ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT


Stay Connected
ADVERTISEMENT


Heaven will have to wait


EAST HARTFORD — A pitch and a glitch marked the fine line between victory and defeat for the Meriden Merchants. The inability to get down a bunt in a key spot and a first-pitch fastball that was too sweet enabled Ferguson Waterworks to push the Greater Hartford Twilight League championship to a final showdown after a 1-0 win over the Merchants Monday at McKenna Field.

The Merchants (17-13) and Ferguson (22-10) will meet in a winner-take-all game tonight at 7 p.m. Ferguson defeated People’s United Bank by the same score in Monday’s first game to earn a shot at the Merchants.

Merchants left-hander Ryan DiPietro, pitching for the first time in almost a month, overcame a lacerated toe to toss a complete-game six-hitter, but one of those hits was very costly.

Dan Hickey started the game-winning rally in the bottom of the sixth with a broken-bat single to center. DiPietro got Ken Bratina looking for the second out, but Tommy Meade rifled the next pitch through the alley in right center to score Hickey easily.

Taylor Kosakowski, who saved the first game for Ferguson, slammed the door on the Merchants with a 1-2-3 seventh.

Meriden’s best opportunity against Ferguson starter Jamie Kukucka (6 hits, 8 Ks) came in the sixth when Justin Poirier and Francisco Ascensio (both 2-for-3) singled. Co-manager Rob Tencza tried to get a bunt down, but fouled off two pitches and went down swinging. Kukucka struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Thayer and A.J. Lowers to end the threat.

“We had plenty of chances and that sixth inning was tough,” Tencza said. “That one’s gonna eat me up for awhile. I’ve bunted a thousand times and I couldn’t get it done for my team.”

Kukucka also foiled the Merchants in the second and third. Lowers stroked a one-out single and Charlie Hesseltine walked in the second, but Kevin Hall popped up and Mark Julius grounded to second. Poirier had a one-out single in the third and Ascensio ripped a shot that seemed destined for the right field corner, but first baseman Connor Bremer stabbed the liner and tagging Poirier out.

DiPietro encountered some trouble early, but settled in until the fateful sixth. “The mound got me a little bit. My mechanics were off, so I went into the stretch at the beginning, but there’s no excuse,” DiPietro said. “You just have to go out there and pound the zone. “I felt good. I just got burnt by one or two pitches.”



Back to LatestSports
Top Stories of the Week

Police: Man with knife attempted to rob Wallingford doughnut shop …
WALLINGFORD – Police are investigating after a man wielding a knife attempted to rob Neil’s Donuts in Wallingford early Wednesday morning. Police say employees were … more ...

Wallingford police make arrest in attempted robbery at Neil’s Donuts …
WALLINGFORD — A Florida man faces charges after police say he attempted to rob Neil’s Donut Bake Shop early Wednesday. Justin D. Bailey, 23, of … more ...

Old Dublin building goes on market for $475,000 …
WALLINGFORD — The building housing the Old Dublin traditional Irish pub at 171 Quinnipiac St. went on the market recently for $475,000. Nancy Newman, an … more ...

Officials hoping to find owner of dog found on I-84 …
SOUTHINGTON — Animal Control officers believe the owner of a dog found on Interstate 84 this weekend are looking for her, but may not be … more ...

Double Play Cafe looking to move, offer owner’s famous steamed …
MERIDEN — Owners of the Double Play Cafe are looking to move the bar to a larger location on the south side by summer. Kevin … more ...

Comments