By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Southington legion baseball team finished the week at .500 with three wins and three losses, but is starting to pick up ground on the rest of the league after a rough start.
Although the team has been inconsistent through the first half of the season, Southington manager Marc Verderame said that they have been adjusting from game to game, telling his players that they will be judged by who is standing at the end, not by a loss in the second or third game.
“We started off with a win and then lost four straight,” said Verderame. “We kind of took a punch to the gut and got knocked down, but it’s all about how you battle back, in baseball and in life. We’re going to make run and take two or three from a lot of teams.”
At Wolcott (Tuesday, June 14)
Post 72 began the week in Wolcott on Tuesday, June 14, where they fell to Post 165, 4-1.
Wolcott took a 2-0 lead after the fifth inning, but Justin Makles cut the deficit to a run when he drove in AJ Mondo with a base hit in the sixth.
In the seventh, however, Wolcott secured the victory by adding a couple more runs for insurance.
Brayden Cooney went 2-for-3 with a walk.
John Mikosz started on the mound and went five innings with five strikeouts, five walks, two hits, and two earned runs. Makles relieved Mikosz to get an out, and Mondo closed out the game.
Southington outhit Wolcott, 6-3.
Vs Torrington (Wednesday, June 15)
The bats remained cold for Post 72 the next day when they returned home to host Torrington, dropping their fourth straight game to Post 38 by the same count, 4-1. Southington finished the game without a hit.
All of Torrington’s four runs came in the fourth inning off of three base hits and a walk. After getting hit by a pitch, Cooney scored Southington’s lone run of the game on an error committed by the second baseman in the bottom of the inning.
Bailey Robarge started on the mound and went five innings with six strikeouts, five hits, four earned runs, and three walks. Mondo closed out the contest.
Vs Unionville (Thursday, June 16)
Post 72 snapped their four-game losing streak at home on Thursday with a 10-0 shutout over Unionville.
Southington jumped out on top with a two-run advantage after the opening inning of play, but went on to post four runs in the third and sixth innings.
Southington’s bats woke up and exploded for eight hits. Makles (2), Mikosz (2), Matt Sciota (2), Tyler Cyr, Jake Babon, Kyle Semmel, and Zach Parent all scored runs in the game. Babon (3), Ryan Sheehan (3), Mikosz, Sciota, Parent, and James Wadman each contributed with RBI.
Connor McDonough was credited with the win after going five innings on the mound with six strikeouts, three hits, and two walks. Cyr came in to throw the last two innings.
At Simsbury (Friday, June 17)
Post 72 carried their momentum into next day’s matchup when they traveled to Memorial Park in Simsbury, defeating Post 84 in extra innings, 4-1.
Wadman gave Southington a 1-0 lead after scoring Parent on a base knock in the third inning, but Simsbury mustered a run in the sixth off of an error, sending the game into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Babon drove in Wadman and Cooney with a single, and Sciota brought Babon on an RBI double to cap off the victory.
Wadman went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Sciota went 2-for-3 with a RBI, a double, and walk.
Drew Farkas picked up the win after going seven innings on the mound with 11 strikeouts, allowing just four walks. Robarge relieved Farkas to seal the win and get the save, allowing a hit and a walk.
Southington outhit Simsbury, 10-1.
Game 1 of doubleheader vs Simsbury (Sunday, June 19)
The series with Simsbury continued into Sunday at home, where Post 72 took game one of a double header, 8-2.
Southington built a 5-2 lead by the third inning, adding three more runs in the sixth.
Wadman went 2-for-3 with three RBI, two runs scored, and a walk. McIntyre went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a RBI, and a triple. Cooney went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a walk. Parent went 2-for-3 with a runs scored.
Sheehan went started on the mound and earned the win by going six innings with four strikeouts, six walks, three hits, and an earned run. Robarge closed out the game.
Southington outhit Simsbury, 11-3.
Game 2 of doubleheader vs Simsbury (Sunday, June 19)
Southington suffered its fifth loss of the season after they were unable to produce a run in a 5-0 shutout in game two of the doubleheader.
Simsbury led Southington, 2-0, by the fourth inning, and extended their lead to four with two runs in the fifth.
Both teams tallied six hits in the game. Mikosz went 2-for-2 with a double and walk.
On the mound, Mikosz started the game and went four and a third innings with six strikeouts, four walks, three hits, and two earned runs. Makles relieved Mikosz to pitch an inning, and McDonough closed out the game.
Southington is currently fifth in the Zone 1 standings behind Avon, Bristol, Wolcott, and Simsbury. In order to be successful down the stretch, Verderame said that they have to use pitching to their strength and have better at-bats.
“We have to the pound the zone,” the manager said. “We’re working on our hitting as well and are adjusting to the wood. If you watched the first three or four games, we weren’t hitting the ball at all. Now we’re coming around and getting about 10 hits a game. I’m proud of the guys for working on it and hitting before the games.”
Verderame went on to say that pitching is what’s going to help the team win the zone and make a run through the postseason.
“We have to keep our staff in tact,” said Verderame. “With good teams in this zone, you have to win those close ball games, but we also have to stick with that staff and use it to our strength. We have a good rotation right now. If we could score a couple a game, we have a good enough staff to shut down teams.”