By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington baseball picked up blowout wins over Simsbury and Avon to begin its week but was shut out by East Catholic at week’s end.
The week started with a 12-2 win in six innings over Simsbury at home on May 6. Southington took down Avon, 8-0, on May 9 at Buckingham Field in Avon. The Knights lost at home to East Catholic, 4-0, on May 10. Southington’s record is 13-3.
The Knights brought some of their struggles with the bat from their 2-1 road loss to Fitch on May 4 into the Simsbury game. Southington got going at the plate with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, then erupted for six more in the sixth inning to end the game via the mercy rule.
“I think the key to the sixth was Tyler Strong getting that bunt down, bunt for a base hit,” coach Charlie Lembo said. “It was perfect, he executed, he’s got good speed. That just kind of ignited things.”
Strong beat out his bunt after pinch hitter Devin Pelletier had singled to lead off the sixth. Jack Meade walked to load the bases, then Jake DelMonte singled to drive in a run. Andrew Paradis had a bases-loaded walk for an RBI, then Jake Neuman smacked a bases-clearing double to put Southington ahead 11-2. After a fly out and ground out, Bryce Worth singled to score Neuman and end the game.
Neuman wound up 2-for-3 with the double, a single, a sacrifice fly, two runs scored and six RBI. Kevin McIntyre led the Knights in hits with three, including a double, and drove in a run. DelMonte was 2-for-2 with two walks, three runs scored and an RBI. Meade walked twice and scored two runs.
On the mound, Southington got a strong effort from the lefty Vinny Spizzoucco. Spizzoucco threw all six innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He struck out seven, walked one, threw 68 pitches and improved to 3-0.
“Vinny did a great job on the mound, Del did a great job behind the plate catching him,” Lembo said. “Vinny has a lot of run, a lot of movement. It’s not easy, and Del did a great job back there.”
On defense, Strong threw a runner out the plate. It was the third time in two games that a Knight outfielder had thrown out a runner at home. Meade did it from left field, Paradis from center field against Fitch on May 4.
“Throwing a guy out at the plate brings energy to the whole team,” Lembo said.
Lembo said he wanted to see how the Knights responded to the adversity of a tough loss against Fitch. Southington responded well, and Simsbury paid the price.
Blowout in Avon
MAY 9—A solid start from Neuman and balanced offensive attack paced the Knights in the win over the Falcons at Buckingham Field.
Neuman went the first five innings and gave up three hits. He struck out six, walked one, threw 74 pitches, and improved his record to 4-0. Nico Gaudio and Mickey Gurzenda threw a scoreless inning apiece to close out the game. At the plate, DelMonte was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, stolen base, run scored and two RBI. Paradis was 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and RBI, and Kyle Leifert was also 2-for-4 with a double, along with two runs scored. Jake Romano singled and drove in a run while J.T. Martin singled and scored a run.
Bats silenced in loss
MAY 10—Eagle starter Anthony Mozzicato gave up just three hits, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter in a complete-game road team’s win over the Knights.
“Our hitters didn’t do much. We didn’t change our approach,” Lembo said.
Neuman doubled, Meade singled, and Billy Carr had a pinch-hit single. Ryan Henderson (3-2) pitched the first five innings and lost his second straight start. He gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits, struck out four, and walked three on 80 pitches. Southington’s defense made three errors.
“I thought Hendo pitched great, was doing a good job,” Lembo said. “His pitch count started getting up because we kept making errors. We made too many errors, we gave them too many at bats.”
Eklund Harrison had an impressive opposite-field home run for East Catholic that made the score 2-0 in the top of the sixth inning. An unearned run in the sixth gave the Eagles a 3-0 advantage, and the visitors were able to add another run for the final margin.
“It was a good baseball game at that point [through five innings], then we made some mistakes that cost us,” Lembo said. “That’s part of the game, it’s not the end of the world. All of our goals are still in front of us, we’re going to move on, and we’ll get back it on Sunday.
Up next: Southington’s home game against Conard, originally scheduled for Monday, was postponed to May 21 because of rain. The Knights were scheduled to host NFA on Tuesday, then play Hall at home on Friday at 7 p.m.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com.