BEACON FALLS – With one out and the tying run at the plate for Nonnewaug in the top of the seventh inning of its CIAC Class M quarterfinal game against Woodland, the Chiefs had created some late-game noise.
The Chiefs had just chased Woodland starting pitcher Mike Szturma, who walked Evan Kachur and Ryan Tomkalski to open the inning, and saw Sam Williams move pinch runner Brandon Burke to third on a fly out to right.
Nonnewaug’s good fortune seemed to continue when Woodland catcher Colby Linnell couldn’t corral a pitch from Zack Bedryczuk, and Burke scored on a wild pitch.
But instead of good fortune, Nonnewaug was victimized by a bad call by the home plate umpire.
Although Burke had slid through home plate before a tag was applied by Bedryczuk, Burke was called out at the plate. Austin Bedard was then called out on strikes to end Nonnewaug’s tournament run and the 2019 season.
“He was safe by a lot,” said Nonnewaug head coach Frank Melillo, who was ejected from the game by the home plate umpire for arguing the blown call. “In the seventh inning of a state (playoff) game, when you’re chasing a few runs, you’ve got to be sure the guy is out. He wasn’t out, and I think everyone saw that.”
Nonnewaug took advantage of some early-game jitters but Woodland’s defense at the start of the game to take a 2-0 first-inning lead. Jarrett Michaels and Jimmy Parker led off the game by reaching on errors, moved on a groundout by Joe Rupe, and scored on a single by Kachur.
However, Woodland answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
Woodland scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth and did not look back.
Including the CIAC playoff games, Nonnewaug ended its season 14-9.
To view Just Woodbury’s photos from the game, click here: https://justwoodbury.pixieset.com/nonnewaugbaseballvswoodland/