Furnivall, Merolla lead Tides to Nutmeg Games gold medal
Garrett Furnivall and Paul Merolla, senior starting pitchers on the 2012 Wilton High School baseball team, led the AAU Connecticut Tides baseball club to a gold medal in the Connecticut State Nutmeg Games in New Britain this past weekend.
The Tides, one of 12 competing teams, went undefeated in the tournament, beating the Connecticut Mayhem of Manchester, 6-2, the Fairfield Rage of Bridgeport, 6-1, and the Fairfield Senior Legion team, 10-2.
Furnivall pitched the first game against the Mayhem and went five innings, allowing no earned runs. Mike Keshin of New Canaan pitched the final two shutout innings in relief.
Merolla had two hits and drove in three runs, breaking the game open with a two-run double in the fourth inning.
Merolla took the mound against the Rage and shut them down with a complete game three-hit performance, allowing no earned runs and striking out six batters. Merolla helped himself with a double and then scored a run in the Tides’ five-run first inning uprising.
Josh Newborn of Ridgefield and Keshin combined on the victory in the final championship game as the Tides jumped out front and took an early 8-0 lead, scoring seven runs in the second inning. Merolla drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The Tides compete in nationally sanctioned tournaments and are coached by Mike Riveles (Pace University alumnus) and Nick Rhodes (Norwalk Community College alumnus).
The Nutmeg Games is a season-ending celebration for the Tides team, which previously this summer won the Father’s Day Classic in Branford in June and the Independence Day Classic at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, N.Y., in July.
The Tides went 14-1-1 in tournament play this summer.