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Between The Lines 5/29/2013

POSTED May 30, 2013
BY John Nestor
Twitter: @nestorjdn

Between The Lines 5/29/13

Welcome to the Spring postseason, which more than any other season is a total crapshoot, especially in baseball and softball.

Just about anyone who gets hot can win. Start swinging some hot bats and piling up runs, you can bash your way to a title or trot out a shut-down pitcher or two and pitch your way to a title.

It's both good and bad for some of the locals. The Northwestern baseball team has already had a scare put into it but has survived. The Highlanders, the top-seed in Class M, outlasted No. 33 Plainville, 7-6, in 10 innings on Tuesday.

Mike Jeffko came up with the game-winning base hit in the bottom of the 10th to send the defending state champion Blue Devils home, but not without a fight. Plainville entered the tournament 8-12 but won a qualifying round game over Woodland and came into the Northwestern game with nothing to lose. 

Class M has already seen Wolcott, the No. 2 seed and NVL champ, sent home by No. 34 Granby, 9-8 and Nonnewaug is seeded 24th and already has a win over No. 9 Plainfield.

The other local team that has a real shot to go far is the Torrington softball team, which hasn't played a game but has already had its tournament schedule changed not once but twice. The Raiders are the top seed in Class L and set to host the winner of the game between No. 16 Bunnell/No. 17 Sacred Heart Academy. Torrington was supposed to play that second-round game today after Bunnell and SHA met Tuesday. But rain has move the game from Tuesday, to Wednesday and now to Thursday, so it looks like Torrington won't open its quest for a state title until Friday at the earliest.

Torrington (23-0) is the total package. It has one of, if not THE best pitcher in the state in junior Sydney Matzko and the thing that also stands out about this group of Red Raiders is how it has grown in terms of defense and its ability to create offense up and down the lineup.

The Red Raiders will be a tough out, at least they will once they start playing.

Terryville and Thomaston also figure to be tough in Class S softball and the Kangaroos and Bears, seeded second and third respectively, are slated to meet up in a state semifinal.

Lewis Mills Golf: The Lewis Mills boys golf team continues to be the class of the Berkshire League as the defending Division III state champions finished 16-0 in the league for its fifth straight BL title.

Northwest Regional almost handed Mills a league loss as both teams shot 167 up at Heritage Village last week, but the Spartans got the win on the tie-breaker, the score of the fifth golfer who's score was dropped.  Senior Andrew Cuatto came up huge for Mills that day with a 44 from the fifth spot.

Mills also had a strong Berkshire League Tournament on Tuesday at Fairview Farms in Harwinton as Chris Greatorex earned medalist honors with a 77. Colby Prestash carded a 78 and Andrew Boucher signed for a 79 and all three earned BL All-Star honors.

Seven BL All-Stars are selected in golf and it is based on a combination of regular season play (2/3) and the BL Tournament scores (1/3). Boucher finished ranked No. 1 in the league with Pretash second and Greatorex fourth.

Coach Jay Pelchar likes where his team is right now and is hoping for a repeat when the Spartans tee it up at the Division III state tournament  Monday at Timberland golf Club in Kensington.

Bears Roar at Class S Meet: Thomaston's girls track team came in third at the State Class S meet on Tuesday.

The 4X800 relay team of Charlie Eberhardt, Cameron Chaplen, Becky Perugini and Sabrina Olsen won the event by a whopping 16 seconds and advanced to the State Open.

Thomaston basketball standout Maggie Eberhardt won a state title as well, capturing the javelin title with a throw of 117’4”. It was a sweet win for the senior, who led entering the finals each of the past two years only to finish third each time.

There were some other strong performances from BL teams as well. The Litchfield girls 4X100 meter relay finished in second place with the time of 50.81. Shepaug’s Logan Ross won the boys 800 meters in 1:57.43 and finished third in the 1600 meter run with a time of 4:19.63.

NEWS AND NOTES: Northwestern had Lewis Mills' number in softball this season as the Highlanders' 6-3 victory on Tuesday in a Class M first-round game was their third over the Spartans this season. ... Northwestern, Nonnewaug and Lewis Mills are all in the top half of the Class M baseball bracket and have each won a game, keeping alove the possibility of an all-BL quarterfinal between the Highlanders and the Chiefs and an all-BL semifinal between the winner and the Spartans. ... Golf is heating up again as the U.S. Open approaches. Tiger Woods defends his title at The Memorial this week and will face a stacked field as many of the top players are looking to get their games in shape for the U.S. Open next month at Merion outside Philadelphia. The first round of the U.S. Open is in just 15 days. ... The aging Spurs couldn't have asked for a better set up as they look for another NBA title. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli get to rest after a sweep of Memphis in the Western Conference Finals while the Miami Heat are being pushed by the Indiana Pacers in a series that will go at least six games since it is tied up 2-2.

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