wolcott was led by Mike Vaccarelli (3 hits, RBI) and Matt Warren (2 hits, RBI). Koutros helped himself with an RBI single.
The Bristol Greeners needed 10 innings, but were able to dispatch the Valley Thunder 6-3. Jaeden Rasmus and Kyle Torok had bit hits in the 10th, and Bristol was also helped out via a passed ball. Rasmus led the Greeners with four hits while Torok added two. Brad Burney pitched the ninth and 10th innings and picked up the win in relief. Valley's Shane Fusco had two hits and Ryan Ahern pitched the first nine innings. Tyler Pelletier came on to pitch the 10th and took the loss.
Blasius Chevrolet was downed 3-0 by the Terryville Black Sox, who got an impressive start from former Waterbury scholastic standout Kody Kerski (7 innings, 1 hit, 10 strikeouts). Terryville also has Ken Kerski, a formidable left-handed pitcher from Waterbury. Add in players from the disbanded Watertown Blaze, and the Black Sox could be a major contender this season.

The Connecticut Twilight League began play earlier this month, and the Bristol Knights hope to get back to their title-winning ways.
Nick Dzioba was the winning pitcher in a 16-1 romp of the Singing Surgeons, an expansion team, on May 11 at Bristol Eastern. That game was the season opener for the Knights.
Bristol veteran Rick Barrett's fingerprints were all over a 3-2 win over the Wethersfield Dodgers at Muzzy Field last Thursday. Barrett pitched a complete game on the mound and went 3-for-3 with two RBI at the plate.

The Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League starts play on May 29. Rosters on the GHTBL website have a few locals, all former Bristol Eastern players. They are Mike Nocera of the East Hartford Jets, Eric Therrien of the Middletown Outlaws, and Nick Plachno of People's United Bank. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

HIGH 5 OF THE WEEK: Lawton plays on NJCAA softball's biggest stage

Lawton (FSW athletics)
It was definitely not the ending the top-seeded Florida SouthWestern State College softball team was looking for.
The same can be said for former Holy Cross star and FSW freshman Sarah Lawton, given her competitive spirit. The Bucs saw their season come to an end on Friday with back-to-back losses in the NJCAA Division I Softball Championship in St. George, Utah. FSW lost 4-2 to Butler, then was downed 3-0 by Chipola in an elimination game.
Lawton pitched in relief in both games for the Bucs. She threw 1 1/3 innings against Butler and gave up a run on two hits and one walk. Lawton threw 21 of her 30 pitches for strikes in that outing.
Lawton pitched for 2 2/3 innings in the game against Chipola. She gave up a run on three hits, struck out four and walked one. Lawton threw 37 of her 49 pitches for strikes.
FSW concluded an incredible season with a record of 53-5. Lawton made 25 appearances in her freshman season and posted a 7-1 record with a team-low 1.13 ERA, one save and four complete games (seven starts). She struck out 93 and walked 31 (3:1 ratio) in 74 2/3 innings.

Chiovitti (UCAP athletics)
Mike Chiovitti, UConn-Avery Point baseball
The Pointers have to wait until tomorrow to play their East District Tournament games because of rain.
The games are at 10 a.m. against Westchester Community College and 4 p.m. against Monroe C.C. Both games are at Groton's Washington Park, the home of UCAP baseball.
The Pointers are in the district tournament after winning the Region XXI Division II Championship, and the former Holy Cross standout Chiovitti was in the middle of the action.
Chiovitti, a sophomore at UCAP, was named All-Region XXI team for his efforts. 
All Chiovitti has done in 39 games is lead UCAP (29-10) in batting average (.386), at bats (132), on-base percentage (.494), slugging (.742), hits (51), runs (50), doubles (13), home runs (10), walks (tied with 30), total bases (98) and stolen bases (tied with 6). Chiovitti has also handled 67 chances in the outfield without an error.

Kyle Bonicki, Clark University baseball
Bonicki (Clark athletics)

The graduate student and former Chase Collegiate standout was named to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference First Team for the third time for his efforts this season.
Bonicki was second in the NEWMAC in batting average at .392. He also led Clark in on-base percentage (.475), hits (58), runs (43), total bases (82), triples (5), walks (25), sacrifice hits (3) and stolen bases (11). Bonicki was second in doubles (11) and extra-base hits (17), plus third in slugging percentage (.554).
Bonicki wasn't the only local Clark player to earn postseason NEWMAC recognition.

Joshua Dobratz, Clark University baseball
Dobratz (Clark athletics)
On the field, the former St. Paul first baseman and pitcher made eight appearances, recorded a 2.87 ERA and picked up two saves.
Dobratz, a senior, was recognized for who he is as a student-athlete. He was named to the Academic All-Conference Team, which requires a student-athlete to maintain minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale or 4.35 on a 5.0 scale. Dobratz majored in Biology.
Dobratz was also recognized for how he carried himself on the field. He was chosen for the All-Sportsmanship Team.

Vallee (Bay Path athletics)
Lauren Vallee, Bay Path University softball
The Wildcats saw their season end with a pair of losses in the NCAA's Ithaca (N.Y.) Regional, but what a run it was for the team and for the senior two-sport standout Vallee.
Bay Path won the New England Collegiate Conference tournament by winning four straight games after falling into the loser's bracket. The tournament title was the first for the Wildcats, and it gave them a berth in the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament. Vallee was an NECC All-Tournament selection.
Vallee ended her Bay Path career with two hits, including a double, and a run scored in a 12-1 loss to Ramapo in an elimination game.
Vallee was a tremendous student-athlete while at Bay Path. She owns nearly every hitting record for the Wildcats, and she was also an Academic All-American for four years. Vallee majored in Forensic Science.

Statistics and information compiled from the team website of each athlete.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Holy Cross baseball overcomes three-run deficit in seventh inning, stuns St. Paul

Holy Cross' Brian Parzyck (33) and Corey Fappiano (4) react to Fran Phelan Jr's two-run
double in the bottom of the seventh inning on Friday. The Crusaders went on to stun
the Falcons by a score of 4-3. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
Holy Cross baseball could have just packed it in against St. Paul on Friday.
The Crusaders already had the top NVL tournament seed wrapped up, along with a good ranking in Class S. Holy Cross was also banged up, with several starters out due to injuries or illness. And for the first six innings on Friday, the Crusader offense was being shut out by Falcon starting pitcher Ethan Rembish. Holy Cross had its chances for sure, but Rembish found a way out every time.
The bottom of the seventh started with a strikeout by Rembish. The Crusaders were down to their final two outs, and trailing 3-0. Then Holy Cross started to string together a rally, and this time the rally bore fruit. When it was over, the Crusaders had claimed a stunning 4-3 walk-off victory on Austin Brown's infield single with the bases loaded. Holy Cross finished the regular season at 18-2 and dropped St. Paul to 15-5.
From down and out to a celebration. How did it happen?
It started with back-to-back one-out singles by John Greene and Will Greene. Fran Phelan Jr. was up next, and he grounded an 0-1 pitch down the third base line. The ball went over the bag, just inside the line, into left field. Both Greenes scored, Phelan was on second with a double, and Holy Cross suddenly trailed by just a run at 3-2.
Connor Goggin, who threw a scoreless seventh in relief of Brown and Zach Lerner, was intentionally walked. St. Paul's intent was to set up a double play, but that idea was gone with a wild pitch. Brian Parzyck hit a grounder up the middle that found its way to the edge of the infield dirt. Phelan hustled home with the tying run, and Goggin stopped at third.
The Falcons walked Corey Fappiano to load the bases and set up a force at any base. Brown was the next batter, and he hit a grounder deep in the hole between short and third. St. Paul shortstop Julian Thayer went after the ball but had no play. Goggin scored and Holy Cross had pulled off the incredible comeback win.
Brown went from struggling on the mound as a starter to finishing the game off with a big hit. It was quite the turnaround, and one that him and his teammates celebrated.
For St. Paul, it was a tough loss to swallow. The Falcons had built a lead and used Rembish and their defense to stay ahead. St. Paul took advantage of Holy Cross errors and walks to build a 2-0 lead. The first run scored on an error, the second on a groundball that followed three walks. Ryan Greene added an insurance run in the top of the seventh with an RBI single.
Rembish had allowed four hits through six innings. He had worked around those hits, plus four walks, and struck out six. Rembish picked up his seventh strikeout to start the seventh, but Holy Cross got its offense going and knocked him out. Julian Thayer came on after the Phelan double, but couldn't slow the Crusaders down.
Both teams are scheduled to begin play in the NVL Tournament next Tuesday.

GALLERY: Here are my photos from Friday's game.