Thomaston crushes Canton for spot in Class S semifinals
THOMASTON - Abby Hurlbert went 3-for-4 with a home run and picked up the win on the mound, allowing two late runs as the third-seeded Thomaston Bears posted a 14-2 victory over No. 6 Canton in a Class S state tournament quarterfinal matchup on Friday afternoon in Thomaston.
With the win the Bears advance to face Berkshire League rival Terryville in the state semifinals. The date and time for the season's third meeting between the teams was not available Friday night.
Hurlbert blasted a three-run home run to highlight a five-run fifth inning for Thomaston. The homer extended Thomaston's lead to 12-0.
"That's a great team," Canton coach Charles Batan said. "They were very disciplined all around and they are a great team. We just got beat by a better team."
It was a scorcher with temperatures in the 90s at game time but the weather didn't bother the Bears one bit. They banged out eight hits and drew 11 walks from Canton starter Morgan Scafuri. Thomaston scored three runs in the third inning and added four more in the fourth before putting it away in the fifth.
Julia Romaniello added a pair of base hits and three RBI for the Bears while Alexa Torrence and Karley Conway each had a base hit.
Canton managed just three hits off of Hurlbert and Thomaston's ace walked three. The Warriors didn't do themselves any favors with five errors while Thomaston played a pretty clean game in the field.
"We played well, especially defensively. We practiced so hard on defense there was just no way we weren't going to make the plays," Thomaston coach Gene Torrence said. "
Canton ended up using three pitchers and putting Scafuri back on the mound after two other hurlers had no luck holding the Thomaston offense down. Thomaston scored in four straight innings and made Canton pay for their mistakes.
"They are very selective hitters, very confident hitters and not afraid to hit with two strikes," Torrence said of his team. "It's something we work on, taking pitches, putting pressure on the defense and opposing pitcher."
Now it’s hard to say who the pressure is on. Thomaston and Terryville tied for the Berkshire League title despite the fact that the Kangaroos swept the season series (2-0), including a 1-0 win in Thomaston that went 13 innings. With the winner headed to the state title game, both teams will likely be feeling the heat and the league rivalry just adds more drama.
"At this point it doesn't matter, you get this far into the tournament, there are only good teams left," Torrence said. "We're focused on the next team ahead of us, it just happens to be Terryville. They aren't just another team, they are a good team. I'm sure they'll be ready to play, we will too and we'll see what happens."