By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Southington American Legion baseball team won all three of their games this past week, heading into the holiday weekend a game above .500 for the first time this year since winning their season opener.
Southington manager Marc Verderame,said that all facets of the game are starting to come around for the locals.
“We were working on them with how to use the wood bat and go opposite field,” the coach said. “The kids that are succeeding are the ones that are working hard, making the adjustments to the wood bat. We’ve been in a lot of close games, but we’re executing really well and are starting to get on base. That means we can run our offense by bunting, stealing, and getting runs in.”
Verderame said that being able to execute their offense has not only been helping the team win games this season, but has helped them win games for the past six years.
“The kids are focusing. Baseball is a team game, but there are individual moments,” said Verderame. “Right now, everyone is doing their job. It’s a simple game when you think about it, when you do everything right. It’s not always who’s the most talented, but who can execute the plays.”
Southington is currently fifth in the Zone I standings, 3.5 games back from Avon in first place. The top five teams of each zone qualify for the 19U state tournament, which begins Saturday, July 16 and wraps up on Saturday, Aug. 6.
Although he doesn’t have the same feeling he had in 2013, Verderame said that the team is still ready to make a run, despite the roller coaster ride the team has experienced throughout the season.
“I knew exactly what we could do in 2013,” the coach said. “This year has been an adventure every week, but it’s been a better feeling because you can see the kids progressing and learning. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”
With seven games remaining in the regular season, Southington (9-8) will look to stay in contention of making the playoffs this week with game against Avon (12-4), Torrington (3-14), Bristol (11-4-1), and Winsted (6-12).
Terryville at home
JUNE 28—Post 72 began the week at home against Terryville on Tuesday as Drew Farkas threw a complete-game shutout in a 1-0 triumph, allowing just four walks and a hit behind 12 strikeouts.
Southington mustered just five hits in the game, but Brayden Cooney went 2-for-3 and scored the team’s lone run off of an error by the shortstop in the third inning.
Wolcott at home
JUNE 29—Wednesday’s game against Wolcott at home was no different than Tuesday’s game, which featured another shutout performance on the mound, 7-0. This time it was John Mikosz who pitched a gem, allowing just four hits and a walk behind seven strikeouts.
Post 72 built a 4-0 advantage after two innings of play, adding three more runs in the sixth. Cooney paced Southington’s offense by going 2-for-2 at the plate with two runs scored, a RBI, and a walk. Ryan McIntyre and Matt Sciota each contributed with a pair of RBI and a run scored apiece.
Torrington on the road
JUNE 30—Southington tied their second-highest mark of runs in a game on the year with a 9-5 victory over Torrington at Fuessenich Park the next day, extending their win streak to four games.
The contest was tied, 4-4, heading into the top of the sixth inning, but then the floodgates opened. With two outs and the bases loaded, Tyler Cyr walked on a full count to drive in a run to give Southington a one-run lead. Then Mikosz cleared the bases with a grand slam, hitting the team’s first homerun of the season to cap off the five-run inning.
Southington outhit Torrington, 10-6. Mikosz finished the game by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Babon went 2-for-4 with two runs scored as well. James Wadman went 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored.
Ryan Sheehan picked up the win on the mound after going five innings with six strikeouts, six hits, three earned runs, and a walk. Connor McDonough closed.
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