By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington baseball was riding high after the first two games last week, but the Knights found out how fleeting those feelings could be during a tough loss to end a six-game winning streak.
The Blue Knights knocked off Wethersfield 2-1 at home on April 29, then blanked NW Catholic 4-0 on the road on May 1.
Southington brought a six-game winning streak into Groton on May 4 for its game against Fitch, but the Falcons scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat the Knights 2-1. Southington’s record stood at 11-2 after the three-game week.
Here’s what happened in each game:
APRIL 29—The Knights got a great four-inning relief effort from Vinny Spizzoucco and did just enough with the bats to edge the Eagles.
“Both teams played good defense, both teams pitched well,” Lembo said.
Spizzoucco (2-0) replaced Jason Krar, who exited with an injury after three innings of one-run ball. Spizzoucco gave up three hits, struck out four and didn’t surrender a walk on 47 pitches on his way to the win.
“It was unbelievable. He did a great job,” Lembo said.
Spizzoucco got some big-time help from his defense. After a leadoff double in the top of the fifth inning, third baseman Kevin McIntyre fielded a grounder looked the runner back, and threw to first baseman Jake Neuman for the out. The baserunner tried to go to third, but Neuman threw to shortstop Jake Romano, who was covering third, to complete the double play.
In the sixth, Wethersfield got a one-out single, then the next batter laced a double into the right field corner. Right fielder Tyler Strong threw the ball to second baseman Bryce Worth, who turned around and fired a strike to catcher Jake DelMonte to catch the potential tying run at the plate.
“Tyler went back, got it, got a good relay to Bryce, and Bryce turned and threw a one-hopper to Del at the plate, Del put the tag down,” Lembo said. “Everything was perfect, everything was executed perfectly on that play.”
A Southington error gave Wethersfield its only run in the top of the third inning, but the Knights scored twice in the bottom of the fourth on RBI singles by Romano and Worth to take a 2-1 lead. Worth’s single came with two outs. Those were the only runs allowed by Eagle pitcher Roan Moran, who finished a complete game even after being drilled in the rear end by a Neuman line drive in the sixth.
“He stayed in there, he threw, and he was really impressed. I was impressed with him, and I was impressed with our guys,” Lembo said.
Knights tame the Lions
MAY 1—Neuman (6 innings) and Brendan Kavanaugh (1 inning) combined for the shutout for Southington at NW Catholic.
Neuman (3-0) gave up just two hits, struck out 11 and walked one on 72 pitches in his six innings. Kavanaugh allowed one hit, struck out three and walked one on 18 pitches in his one inning.
Romano was 3-for-4 with a double and RBI to lead the Knight offense. DelMonte doubled twice and scored twice while Neuman singled, drove in a run and scored a run. Paradis singled and stole a base while Strong scored a run.
Errors hurt in loss
MAY 4—The Knights found themselves in a tight game with the Falcons, and two unearned runs proved to be the difference.
Southington made five errors in the game. Ryan Henderson (3-1) pitched all six innings and gave up two unearned runs on three hits. He struck out three, walked two and threw 84 pitches, 59 for strikes. Henderson also had one of the five Knight errors.
Worth had a single and RBI to lead the Southington offense. J.T. Martin scored the lone Knight run. Neuman and Romano each had a single, and Meade stole a base.
Up next: Southington was at home on Monday evening against Simsbury. The Knights were scheduled to play against Avon at Buckingham Field on Thursday. On Friday, Southington is slated to host East Catholic at 7 p.m.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com