Valley Ducks win Tri-State first round series opener against Brass City Vipers

The Valley Ducks beat the Brass City Vipers, 5-0, at Wolcott High School on Saturday in the first game of a best-of-three, first round Connecticut Tri-State Baseball League playoff series.

Zach Royka had a complete game three-hitter with 12 strikeouts. Nick Forino drove in three runs to lead the Duck offense.

Three other series began on Saturday. The top seed and two-time defending champion Tri-Town Trojans take on the CT Gamecocks, the Bethlehem Plowboys are matched up with the Winsted Whalers, and the Burlington Hunters are paired up with the Amenia Monarchs.

All four series are scheduled for second games of their series on Sunday with the third games on Monday, if needed.

The Gamecocks reached the first round with a 7-2 play-in win over the Canton Crushers on Wednesday night under the lights of Waterbury’s Bucks Hill Park.

Christian Peterson and Kyle Simpson combined to hold Canton (6-15) to two runs on just four hits. Peterson got the win, Simpson the save.

Josh Dobratz’s two-run single put the Gamecocks on the board in the bottom of the first inning. Dobratz scored on Pat Smith’s RBI double for a 3-0 advantage, according to a story by Gerry deSimas of The Collinsville Press.

After being held scoreless in the second and third innings, the Gamecocks got at least one run in the fourth, fifth and sixth to put the Crushers away. Smith doubled in the fourth inning and scored on a throwing error. Nate Crocker, who made a great diving catch in the outfield, singled, stole second, then used two errors to get around for a single run in the fifth. Angel Torres also had a great diving catch for the Gamecocks. Smith wound up with two doubles while Tyler Fernandes doubled and scored a run.

Photo credit: Valley Ducks (Instagram)