The Brass City Brew had to fight into the last weekend of the Connecticut Tri-State Baseball League to secure one of 12 playoff spots.
Brass City earned the No. 12 seed and played the No. 5 Bethlehem Plowboys in a best-of-three first round series. The Brew battled in both games played, but were swept by the Plowboys.
Here's what happened:
Game 1, Thursday 7/21
Bethlehem 11, Brass City 7 (Gallup Field): The Brew jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Plowboys had an immediate answer with six runs of their own.
Brass City battled throughout and tested Bethlehem with its tough lineup, but couldn't muster enough offense to win. Dwight Wildman led the Brew with three hits, including a home run and a double.
Game 2, Friday 7/22
Bethlehem 10, Brass City 9 (Hotchkiss Field): For the second straight high-scoring game, the Brew ran out to a fast lead.
Brass City held a commanding 9-1 lead after three innings, thanks to an eight-run burst in the third. Paul Novakowski capped the big inning with a bases-clearing double. It looked like the Brew were on their way to tying the series, but the Plowboys had a rally in them. Bethlehem scored five runs in the top of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 9-6, then tallied four more runs in the top of the seventh to stun Brass City.
Brass City ended the season with a record of 7-12.
The Brew claimed wins over the East Mountain Cougars (18-2), Bristol Greeners (2-1), Bethlehem Plowboys (2-1), Burlington Hunters (9-4), Canton Crushers (5-0), Thomaston Threshers (6-4) and Valley Thunder (5-4). The win over the Valley Thunder clinched the 12th and final playoff spot for the Brew.
Brew players Gary and Paul Novakowski were drafted by teams involved in the Stan Musial State Tournament. Gary Novakowski was taken by the Naugatuck Dogs while Paul was chosen by the Terryville Black Sox.
Paul Novakowski took part in both the Home Run Derby and the exhibition game against the Torrington Titans at Fuessenich Park on the Fourth of July. A powerful right-hand hitter, Novakowski qualified for the championship round of the derby, then smacked a RBI double in the game against the Titans.