TORRINGTON — There will be a Game 3. The Naugy Dogs came from behind Thursday night to beat the Tri-Town Trojans, 8-4, at Fuessenich Park in Torrington and forced a decisive matchup for the Tri-State World Series tonight.
Same time, same place.
The Trojans, who won Game 1 of the best-of-three series Wednesday night, took a 1-0 lead in Game 2 on a first-inning sac-fly by Joel Judson, scoring Connor Murray, who had doubled. In the second Tri-Town tacked on two more runs. Mike Fabiashi led off with a single and Casey McDonald followed with an RBI double. After a strikeout and hit batter, John Callahan’s liner popped out of first baseman’s Devin Murphy’s glove, allowing McDonald to score from second.
In the bottom of the second, Murphy opened with a single, stole second and scored on a Matt Kane knock past a diving Joe Bunnell at first to cut the lead to 3-1.
Tri-Town scored in the fourth inning on a McDonald single and a Landon Gardella RBI double to make it 4-1. Then it became the Ken Graveline show. Graveline sat down the next 16 batters he faced.
“Ken is a top-flight pitcher,” Naugy coach Jay Harlamon said. “They (Tri-Town) were starting to get some nice momentum, but he just shut them down. I told him, just keep dealing and we’ll score.”
Graveline allowed only five hits while striking out 12 in the complete-game win.
Kyle Murphy tied the game in the seventh on a long, three-run home run that still may not have found its way to the ground.
“We weren’t really hitting the ball,” Harlamon said. “It probably would have been the right call to bunt, but we let him (Kyle) loose, and he came up big.”
“With two runners on, down three, I’m just looking to keep the inning alive,” Murphy said. “(Judson) gave me a good pitch and I just squared it up.”
In the eighth, Naugy scored four runs to put the game out of reach for the Trojans. Ryan Russell singled and Kane followed with a walk. With two outs, Sean Miller-Jones and Kyle Murphy drew back-to-back walks, scoring Russell to make it 5-4 Dogs, their first lead of the series. With the bases loaded, Graveline helped himself with a bases-clearing double.
In the ninth, Graveline set the Trojans down in order with two strikeouts and a ground out to force Game 3 at Fuessenich tonight at 7.
“(Graveline) has been the workhorse for this team for years,” Kyle Murphy said. “He gets stronger as the game goes on and always keeps us in it.”