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Golden Bears baseball joins softball in Class S finals with 5-4 win over Cromwell.

POSTED June 12, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

THOMASTON: The school year might be coming to a close in this small town and school but nobody wants to see the athletic calendar come to an end.

It has simply been one of those years, and you know, that doesn’t even do justice to simply how remarkable 2013-2014 has been for the Thomaston Golden Bears sports programs.

The Bears incredible spring of baseball and softball moved on to their final test on Tuesday night, in venues 45 minutes away from each other but with each team firmly in the others corner.

At a little after six o’clock, the girls proved once again that it might take a howitzer to keep this Bear team down as they once again rallied when they were down to their last strike of the season.

Morgan Sanson, down 0-2 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, launched a long home run to dead center and for good measure, drives in the game winner two innings later to send her team to the Class S Finals in a 2-1 win over Coventry.

Thomaston will play Old Saybrook, who won the second game of the night at DeLuca Field in Stratford (which by the way is where every gnat on the East Coast seems to live) for the right to play a team that have proven time and time again what Yogi said.

“It isn’t over till it’s over.”

Play this team at your own risk. They have Championship pedigree. A handful of them won the Class S State title on the hardwood just before softball began.

Not looking to be outdone, the Thomaston boys, up a ways in Berlin at an absolutely packed Sage Field, took care of Cromwell by a 5-4 final.

The Golden Bear boys have been on a mission since the season began, feeding off the energy they saw during the girls’ basketball team run to Mohegan Sun.

Thomaston built a 5-2 lead then hung on as the Panthers plated a pair in the bottom of the seventh and had the tying run on second with two outs.

The final read 5-4 and a trip to Palmer Field to take on Portland at a date and time TBA. Several games need to be played on Wednesday to round out the eight games over the two days.

“This has been a very good day for the town of Thomaston,” Bears head Coach Bob McMahan said. “This is what we have done all year. We fight until the end and usually make it interesting like we did but we get it done.”

Blaise Russo started for McMahan and gutted out six plus inning before giving way to teammate Brian Butkevicius for the final two outs of the game.

“This team is one of a kind,” Butkevicius said. “We may not have a lot of Division I players but each player will go out and give it their all and we will perform.”

It’s been astounding to watch these two teams feed off the others energy this spring.

After the girls punched their ticket for the finals, they were back on the bus, heading from Stratford to Berlin to cheer on their extended family members.

To a great extent, that’s what this school is, a large family. This is a small town that is dwarfed by some of the schools that surround them but they consistently perform at a very high level for themselves, their families and their community.

The party is just starting, there is one more piece of business left to take care of for these two squads but at this point, should anyone doubt or challenge these Bears?

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