Watertown Blaze suffer first loss, but avoid elimination in World Series

Watertown Blaze right fielder Chris Callahan throws home on a sacrifice fly during Friday
morning’s AABC East Coast World Series game against the North Haledon (N.J.) Reds.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69)

The Watertown Blaze entered Friday morning’s AABC East Coast World Series game at Torrington’s Fuessenich Park unblemished.
By the time late afternoon came along at Waterbury’s Municipal Stadium, Watertown was fighting for its World Series life. The Blaze survived to play another day, and they will face another elimination game on Saturday morning at 10 at Municipal Stadium.
Watertown’s first game was against the North Haledon (New Jersey) Reds. Wolcott Scrappers ace Justin Koutros started for the Blaze, but three walks and a hit by pitch spelled the end of his day in the fourth inning. Terryville Black Sox lefty Billy Armstrong came on in relief and yielded just a sacrifice fly.
Litchfield Cowboys slugger Mike Odenwaelder blasted a solo homer into the Naugatuck River to get the Blaze to within 2-1, then they tied the game. Watertown fell behind again, and it still trailed 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Blaze had a runner on third, but it was erased on an out at home off of a squeeze bunt. North Haledon threw down to second to complete a wild double play. Watertown thought its runner at home was safe and argued to no avail.
In the seventh, the Blaze had second and third with two outs, then a walk to former Holy Cross star Chris Callahan loaded the bases. The Reds got a strikeout to end the game and drop the Blaze to 25-1.
Watertown stayed alive with a 3-0 win over the Waterford Nationals of New York at Municipal Stadium.
The Blaze play at 10 a.m. against the Albany Athletics at Municipal Stadium.

PHOTOS: Click here to see images from Saturday morning’s AABC East Coast World Series game.