The top two teams in the Connecticut Tri-State Baseball League will be representing the state in the AABC Stan Musial World Series, which begins on Thursday.
The Watertown Blaze and the Naugatuck Dogs both begin play on Thursday evening at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury. The Blaze open with North Haldeon (New Jersey) at 6 p.m. while the Dogs will go up against the Albany Athletics (New York) at 9 p.m.
The Blaze lost just once during the regular season. As one of four teams from Tri-State in the Stan Musial State Tournament, the Blaze reached the championship game and clinched a World Series berth with wins over Fedells Mechanics (1-0), Downtown Merchants (9-1), Naugatuck Dogs (6-3) and Stratford Storm (2-0).
The Dogs went 16-2 during the regular season. Naugatuck reached the final and claimed its World Series berth with wins over All-Star Batting (9-1), Stratford Storm (1-0, 8 innings) and the Downtown Merchants (16-2).
After winning the first meeting between the teams 6-3 earlier in the tournament, the Blaze dispatched the Dogs 8-0 in six innings at Wallingford's Pat Wall Field on Saturday to claim the championship. Naugatuck was thwarted in its bid for back-to-back titles. The Dogs also won championships in 2011 and 2012. The title is the first for the Blaze.
The World Series has 10 teams, up from the original eight. Games will played from Aug. 4-7 at Municipal Stadium, Fuessenich Park in Torrington and Deland Field in Watertown. The format is double elimination.
Look at the Tri-State League website for more information. There's also the Stan Musial World Series website.