By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Southington American Legion baseball team has been improving throughout the summer as they dive into the latter part of the season. Southington went 2-2 this past week, improving their overall regular season record to 4-8.
Southington currently sits in Sixth place of the 19U Division, seven and a half games back from first-place Simsbury. Southington will look to get back in contention when they take on Bristol, Simsbury, Avon, and Wolcott this week.
“We need to work on executing and not beating ourselves,” said Verderame. “The difference between 10-4 and 4-10 sometimes is just a few missed opportunities and unfortunately, we just haven’t gotten those breaks this season. We run an aggressive offense over here and it’s hard to get into our style of play when we are constantly behind.”
Forfeit at Simsbury
Southington started the week off with a 7-0 forfeit loss against Simsbury at Memorial Field on Thursday, July 2.
With a depleted roster, Southington couldn’t overcome the late arrival of two starting players that were stuck at work. Without enough players at game time, Simsbury, the top team in the division, came away with the easy win.
Southington rebounded from the program’s first forfeit with a double-header sweep in Torrington the following day.
Southington wasted no time in game one, rallying for two runs in each of the first two innings before blowing open the game with a three-run rally in the fourth. John Mikosz scattered three hits over five innings to get the win, and Jake Babon threw a pair of scoreless innings in relief to get a 9-5 win.
Joshua Makles led the locals at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two runs, a RBI, a double, and a walk in the first contest.
The momentum carried into the second game with Adam Wilson pitching a complete game shutout to score a 6-0 win. Wilson struck out six batters in the victory.
At the plate, Kyle Cole went 2-4 with four RBIs, and Kyle Bunko’s only hit drove in two runs.
Southington ended the week with a 5-4 loss at home on Sunday, taking Terryville to 10 innings of play.
Joshua Makles and Mikosz combined for the loss, scattering nine hits over 10 innings. Terryville scored twice in the third inning and added lone runs in the fourth, fifth, and 10th to get the win.
Kyle MacLean paced the offense, going 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs, a run, and a walk. Southington tied the game, 4-4, with two-run rallies in the fourth and fifth, but couldn’t manufacture another run down the stretch. Southington batters combined for four runs on nine hits in a 5-4 loss.
Despite the setbacks, Verderame continues to be optimistic about his team’s chances down the stretch.
“I think the kids have bought into our ‘embrace the grind’ mentality,” said the coach. “We have been playing games with nine or 10 guys, but they have come to play every game.”
Wednesday’s game against Winsted and the second half of Sunday’s double-header with Terryville have been postponed to a later date. Southington forfeited Thursday’s game against Simsbury.