By MICHAEL LETENDRE
LITCHFIELD – Only in the Tri-State Baseball League can any team defeat another, no matter what the records might be.
In fact, throw the records right out the window.
Take the Bristol Greeners final game of the season at Tri-Town.
With two of the top throwers on the hill for their respective teams, Bristol’s 5-12 ledger and Tri-Town’s 13-3 record truly meant nothing.
Bristol had Mat Niedzweicki on the mound while the Twisters unleashed ace Miles Scribner on the hill as well.
It was a classic confrontation and in the end, only two total runs were zipped out in the contest.
In fact, those two tallies were notched by the visiting team.
In a must-win game for the Greeners, Niedzweicki secured a spot for Bristol in the Tri-State playoffs in their last game of the regular season with a dominant pitching performance as Bristol sank Tri-Town by a 2-0 final from Community Field in Litchfield on Saturday, July 26.
Niedzweicki pitched a complete game shutout for the Bristol outfit, giving up just six hits, and striking out nine for his first win of the campaign.
The Greeners struck for their first run in the top half of the first off three consecutive hits. The trio of T.J. Wyrebek (2-for-4, run), Mitch Guilmette (3-for-4), and Nick Briatico (2-for-4, RBI) got the bases juiced.
From there, Nick Plachno drove Wyrebek home on a sacrifice fly to give Bristol its early 1-0 push.
Scribner (9 IP, 2 ER, 13 strikeouts) kept the Bristol bats quiet until the top half of the eighth when the Greeners struck for another run.
This time, Briatico singled to left center to bring home Wyrebek and the Greeners scooped up a 2-0 tilt.
But Tri-Town didn’t go quietly into the night.
The Trojans threatened in the bottom half of the ninth as a leadoff single from Kyle Savo (2-for-4) as Tri-Town put the tying run in the batter’s box.
The Trojans next batter, Joel Judson, lined an extra base hit over the head of Bristol’s Jake Martel in centerfield for a base hit.
But Martel – armed with more than a little speed in center – helped to make the play of the game.
Martel zipped the ball quickly to the second basemen, Wyrebek, who was able to cut down the runner at the plate for the first out of the inning.
And it proved to be a huge putout.
Tri-Town’s next batter, Steve Price (2-4), singled to give the Trojans runners at first and second with one out.
But from there, Neidzwiecki was able to get a strike out and a ground out to end the game as the Greeners came away with a huge.
The win propelled Bristol to 6-12 and now gets a shot in the upcoming state tournament.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE