Posts 194-25 enduring growing pains

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Connor Chura is one of two returning players for the young Posts194-25 Legion team, which is going thorough some growing pains. –FILE PHOTO

BEACON FALLS — The Prospect-Beacon Falls American Legion Posts 194-25 baseball team is beginning to show signs of improvement as it looks to break into the win column.

PBF faced off against three of the top teams in Zone 5 last week and came up on the short end, but there is light at the end of the tunnel according to general manager and assistant coach Jeff Clarke.

“We are a very young team,” Clarke said. “We have 15- and 16-year-olds facing teams that are loaded with senior high school and freshman college players. This season won’t be measured by wins or losses. It will be measured by how we learn the game and represent American Legion Posts 194 and 25.”

The growing pains coming into the season were evident with only two players, Connor Chura and Nathan Clarke, back from last year’s squad.

Head coach Don Ensero Sr. has a wealth of experience to go along with an eager coaching staff, including Clarke, Ryan Matthews, Don Ensero Jr. and Zach Ensero.

PBF has developed a deep pitching staff with Matt Wysocki throwing a complete-game effort against Ansonia and Nathan Clarke going the distance against Monroe.

Chura, Sam Merriman, Matt Spofford, Anthony D’Agnone, Steve Kazalunas and Dylan Cummings make up the rest of the pitching staff.

Last week in a loss to Zone 5 leader Oakville, Wysocki led the offensive attack with two hits and an RBI. PBF dropped a doubleheader against Waterbury later in the week but got a couple of good pitching efforts along the way.

Clarke pitched four innings of relief in game one with D’Agnone going five innings in the nightcap and Kazalunas pitching in relief in both games. Wysocki paced the offense, belting two hits, while Spofford rattled one off the fence for a double and Cummings drove in a run.

“The kids are making the adjustments and we are starting to see a marked improvement,” Clarke said. “In spite of the doubleheader loss to Waterbury it was a much better effort than we have seen this season.”

Kyle Soisson has been delivering key hits driving in runs and Robert Stach has stepped up his effort in becoming the team’s primary catcher.

Andrew Gerard, Ryan Flanagan, Mike Classey and Eric Beutel have all shown signs of taking it to the next level.

“Andrew is constantly improving and getting more playing time,” Clarke said. “Ryan can hit the ball hard and recently put one off the fence at Woodland. Mike has a lot of speed and has a real good arm in the outfield. Eric is our youngest player and recently got a base hit in his first at bat.”

After playing several competitive games, PBF next wants to break into the win column.

“The goal is to make positive strides and continue to improve,” Clarke said. “We are starting to see that take place.”

PBF finished up the week by falling to Bethel over the weekend. Wysocki, Spofford and Cummings all pitched in the loss, dropping Posts 194-25 to 0-6 on the season.