BEACON FALLS — The Prospect-Beacon Falls American Legion Posts 194-25 baseball team faced both tough weather and tough Zone 5 competition last week. PBF is still looking to break into the win column, but with the effort shown last week it could be getting closer to that mark.
Prospect-Beacon Falls general manager and assistant coach Jeff Clarke pointed to an up-and-down day last weekend as a potential turning point.
“The kids were down on Saturday after Danbury ran it up on us,” Clarke said. “We took the team to lunch so they could share something positive and it actually helped the team bond together. It’s not easy to go out there as 15 and 16 year olds and play against older more experienced teams. But since we went out and they bonded together I can see the difference in their confidence level.”
PBF began the week by falling to undefeated Oxford. Sam Merriman and Eric Beutel had the only hits while Matt Spofford kept the team in the game by allowing just five hits through four innings on the hill.
Anthony D’Agnone and Spofford led the PBF attack with two hits each in a tough loss to Ansonia last Wednesday. Matt Wysocki, Steve Kazalunas, Andrew Gerard and Beutel added hits but errors cost the locals a chance to pull it out.
“Mistakes hurt us,” Clarke said. “It’s part of the growing process for such a young team. But I certainly can’t fault the effort these kids are giving out on the field.”
Against Danbury, Wysocki and Merriman led the attack with two hits each. Kazalunas, Spofford and Kyle Soisson added singles. Beutel and Gerard extended their hit streaks to three games with base hits.
“Andrew Gerard has been out of baseball for four years and has worked hard to acquire one of the starting outfield spots,” Clarke said. “The players are all behind him.”
In game one of a doubleheader against New Milford, Posts 194-25 lashed out 10 hits to make a statement. Merriman went 4-for-4 and Wysocki collected two hits. Spofford, Soisson, Nathan Clarke and Dylan Cummings added base hits in the attack.
Clarke and Merriman pitched five innings each in the doubleheader with Soisson adding three innings of shutout relief.
“The New Milford game was the turning point of our season,” Clarke said. “The pitchers and catchers gave it their all. It was a total team effort. Outfielders were laying out diving for the ball. Infielders went out for flares and made the tough catches look easy.”
Merriman and Wysocki are leading the team in hitting with Spofford and Ryan Flanagan adding the power to the lineup. Connor Chura, Mike Classey and Robert Stach have added to the depth of PBF this season.
“These kids are showing a lot of devotion to the program,” Clarke said. “After we got together as a team the kids got together and talked among themselves about giving it their all. It just seems like these kids are starting to play with some confidence in themselves and each other.”