Masuk baseball team upsets Barlow to reach SWC championship game

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Starting pitcher Greg Nivison, pictured here against Bethel, kept Masuk in the game against Joel Barlow High School before the Panthers pulled off an upset.

BETHEL, CT — Masuk High’s baseball team, the No. 4 seed, upset top-seed Joel Barlow of Redding 2-1 in eight innings when the teams met for a South-West Conference Tournament semifinal-round clash at neutral site Bethel High, on Monday night.

Masuk’s Greg Nivison and Barlow’s Matt Scott, a Stanford commit, kept the game scoreless through five innings of play.

In the top of the 6th Ryan Fedeli led off with a single and then stole second base. He advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a passed ball to make the score 1-0 Panthers. In the bottom of the sixth, TJ Baer of Barlow led off with a single and then stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Kyle Asanovic.

The teams remained tied 1-1 through seven innings and the game went into extra frames.

In the top of the eighth, Fedeli reached first on a one-out error. Scott exited the game after throwing 7 1/3 innings, during which he gave up just four hits and racked up 17 strikeouts. Fedeli stole second on relief pitcher Diego Saez. Brandon Francisco hit a single to right center to score Fedeli for the decisive run.

Sean Minnick finished the game for Masuk pitching the final 2 1/3 innings to earn the win. Minnick allowed two hits and struck out three. Nivison pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing one run on five hits, and striking out 10 batters.

Masuk will play No. 3 Newtown in the championship game, also at Bethel High, on Wednesday, May 25, at 7 p.m. Newtown edged Masuk 5-4 during the regular season.

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