BERLIN - It was a struggle for the Redcoats to get anything against New Britain. Berlin only mustered four hits all game in a 6-1 loss to the Hurricanes.
Junior Ruffino Santiago had another strong start on the mound for New Britain, going six strong innings of four-hit ball. He only had one strikeout, but worked quickly on batters after getting ahead early. He had a first-pitch strike to 17 of the 24 batters he faced.
“Every single start, he has gotten better and it’s because of his consistency getting ahead on guys,” New Britain head coach Roberto Mercado said. “Once he commands that first pitch strike, he can do some other things. When you’re down 0-1 or 0-2 like ruffino had them today, you have to be really defensive at the plate.”
Berlin starter Gianni Fanelli was unable to match Santiago’s performance, walking five Hurricanes with a hit-by-pitch in 4.2 innings, struggling with control all game long. The New Britain hitters continued to work the counts, a different approach than their typical swing-early attitude.
Second baseman Justin Adorno had two RBI in the game on a two-out, two-run single in third inning.
“I just waited for my pitch and tried to get in a good hitter’s count so I could drive the ball and it worked out that AB,” Adorno said of his mindset at the plate.
Berlin head coach Leo Veleas was noticably disappointed with his team’s performance after the game, citing the Redcoats inability to execute on any part of the field.
“It’s a matter of execution. You can’t have walks. You can’t hit batters. You can’t have wild pitches. You can’t make errors. You can’t give extra outs to teams like we did toda,” veleas said.
Senior Nicholas Carroll was the lone bright spot in the order, getting on base twice and scoring the team’s overall. But Carroll was frustrated after the game and felt the team as a whole was “sloppy” in every facet.
Berlin has now lost three of their last four and have failed to get any sort of momentum going this season. The Redcoats are now 6-6 overall and have just eight games left to try to get something going. Veleas said the focus has to be pitching and fielding if that is going to happen.
“It’s a matter of pitching and playing defense. If we can do that, we will be in all of the games we play,” Veleas said. “If you can’t pitch and play defense, then you have to pound the ball, and we don’t pound the ball.”
New Britain, on the other hand, is on fire, winners of their last six . Mercado credited his team’s work ethic, especially after ealy season struggles. But despite the team’s recent success, the team is still focused on maintaining a high level of play the rest of the season.
“True character is when adversity hits. Things are going well right now, things are great. But there’s going to be times where we will face some adversity, and we are going to have to overcome that. It’s but fun the last couple games, but every game is going to be a battle,” Mercado said.
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org