PROSPECT — If there was any doubt that the Posts 194-25 Prospect and Beacon Falls American Legion baseball team was ready to turn the corner that question was answered loud and clear in the second week of the season.
PBF put their first game in the win column by shocking Zone 5 perennial favorite Oakville June 18 at Pomperaug High School. Posts 194-25 hammered out 18 hits on the way to a convincing 11-6 win.
The locals grabbed an early 5-0 lead before Oakville, which won the Zone title from 2008-2012, rallied to tie the game at 6-6. Posts 194-25 erupted with a five-run uprising in the fifth to put the game away.
Nathan Clarke went four innings on the hill for the win, with Sam Merriman hurling three shutout innings to earn the save. Dylan Cummings led the attack at the plate, going 4 for 4 with three RBIs. Tanner Kingsley added two hits and two RBIs. Matt Wysocki, Matt Butterworth, Mike Tuohy, Clarke and Kevin Gabinelli all contributed one RBI as PBF put up its highest run total of the season.
“We lost a few tough ones early on,” PBF head coach Jeff Clarke said. “But right now we are playing our best ball of the season. We are getting consistent pitching, our defense has improved and we are getting the timely hits.”
The day after defeating Oakville, Posts 194-25 ran into a Waterbury team that had a streak going of 28 consecutive scoreless innings and fell by a 4-0 deficit. Anthony D’Agnone threw four innings with Gabinelli tossing three shutout innings in relief.
PBF did manage seven hits in the loss to Waterbury, led by Wysocki and Butterworth with two hits each. D’Agnone, Gabinelli and Robert Stach added one hit each to account for the offense.
PBF needed a big-game performance in the opener of a double-header with Monroe on Saturday.
Matt Spofford put together a masterful gem on the mound. Spofford threw a complete-game, one-hit shutout with seven strike outs as Posts 194-25 squeaked out a white-knuckle win 1-0.
Cummings scored the lone run of the game in the fifth with Gabinelli belting the RBI hit. PBF only managed two hits in the game, but it was enough to come out victorious.
Monroe is one of the teams in Zone 5 to be reckoned with after Masuk High School reached the state finals of the Class L tournament.
PBF showed it could very well be one of those teams to be reckoned with after sweeping the double-header. Posts 194-25 earned a 5-3 win in the second game over Monroe. Wysocki got the win with four innings on the hill and Kingsley threw three shut-out innings for the save.
With the game tied at 3-3 in the fifth inning PBF plated two runs for the final margin of victory as Kingsley stole home plate to put the locals ahead for good.
“We are starting to gain some confidence,” Clarke said. “We believe this is the year that we make the state tournament. We have Kingsley batting .485, Merriman at .473, Tuohy at .417 and Mike Gondola at .409. Hitting has been the one thing that we haven’t been consistent with over the past few seasons but we are getting timely hitting and putting games in the win column and having a lot of fun doing it.”
PBF made it three wins in a row on Sunday earning another seat-grabbing win in Danbury by a slim 4-3 margin. Wysocki scored the game-winner in the top of the seventh with Kingsley, Mike Gondola and D’Agnone contributing run-scoring hits. Clarke picked up his second win with a solid six and one-third innings. Kingsley got the final two outs for his second save.
Posts 194-25 fell Tuesday, 3-1, at home in a rematch with Monroe to drop to 4-6 on the season
Monroe struck right out of the gate with two runs in the top of the first inning and added the third run in the seventh. PBF plated its lone run in the fourth.
Posts 194-25 has its hands full this week. PBF is set to play Oxford on Wednesday and visit New Milford Thursday. On Saturday PBF will take on Waterbury at Municipal Stadium for an 11 a.m. start. They will host a Sunday double-header at Hotchkiss Park in Prospect at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. against New Milford.