By BRIAN JENNINGS
The weather forecast didn’t call for a wet, damp Saturday, but the Blue Knight baseball team got rain anyway. After Friday’s home game against Hall was moved up to Saturday to push their home game against Greenwich to a later date, it looked like Mother Nature was going to claim another game.
Although steady rain drenched most of Saturday morning, Southington’s maintenance department kept the field playable.
“I want to give our maintenance department a ton of credit for getting this field ready,” said Southington coach Charlie Lembo. “I got down here at about 7:30, and the field looked great. If they didn’t put that kind of effort in and do such a good job, we wouldn’t have gotten the game in today.”
A steady rain returned in the bottom of the third inning and forced a delay, but members of Southington’s baseball team brought out the tarps and grabbed the Quick Dry and went to work.
“It wasn’t supposed to rain again, but it did,” the coach said. “I give our kids credit for getting the field to be made playable again.”
A game of tic-tac-toe on one of the game balls against the Warriors played tic-tac-toe kept the Knights entertained while they waited for the rain to stop. But once the skies cleared up and the game had started again, it was all business for the Knights.
“Once we got back into playing again, we refocused and got back into the game again,” said Lembo. “I was glad to see that.”
Win vs. Hall
APRIL 22—The refocus of the Knights earned them a 10-1 triumph over Hall at home on Saturday, which was their largest win on the year thus far. The Knights scored runs in every inning and finished the contest with a season high of 17 hits.
“Everyone came ready to hit today,” said Lembo. “We had a better approach at the plate than we’ve had in some past games. It was nice to have some guys get their first varsity hits too.”
Babon paced the offense by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs, two runs scored, a home run, and a double. In six games, Babon currently leads the team at the plate with nine hits, five RBIs, and three doubles, batting.529 (15 total bases).
“He’s been keeping his at-bats and approach simple,” the coach said. “That’s the key. He’s keeping his barrel in the hitting zone longer, and it’s really paying off. He’s worked hard for that.”
Kohl went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a home run, and a walk.
John Mikosz started on the mound and picked up his third win of the season (3-0) after going six innings with six strikeouts, allowing just three walks and two hits. Mikosz painted the corners with a no-hitter going through the first three innings, giving up a pair of base hits in the fourth and sixth innings.
“He did a nice job, especially coming out after the rain delay,” said Lembo. “It’s tough to sit for a while, and then have to get loose again.”
Robarge closed with a pair of strikeouts.
Loss at New Britain
APRIL 19—The Knights began the week at New Britain on Wednesday, where they dropped their second game of the season after suffering a two-run loss, 7-5, to the Golden Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes jumped on the Knights early and took a 4-2 lead with four runs off two base hits, a triple, a walk, and an error in the first inning alone. But the Knights knotted the score with a pair of runs in the third.
With two outs and no base runners, Brayden Cooney drew a walk and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Brandon Kohl drew a walk as well and was driven in on a Jake Babon (3-for-3) single.
Ultimately, three runs in the fifth off two base hits, a walk, and an error sealed the win for the Hurricanes, as the Knights were only able to respond with just a run in the sixth.
Southington finished the game with eight hits and five errors. On each of those five errors, a run scored.
“That’s the game, and you can’t do that,” said Lembo. “There were no outside influences or excuses other than we didn’t play well. New Britain took advantage of our mistakes, and you give them credit.”
Ryan Sheehan started on the mound and went five innings with nine strikeouts, allowing five hits, two earned runs, and a walk. Bailey Robarge closed.
The Knights will be back on the diamond this week when they host Berlin (3-3) on Monday, April 24 and travel to regional Avon (2-2) on Friday, April 28. Southington is currently 4-2 overall.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (http://southingtonobserver.com/2017/04/26/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-april-28-edition/). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.