BRISTOL - The Southington South/West Senior League baseball team may have lost the District 5 championship to Bristol Monday night, but Kade Santino had a performance to remember on the mound.
The everyday catcher for Southington throughout the season got the call to pitch - just his second time this summer - in the team’s biggest game.
Santino, the seventh pitcher on the depth chart according to head coach Fred Parke, dazzled against Bristol over the first five innings, shutting down the opposing offense. Santino was mixing in a changeup and a curveball to keep hitters guessing.
Then in the sixth inning, Santino showed signs of fatigue, he was wearing down and had hit a couple of batters in the inning leading to a mound visit from Parke. After the talk between the pitcher and coach, Santino stayed in the game.
“I was trying to settle him down,” Parke said. “He was starting to get a little wild. He had hit a couple kids that inning so I just wanted to make sure his arm was okay. His pitches were starting to run out so I just wanted to settle him down and make sure he knew where he stood as far as pitches. The plan was to give him his 95 pitches.”
Santino finished his night throwing a complete six-inning game, while striking out three, walking two and hitting a pair.
While the four-run sixth inning proved to be a deciding factor in the game, the lack of offense from Southington certainly didn’t help either.
“We had some opportunities but didn’t capitalize,” Parke said. “Against a team like Bristol you need to take advantage of your chances.”
Following the game, Santino didn’t put any blame on his offense. Rather, he put the responsibility on himself.
“I needed to throw strikes and I didn’t,” Santino said. “That’s all there is to it.”
While his start may not have ended as he would have liked it to, Santino certainly put forth quite the effort.