Scheiner throws a gem while dad heals. Tri-State Championship now 1-1 in best of three.
TORRINGTON - Jordie Scheiner has always felt he was very fortunate to grow up in a family that shared his passion for baseball.
His family supported the knuckleballer's passion with trips to work out with big leaguers (see RA Dickey when he pitched for the Mets) and, most recently, by purchasing a franchise in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (Bristol).
His father, Grammy award-winning music producer Elliott Scheiner, brought the Bristol Blues to the city this past season and the team made it to the finals with Jordie Scheiner as the pitching coach.
So imagine pitching in an elimination game for a team (The Tri-State Trojans) and a league (The Tri-State baseball League) that you love with one of the most important people in your life in the hospital recovering from major surgery. Well, somehow on Thursday night, Jordie Scheiner managed to keep him composure and put on a stellar performance in a 5-2 win over Litchfield to knot the best-of-three series at a game apiece.
The championship game will be played (weather-permitting) on Friday night at 7 p.m., right back at Fuessenich Park. If Friday is lost, the final will be played on Saturday at noon.
Scheiner went eight solid innings, giving up two runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and not a single walk.
How did he manage to keep his focus knowing his father was still recovering from a serious surgical procedure?
“I had extra motivation for sure,” Scheiner said. “He was out there with me. I’m so thankful to have a father who loves baseball and wanted to start something so amazing like what is happening in Bristol. He’s one of the biggest supporters in my life and he would want me to be here.”
A day after being shut down by Cowboy lefty Joey Serafin, the Trojans looked to a pitcher who, when his knuckler is on, can be one tough out and he was on Thursday.
Tri-Town took advantage of a first inning error to plate a pair of unearned runs. Cowboy starter Chris Blazek appeared to be out of a two-on, two-out jam when Dylan Clark dropped a fly ball, allowing a run to score.
Litchfield threatened in the top of the second when the first two runners got on, but Scheiner retired the next two hitters on harmless pops to the infield and a chance went by the wayside.
Tri-State would throw another run on the board in the second, and two more came home when catcher Landen Gardella drove a single to center in the fifth, plating Casey McDonald and Michael Fabiaschi for a 5-0 lead.
Scheiner only had two innings, the first and third. He worked around trouble in one frame, forcing a double play and, in another, when he retired three straight after a leadoff single in the fifth.
Litchfield broke through in the seventh when Serafin, the hero on the mound the night before, smashed a two-run single, but the rally fizzled after a close call at second on an attempted steal went against them for the second out. James Cramphin would come in and close the door in a hurry in the ninth, striking out the side in order.
One more game for the trophy.