By BRIAN JENNINGS
An 8-3 home loss to Greenwich kept alive a dubious losing streak, as the Blue Knight baseball team continues to average one loss every week. The Knights took out their frustrations in Simsbury the following day with a 13-0 shutout in their final conference showdown and nudged Farmington to cap the week.
Offense continues to be a cause for concern as the postseason looms, but with three games remaining the Knights are the ones to beat in the race for the conference title.
“Baseball’s a funny game,” said Southington coach Charlie Lembo. “You can go out there and put up 12, 13, or 15 runs in one game. Then the next day, you’re struggling for runs. That’s where every facet of the game has to be on.”
The Knights will look to clinch the CCC Central Blue title this week when they close out the regular season with contests against NW Catholic (14-4), Avon (13-5), and Bulkeley-Weaver (3-13). Southington is currently 12-5 with a 7-1 regional record.
“We played Avon and NW earlier in the season, but we’re going to have to be ready to play against all three of these teams,” the coach said. “There’s a lot on the line. This is the time of year where it’s time to play, and every game means something. You have to be ready, and I think these guys will be up to it.”
Loss vs. Greenwich
MAY 16—The Knights began the week by suffering their fifth loss of the season after falling, 8-3, to Greenwich at home on Tuesday.
After three scoreless innings, Jake Babon (2-for-3) gave the Knights a 2-0 lead with a home run that scored Dan Topper in the fourth inning. The Cardinals responded by posting five runs in the fifth and three in the sixth with the help of eight hits.
Josh Panarella drove in Jeremy Mercier on a sacrifice fly in the seventh to score the final run of the game. Southington mustered just five hits.
Connor McDonough (1-1) started on the mound and went four innings with three strikeouts, allowing three earned runs, three hits, and three walks. Jake Weed, Vin Viturale, and Kyle Leifert saw some action on the mound as well, each pitching an inning.
Win at Simsbury
MAY 17—The next day, the Knights bounced back from Tuesday’s loss by recording their fifth shutout on the year with a 13-0 blanking at Simsbury in their last divisional game of the season. The Knights scattered runs throughout the first four innings and capped off the win with eight runs in the fifth and sixth innings combined, finishing with 16 hits and one error.
Babon went 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored, an RBI, a double, and a walk. Jonathan Gray went 2-for-3 with a run scored, a double, and a walk. Tyler Cyr went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, two runs scored, a home run, and a triple.
John Mikosz (6-0) started on the mound and went five and two thirds innings with 10 strikeouts, allowing three walks and two hits. Bailey Robarge (2-0) closed with three strikeouts.
Win vs. Farmington
MAY 19—The Knights rounded out the week on Friday by earning their second-straight win with a 4-1 victory over Farmington at home.
Babon gave the Knights a 3-0 lead with a home run that scored Gray and Mercier in the first inning. Mikosz extended Southington’s lead with a solo homerun in the fourth.
Both homeruns accounted for Southington’s only two hits in the game. The Indians scored their lone run off an error in the sixth, as the Knights finished with two errors.
Ryan Sheehan threw a complete game on the mound with seven strikeouts in 111 pitches, allowing three walks and two hits.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/05/23/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-may-26-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.