Masuk baseball team upsets Barlow to reach SWC championship game

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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