Kody Kerski fans 15, leads Black Sox to Tri-State title in 5-1 win over Naugatuck.
TORRINGTON: The game plan for Black Sox ace Kody Kerski was simple.
Go the distance.
And because he did, the Terryville Black Sox are your 2019 Tri-State baseball League Champions after sweeping beating the Naugatuck Dogs, 5-1 and winning the series, two games to none.
Kerski was, well, dominant with 15 strikeouts and at no point did he expect to give the ball up.
Nope, not in a potential championship clinching game.
“The plan was to go all the way,” Kerski said. “Once we got to the seventh inning, I knew I was going to finish the game.”
Just two years removed from playing professional baseball for the Seattle Mariners in 2017, Kerski was throwing gas all night, topping off in the high 80’s or low 90’s, if we could judge the pops we heard along with the swings and misses by the Dogs.
No opposing batter was spared by the hard throwing right hander when it came to strikeouts as Kerski struck out at least one batter in every inning while striking out the side in the second and fifth frame.
The Black Sox, for all of Kerski’s dominance, struggled early against Naugatuck starter Lance Stevens who didn’t allow a hit until the bottom of the sixth when they scored the games first run on a one out single by Kyle Tehan that scored Billy Armstrong.
Naugatuck tied the game in the bottom of the frame with a two-out rally, started by Klye Murphy who hit a bomb to straight away center field that went for a double.
After an intentional walk to Ryan Plourde, Devin Murphy lifted a fly ball to left that fell for a single and a game tying RBI.
Stevens ran into immediate trouble in the top of the seventh when gave up a double to Justin McCulloch who moved to third on a fielder’s choice.
A walk loaded the bases and after a strikeout, Ian Schmidt lifted a sacrifice fly to center field and Kerski and the Black Sox had the lead. A two-run single by Tyler Wenz made it a 4-1 lead for a team that lost just three games all year after posting the leagues best record.
After they scored their run in the sixth, the Dogs managed just one more baserunner against a determined starting pitcher who had a complete game in mind from the get-go and because of it, the Black Sox are your Tri-State champions.
NOTES: Kerski spent four seasons with the Mariners organization, appearing in 116 games with five teams.
He posted eight saves in 2015 as a member of the Clinton Lumber Kings and had a record of 4-3 with a 1.80 ERA that year.
For his career, Kerski logged 186 strikeouts in 182 innings pitched and had an overall record of 12-10.