SPECIAL TO THE HERALD
NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain 12U baseball team were not at their sharpest in a 9-3 loss against the West Hartford Cyclones at the Nutmeg State tournament Thursday night.
“It’s frustrating,” New Britain head coach Chris Waszkiewicz said about the team’s defensive miscues throughout the game. “It is frustrating when your defense gives them extra outs. You know if you have the pitching to get you out of the inning very quickly and the defense just let them get on and fight, fight, fight and fight and its worse.”
New Britain starting pitcher Keyshla Vargas had tough luck in the first inning. With two outs and a runner on third, Vargas struck out Michael Segar, but a passed ball allowed the runner from second to score and Segar to reach base.
Matt Santoro doubled to put runners on second and third an RBI single by Benjamin Hammond allowed the second run to score. Dennis Flores hit an RBI infield single to cap off the three-run inning for West Hartford.
All three runs were unearned against Vargas.
“She was on, Keyshla,” Waszkiewicz said. “If she could have gone 100 pitches, I would have let her throw 100 pitches. Everything was right on the spot, everything.”
New Britain inched closer in the top of the second inning, scoring two runs to cut the deficit to one.
With two outs, Trysten Alves reached base on a single. Isiah Irizzary hit a double to put runners in scoring position for Sebastian Garafolo, who hit a two-run single to cut the lead 3-2.
But the Cyclones tacked on two more runs in the fourth to separate themselves far from New Britain. Hammond had an RBI single and Segar scored on a wild pitch in the inning.
New Britain scored only one more run after the second inning, striking out 14 times in the contest.
“I’d like to see them keep their head down and stroke the ball, I mean today my cleanup hitter went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts,” Waszkiewicz said.
“He is supposed to bring guys in, you can’t go up there making unproductive outs and that goes to everybody. Put the ball in play like they did. They put the ball in play all day today and they dinked and they dunked, then they get out of reach and we made some miscues and gave them a lot of runs.”
West Hartford tacked on three more runs in the fourth and a run in the fifth to finish off their scoring for the evening.
Despite the loss, Waszkiewicz says his team’s energy never went away and they remained competitive throughout the whole game.
“You can’t keep these kids down,” Waszkiewicz said. “I don’t think you can even get them down on that alone. These kids - I love their spirit - they have a great spirit. They have great fight, they have great energy, great attitude. It is a really good squad.”
Kimberly Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12