The Newtown One Eyed Cats moved a step closer to a Babe Ruth U15 New England Regional Tournament championship with a 9-3 triumph over Vermont in the tourney quarterfinals, in Rochester, N.H., on July 27.
With the victory, the Cats advanced to play Pittsfield, Mass. in the semifinals, beginning at 1 pm on Friday, July 28, with the winner advancing to face Rhode Island, a 3-1 winner over Portland, Maine, in the 4 pm championship contest. Newtown’s squad defeated Pittsfield 11-0 in pool play, during which it went 3-0. The Cats did not face Rhode Island or Portland in pool play.
Against Vermont, Shea Talbot started the game and went five innings on the mound. Talbot allowed three runs on two hits. He struck out four batters and walked eight. Dan Mason came in to close it out with two hitless innings; Mason stuck out three and walked four.
Vermont took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, and The Cats answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame. Gavin Connors worked a leadoff walk and Bryan Vander Have singled. The runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Mark Leonardi. James Schumacher knocked them both in with a single to right center, giving the Cats a 2-1 lead.
In the third, Vermont took the lead back with a bases loaded hit by Garrett Forgan, making it 3-2.
The Cats again responded in the bottom of the inning. Patrick Hurley, and Trevor Tyrrell walked and both moved up a base on a wild pitch. This set the stage for Connors to drive both home with a base hit to right field. The Cats had the lead 4-3 and never looked back and built a 7-3 lead through three innings.
Jack Mulligan walked and Dan Mason reached on an error. An RBI single by Todd Petersen scored Mulligan. Mason with Petersen came around to score with good base running and a passed ball.
In the sixth, Vander Have singled and scored on Schumacher’s double to the gap. Schumacher later came around to cap off the scoring.
Schumacher finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in and Connors was 1-for-2 with a walk and pair of RBI.