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Baseball Team Beats South Windsor Then Finally Cools Off On Hot Day In Westport



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The underdog Newtown High School baseball team, seeded No. 27 in the Class LL State Tournament bracket, followed up a 4-2 win at No. 6 Bristol Central in the first round on May 28 with an 8-1 victory at No. 11 South Windsor the next day. That set up a visit to No. 19 Staples of Westport in the quarterfinals on June 1.

Newtown’s gloves and arms betrayed them with all but one of Staples’ runs being of the unearned variety as Staples wrecked Newtown’s title hopes on a hot midsummer-like afternoon. The Wreckers won 7-0 behind lefty pitcher Kai Nee’s 15 strikeouts; he allowed just two hits — both solidly-hit doubles, one each by Yarema Stasyshyn down the left field line and a laser off the high wall in left off the bat of Kieran Garrity. Newtown made some solid contact in other at bats but a few line drives found the Staples gloves.

Nighthawk ace Dhilan Amin could not overcome four errors as the Wreckers needed only six hits to do all of that offensive damage. The Wreckers scored twice in each of the first two innings and added three runs in the fourth. Some aggressive base running contributed to the put-away runs with a double steal attempt leading to a pair of errant throws that allowed two runs to score on the same play.

“I think we hit the ball right at guys. There were a couple of miscues we had in the field and that hurt us. We didn’t play well defensively but it doesn’t take away from what we did this year,” Newtown Coach Ian Thoesen said. “They battled day in and day out — it’s a great group of guys.”

The Hawks won their last five regular season games to sneak into the South-West Conference and state playoffs; as the No. 7 seed they upset No. 2 New Fairfield 2-0 in the SWC quarterfinals before falling to tough Joel Barlow of Redding in the semis. Then came the two state playoff wins.

Against South Windsor, the Hawks jumped out to a commanding early lead with six runs in the second inning. Jonathan Moseman had three hits and Garrity and Stasyshyn both had two hits. Stasyshyn and Garrity both tripled and Evan Nikolis, Hayden Conklin, and Alex Schmidt all doubled. Amin, Schmidt, Leyva, Moseman, Nikolis, and Conklin each drove in a run.

Pitcher Wes Keayes was solid, scattering six hits and allowing just one run, walking one, and fanning four batters in five innings. Ryan Schmidt and Leyva each pitched a scoreless, one-hit frame in relief.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Second baseman Jonathan Moseman makes a sliding play to stop a ground ball during Newtown’s 7-0 loss at Staples of Westport in State Tournament action on June 1. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Dhilan Amin delivers a pitch.
Danny Leyva makes a throw across the infield.
Kieran Garrity doubled off the wall.
Evan Nikolis camps under a fly ball in right field.
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