WEYMOUTH, Mass. (August 12, 2023) — After emerging as the top two seeds in the regular season and winning their respective semifinal series in three games, the Norwich Sea Unicorns and Vermont Lake Monsters will now meet in a winner-take-all contest to decide the Futures League champion on Sunday.
In the first game of its kind in Futures League history, Norwich will host Vermont at 5 p.m. Sunday at Senator Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium with the title on the line.
The top-seeded Sea Unicorns extended their first-ever Futures League postseason run, defeating the in-state rival New Britain Bees in a three-game semifinal series that concluded on Friday. The Lake Monsters, meanwhile, advanced to their third final in as many seasons after downing the Worcester Bravehearts Saturday in the finale of another set that went the distance.
The matchup will cap a competitive postseason in the Futures League. This week’s semifinal round featured both series reaching the maximum three games for only the second time in league history and first since 2019 when Worcester won its most recent title.
Norwich allowed only seven total runs while infielder Johnny Knox (Nichols) went 6-for-12 with two home runs, a triple and four RBI over the three games against New Britain. Knox and catcher Matt Malcom (UConn) each homered in Friday’s 12-2, series-clinching victory, which followed the teams trading 3-2 victories to force the rubber match.
Vermont concluded its semifinal set with a 6-1 win over Worcester later Saturday night. Outfielder Trevor Cohen (Rutgers) had a team-leading four RBI in the series, two of which came on his two-run single in the fourth inning of the deciding game. Shortstop Kyle Lodise (Augusta) and center fielder Teddy Schoenfeld (MIT) also had multi-hit efforts on Saturday.
Norwich won five of the six regular-season meetings between the teams, losing only on the second day of the regular season way back on May 25. Matt Wootton (Eastern Connecticut State) earned two of those victories, allowing just one run in 8.2 innings. First baseman Andrew Bianco (New Haven) logged eight hits, four for extra bases, and four RBI in the series.
The playoff schedule and results is as follows:
No. 1 Norwich Sea Unicorns vs. No. 2 Vermont Lake Monsters
Sunday, August 13 - 5 p.m. - Dodd Stadium/Norwich, Conn.
Series #1: No. 1 Norwich 2 games, No. 4 New Britain 1 (3-2, 2-3, 12-2)
Series #2: No. 2 Vermont 2 games, No. 3 Worcester 1 (7-2, 5-7, 6-1)
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