A game of inches

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Prospect-Beacon Falls pitcher Matt Wysocki delivers a pitch during the first game of a double header versus Post 17 Tuesday in Naugatuck. –KEN MORSE
Prospect-Beacon Falls pitcher Matt Wysocki delivers a pitch during the first game of a double header versus Post 17 Tuesday in Naugatuck. –KEN MORSE

PROSPECT — Baseball has become a game of inches for the Prospect-Beacon Falls American Legion team.

Posts 194/25 faced off against the top two teams in Zone 5 last week and came up on the short end of the scoreboard both times.

PBF trailed Waterbury 3-1 in the sixth inning with Dylan Cummings on the mound giving his team a chance to pull it out. Zone 5 leader Post 1 erupted late to pull away with a 6-1 win.

On Saturday, Nate Clarke pitched the game of the season against Oakville, leaving after six innings with the game tied 1-1. Sam Merriman had a chance to give PBF the lead with runners at second and third in the last inning, but a shot up the middle got the runner tagged out. Oakville came back for a 2-1 win and took the second game of the double header by a 6-2 margin.

“We faced the top two teams in the Zone and had a chance late in both games,” Posts 194/25 coach Jeff Clarke said. “A couple of inches here or there it would have been a different result.

“Pitching has been our strength and it has come down to a ball hit down the line or up the middle that missed by inches of being the base hit that we needed,” he continued. “But these guys are battling against some tough teams and not giving up.”

Prospect-Beacon Falls came ready to play on Tuesday at Naugatuck jumping on Post 17 for three runs in the first inning. Starting pitcher Matt Wysocki led off with a walk followed by singles from Anthony D’Agnone and Matt Butterworth to load the bases.

Matt Spoffard came through with a two-run single, and Jerrett Allen followed that up with a run-scoring hit to put PBF on top 3-0 before Naugatuck even got a chance to come to the plate.

Wysocki held Naugatuck in check as PBF added to its lead with a run in the top of the third. Butterworth got his second hit of the game with Matt Spoffard and Allen reaching base on an error and a walk to load the bases. Steve Kazalunas grounded to short and an error on the throw put PBF on top 4-0.

Naugatuck responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to close the gap. Three singles and two long sacrifice flies did the damage, but Wysocki recovered to keep Naugatuck off the board over the next three innings.

Clinging to a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh, Posts 194/25 added a much needed insurance run. Butterworth reached on an error to get things started. Clarke, Allen and Robert Stach followed with consecutive singles to make it a 5-3 lead.

Naugatuck came up in its final turn at the plate. Wysocki got the first out and then walked the next two batters. Matt Spoffard came on in relief but on the second pitch Spencer Dreher sent a long fly ball to right center field that cleared the fence by inches for a three-run, walk-off home run.

Posts 194/25 couldn’t quite recover in the second game of the double header and fell, 11-4 margin.

Prospect-Beacon Falls (1-12) starts a stretch of five straight home games beginning with Easton on Wednesday before Monroe on Thursday. Bethel is on tap for Friday and Sunday, followed by a rematch with Waterbury on Monday. All games are scheduled for 5:45 p.m., expect for the Sunday contest that will go off at 4 p.m.