Dube, McCulloch, Kerski help Black Sox win CTL championship

The Terryville Black Sox may not have won the ultimate prize, but they still grabbed their league championship.

Three days after losing two games and the Stan Musial East Coast World Series to the Albany (N.Y.) Athletics at Waterbury’s Municipal Stadium, Terryville was celebrating on the mound at Bristol’s Muzzy Field. The Black Sox had just finished a sweep of the Rocky Hill Rockies in the best-of-three Connecticut Twilight League championship series with a 5-3 win. Three area standouts helped Terryville grab the CTL trophy.

In the first game of the championship series on Tuesday night, Kyle Dube fired a complete game, yielding a single run in an 8-1 victory. Justin McCulloch drove in three runs before a calf injury ended his series prematurely.

In the second game, the Black Sox turned to Kody Kerski on one day of rest to get the final six outs. It wasn’t easy. Will Ramos hit a towering two-run home run over the right field fence to cap a three-run bottom of the sixth inning as the Rockies closed to within 5-3. In the seventh, Kerski got the first out before an error brought the tying run to the plate. Kerski struck out the next batter, then got a chopper to second baseman Alex Rauso. Rauso fielded it easily and flipped to shortstop Tony Patane for the final out, which set off a celebration. The celebration was subdued at first, then Billy Armstrong popped open bottles of champagne and the cheers got louder. Kerski won a game and saved another for the Black Sox during the playoff run.

Connor Goggin and Colby Linnell, who each suited up along with McCulloch for Blasius Chevrolet in the Connecticut Tri-State Baseball League, played for Terryville. Linnell had a pair of RBI singles while Goggin reached base twice. Goggin would have scored a run had it not been for a howitzer of a throw from right field to complete an inning-ending double play in the top of the second.

Terryville posted a perfect 4-0 record in the CTL playoffs. Armstrong’s inside-the-park, grand slam home run helped the Black Sox post a 5-3 victory in the opener against the New Britain Rock Cats at Beehive Stadium on Aug. 9. Terryville faced Rocky Hill for the first time on Aug. 15 at Muzzy and won, 3-0, behind a complete game from Taylor Donofrio.

GALLERY: Here are my photos from Wednesday’s championship-clinching victory.

PHOTO CAPTION: Terryville Black Sox pitcher Kody Kerski delivers during the seventh inning of the clinching game of the Connecticut Twilight League championship series Wednesday evening at Muzzy Field in Bristol. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)