Despite picking up first win of season, Plainville baseball has room for improvement

Published on Thursday, 6 April 2017 21:06
Written by MICHAEL WOOLFSON

STAFF WRITER

PLAINVILLE - Plainville baseball coach Lou Mandeville considered his team “a little bit lucky” to come out of Wednesday afternoon’s game against Bristol Eastern with a win. The Blue Devils didn’t play the best game but did enough things to come out on top.

Plainville took advantage of several Bristol Eastern miscues en route to winning by a score of 4-3 but it wasn’t immune to miscues itself. The Blue Devils had chances to add some insurance runs later in the game but couldn’t do so because of a couple of base running blunders.

On top of the poor base running, the team also committed two fielding errors which led to two Lancer runs. The outfield defense was solid throughout the afternoon, but the infield defense almost proved detrimental early in the contest.

“I just think we need to communicate better on the infield,” said Jordan Bishop, who was the starting pitcher and played the final two innings at shortstop. “I think we will figure things out by the end of the season and by playoff time.”

The infield play allowed a couple of runs to score but base running is something that Mandeville views as a huge key that often is talked about enough.

“We have to clean up some of those errors and base running is huge too,” Mandeville said. “So many games are won and lost on the bases so we have to make some better decisions there but as the season goes on we will get better there.”

There were two key base running mistakes the Blue Devils made against Bristol Eastern that didn’t end up proving costly but could in future games. Third basemen Robert Munson was caught trying to steal third base in the third inning with nobody out. Plainville would end up scoring the winning run in that inning on a Shaun Simoneau double, but Munson taking himself off the base paths early might have prevented an even bigger inning.

The second was when Grant Sarra worked a walk in the bottom of the sixth inning with his team up one and looking for insurance. Sarra was picked off and, although there is no guarantee he would have scored, it made the possibility of adding a run even less likely.

“We had a couple of guys picked off and a couple of other minor base running mistakes that we need to clean up,” Mandeville said. “I think it’s just a matter of it being early in the season and the guys wanting to make things happen. As the season goes along we will make better decisions.”

Despite the miscues, Plainville made in the game it still came away with the win so there were clearly some positives. One of the big positives, aside from the outfield defense, was starting pitcher Bishop. He didn’t have a dominating outing, as he struck out just one batter, but he also only allowed six hits and didn’t walk anybody in five innings.

“I think I did pretty good,” said Bishop, who added an RBI single in the game. “I had a lot of help from my outfielders but I wanted to go out there and pound the strike zone early and often. I wanted to paint the corners with fastballs and just hope to get them to go for strikes.”

It’s early in the season so every team has things to work on and Plainville is no different. The Blue Devils at least have their first win out of the way and can now look to the more minute details that could be important as the season progresses.

“We have been working hard all offseason and basically since last season ended so it’s nice to get the first ‘W’ early on,” Bishop said.

“It’s always better when you get a win,” Mandeville said. “We have some areas where we definitely need to be better but it’s early and we will. The important thing is we put up more runs than Bristol Eastern did [on Wednesday] so we are going to take the win and run.”

Michael Woolfson can be reached at 860-801-5203 or mwoolfson@centralctcommunications.com

On Twitter: @Bigwoolf5



Posted in New Britain Herald, General Sports, Plainville on Thursday, 6 April 2017 21:06. Updated: Thursday, 6 April 2017 21:14.