Plainville baseball looking for consistency ahead of postseason

Published on Sunday, 16 May 2021 21:30
Written by RYAN AMES


PLAINVILLE -- Consistency has been hard to come by for Plainville baseball this season.

With an 8-8 record, the Blue Devils haven't won more than two games in a row or lost more than two games in a row so far this year. With four games remaining in the regular season, Plainville hopes to tighten up before the playoffs come around.

“You’re in the tournament, but the goal is to win as many games as you can to improve your seed," Blue Devils coach Lou Mandeville said. "That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to win them all, but every opponent in the CCC is a battle."

League play has proven to be a challenge for the Blue Devils as they boast a 4-3 record in Central Connecticut Conference play. All but one of Plainville's remaining contests will feature league opponents and it'll have to play well if it wants to head into the state tournament with some momentum.

“It’s been up and down, but welcome to the CCC," Mandeville said. "The CCC is a battle and every night, you’re hoping for a successful night, but every team that comes in, it’s going to be a competitive battle."

The Blue Devils posted wins over Rocky Hill, Bristol Eastern, Platt and Middletown among CCC opponents, but fell to Bristol Central, Maloney and their first game against Rocky Hill.

Of the defeats, its 9-5 loss to Maloney was the closest as Plainville dropped its game against Rocky Hill, 13-3, and its game versus Bristol Central, 18-3.

The Blue Devils' victories in league play have featured closer scores as their 12-0 win over Rocky Hill was the only game to be decided by more than three runs,

Plainville downed Platt, 4-1, Middletown, 8-7 and Bristol Eastern, 11-10 in eight innings.

"That’s what we’re seeing every night. Some days you’re going to come on the higher number side, some days you come on the lower side," Mandeville said. "We’re 8-8, we’re ok with it, we’re competing, our practices have been good and we’ll keep going.”

The Blue Devils' upperclassmen will be counted on during this stretch run despite not having much varsity experience.

“I have 10 seniors this year" Mandeville. "Last year I had 11 seniors that would have been on the team. A lot of the kids I have this year are playing varsity for the first time, same as the other teams. But we have 10 seniors, we’re competing and we’ll keep competing and go from there.”

Seniors Tyler Bonney and Jayden Cumbo starred on the mound against the Spartans while Tanner Callahan and Bonney swung the bat well, contributing a hit each.

Bonney, specifically, had an impressive performance considering Friday was his first start of the season.

"We were encouraged by that and he’s been a relief pitcher but we asked him to start [Friday] and he showed some guts giving us five [innings]," Mandeville said. "It was huge and you couldn’t ask much more, he kept us in the game.”

Their game against Lewis Mills was also a rematch of their 2019 Class M first round game in which the Blue Devils lost, 12-4.

Plainville finished that season 12-8 as the No. 12 seed and will need to win the rest of its regular season games to finish with the same record this time.

The Blue Devils will host E. O. Smith on Monday at 6:30 p.m.

Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Plainville on Sunday, 16 May 2021 21:30. Updated: Sunday, 16 May 2021 21:33.