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Between The Lines 5/14/2013

POSTED May 14, 2013
BY John Nestor
Twitter: @nestorjdn

Between The Lines 5/14/13

Another week of quick hitters as the spring season approaches the stretch run.

On the local scene I am looking forward to seeing what the Torrington High softball team and Northwestern baseball team bring to the state tournament. Both teams are closing in on perfect regular seasons.

I am down on the Chicago Bulls and this whole "old school, tough guy" style of basketball. Nothing irks me more than a team that lacks skill and athleticism tying to close the gap with overly physical play. Is there a physical element to basketball? Yes, there is. Should hoops ever be mistaken for football? No, and if you think it should you have no idea what you are talking about and have no understanding of the real game of basketball.

OUT WITH A BANG: Conor Bierfeldt, a former Torrington High star and a standout on the 2012 Torrington Titans, wrapped up his college baseball career at Western Connecticut State University last week in impressive fashion.

Bierfeldt homered in the first inning in both of Western's two games in the Little East Conference tournament but it was not enough to keep the Colonials from seeing their season come to an end after a pair of losses.

As Bierfeldt looks ahead to the MLB draft and the possibility of being picked, he can look back on a stellar career at Western. He just wrapped up a stellar senior season in which he hit .396 in 39 games played with nine home runs, 54 RBI and 40 runs scored to go along with 10 stolen bases. Bierfeldt also had 16 doubles, four triples and walked more times than he struck out (29-20). His on-base percentage was .506 and he had slugging percentage of .776.

The 2013 campaign was a strong follow up to last season when Bierfeldt led the team in home runs (10), RBI (50), runs scored (48), hits (61), doubles (16) and triples (6) and was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference's Player of the Year for 2012. He was also a First-Team All-American and an All-LEC First Team selection.

Last summer Bierfeldt was one of the leading contenders for the FCBL Player of the Year and hit .329 with the Titans with nine home runs, 39 RBI, 29 runs scored and 15 doubles. He more than proved he could play against high caliber competition and should get a shot in the professional ranks later this summer.

CLOSE TO PERFECT: Both the Torrington softball and Northwestern baseball teams are closing in on perfect regular seasons and top seeds for the upcoming state tournament.

The Lady Raiders are 19-0 with a Thursday meeting with Naugatuck standing between them and a perfect 20-0 regular season. Torrington has dominated the NVL, allowing 10 runs total in its 19 games this season. To put that in perspective, the Raiders have scored more than 10 runs in a GAME nine times this season.

Junior pitcher Sydney Matzko continues to dominate for Torrington but the Raiders appear to be more of a force in the Class L tournament this time around because of improved defense and a lineup that gets production from a number of spots.

Up in Winsted the Highlanders are closing in on a Berkshire League title and are currently the top ranked team in Class M at 16-0. A clash with Thomaston on Wednesday will likely decide the BL title and then Northwestern would need to beat Shepaug, Lewis Mills and Terryville to complete a 20-0 regular season.

Northwestern has been dominant of late, getting great pitching while producing a ton of runs. The Highlanders have won their last three games by a combined score of 41-3. They have also survived some tests, beating Thomaston in their first meeting, 3-0, in eight innings. Northwestern has also won a pair of one-run games with Nonnewaug and another at Terryville.

NEWS AND NOTES: Rain has kept the Harwinton A-Ball Orioles off the field lately but the crew is ready for a pair of games with Plymouth starting Thursday night at Plymouth Center School! ... My take on the Players is that Sergio is a whiner and Tiger may have used a bit of gamesmanship but lets move on. Hopefully Tiger's next tournament will come without a drop controversy too, it's getting a little ridiculous. ... I'll be rooting for Orb on Saturday in the Preakness, I always end up rooting for the Derby winner to pull off the Triple Crown, which we have not had since Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978) pulled it off in back-to-back years. Since Affirmed won the Triple Crown, a total of 12 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness only to fall short at the Belmont. ... The Heat are winning it all this year but LeBron is going to have some decisions to make down the road. Is he going to lure another superstar or two to South Beach or is he going to take his talents to another city at some point to win more titles (Los Angeles, New York, back to Cleveland)? Dwyane Wade is a great player but appears to be breaking down and LeBron and Chris Bosh alone is not going to be enough to get it done. ... Former Torrington Titan Tyler Bashlor is expected to be drafted in the first five rounds of the upcoming MLB draft. Bashlor opened eyes during a bullpen session at the FCBL pro-day last season when he threw 95 and he has cranked up the velocity to 99 this season at South Georgia College.

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