NEW BRITAIN - Despite high expectations going into this season, the New Britain baseball team has gotten off to a rocky start.
The Hurricanes are just 1-2 and have looked sluggish, especially from the batter’s box.
In its loss Wednesday against Bristol Eastern, New Britain managed just one run and three hits. Over the course of their first three games this season, the Hurricanes have scored a combined 12 runs, but seven of those came in their season-opening win against Goodwin Tech. Another three came from a home run by Danniel Rivera when the team was trailing 8-1 in the seventh inning of the second game.
Rivera, who pitches and plays infield for New Britain, admitted the team’s communication needs to improve if they’re going to get the bats going, especially after an afternoon where Lancers pitcher Jagger Duquette struck out the Hurricanes 10 times, six of them looking. The mix of fastballs and curveballs had New Britain’s hitters off-balance and looking lost.
On top of the 10 strikeouts, the Hurricanes only managed to hit six balls out of the infield all game.
“With our whole team, we have to stay mentally strong,” Rivera said. “Everybody has to talk to each other, one-on-one, about what [the pitcher’s] throwing and [Wednesday], just as a team, we weren’t cooperating with each other. We need to cooperate with each other to win any ballgame. We need to see what the pitcher is doing, what he’s doing on his pickoffs, what he’s doing in different counts, because without that, we just aren’t going to win any ballgames.”
Hurricanes head coach Roberto Mercado said players have to trust the coaches and take in the advice they give them. But he also said that right now, the results just aren’t there and he thinks his players are starting to see that after what was New Britain’s worst performance offensively so far this year.
But regardless of how much the team is struggling right now, Mercado is still looking ahead and knows his team will figure it out. With 16 games left on the schedule, there is still plenty of time for the Hurricanes to break out of their slump.
“We will continue working hard,” Mercado said. “That’s one thing I’ll say about these guys, they will work hard. They listen and they work. They just have to trust it. So I think by the end of the season or midseason, we’ll be OK.”
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org