Great run ends for Wolcott Storm in Mickey Mantle World Series

The Wolcott Storm had a great regular season, which gave it a spot in the Mickey Mantle
World Series. Wolcott advanced to the semifinal round before being eliminated on Saturday.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69)

The Mickey Mantle World Series was missing its host team in the championship tonight at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury.
The Wolcott Storm saw a great run end in rough fashion in a 9-1 mercy-rule loss to the Toronto Mets in the semifinal round. The Mets moved on to play the Colton (California) Nighthawks. Colton ran away with the championship in a 12-3 victory.
Just like Friday night’s 5-3 loss to Colton, Wolcott was undone by one inning. Toronto struck for five runs in the bottom of the second inning to counter a single tally from Wolcott. Five straight hits and a sacrifice fly brought in the five Met runs. Toronto put up one in the fourth, then three more in the fifth to end the game via the mercy rule.
“We had a great run, we really did,” Wolcott head coach Bob Warren said. “I think there’s no reason why we couldn’t have made it all the way.”
To Warren, it was one bad inning in two straight games that derailed the Storm.
Wolcott got its lone run off of Toronto on a ground out by Andrew Paradis. Paradis was able to get Rob Johnston in with one out after Johnston had tripled to lead off the top of the second inning. Wolcott had only two other hits, a single apiece from Paradis and Jake Nilsson.
Go back to Friday night, and it was the bottom of the fifth inning that spurned the Storm. Wolcott went ahead 3-0 in the fifth against Colton. Cesar Vasquez and Nilsson scored on the same error for the first two runs, then Michael Downing doubled in Justin Butterworth for the third run.
Colton started its fifth inning with a bunt base hit and a walk. The first Nighthawk run scored via a passed ball, then Jonathan Ho rocketed a two-run triple to tie the game. In the sixth, a two-run single from Sawyer Stidham gave Colton a 5-3 lead it didn’t relinquish.
Wolcott had made it to Friday night’s game against Colton at Municipal Stadium thanks to a wild finish earlier in the day at Torrington’s Fuessenich Park. The Storm led the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) Twins Baseball Club 4-3 entering the top of the seventh inning, but a squeeze bunt from Chance Ragsale tied the game.
Wolcott had the last ups in the seventh, and Johnston led off with a walk. Larry Zapata’s sacrifice bunt moved Johnston to second base. After a Richard Burdick walk, Warren called on Garrett Coe to pinch hit for Jeff Nicol, who was 0-for-3.
“I’m going to try something different,” Warren said of the situation.
Warren recalled watching Coe play earlier in the season. Normally a pitcher, Coe showed was strong at the plate when Warren watched, and he kept that in mind.
Coe made Warren look real good, lining a ball to right center field to score Johnston and handing the Storm a 5-4 walk-off win.
“I thought that was going to be the momentum that carried us,” Warren said.
Wolcott came out hot in the Colton game and claimed a 3-0 lead after 4.5 innings. 
“We came into [Friday night], we played flawless baseball,” Warren said.
Until that fateful fifth inning. One bad inning spelled trouble on Friday, and the same formula pushed the Storm out of the World Series on Saturday.
Warren was proud of what Wolcott had accomplished.
“This was one team that was actually a team,” Warren said.
Many of the Storm players should return in the fall for more baseball, but they’ll never forget their run to the Mickey Mantle World Series.

PHOTOS: Click here to see images from the Wolcott Storm semifinal game.